7/4/20

what’s more fun than fun shoes?

I like fun shoes & what’s more fun than fun shoes ... how about fun shoes at a great price with fun shoelaces! 

win.win.win!

I found all of these shoes for amazing deals and wasn’t willing to pay almost as much for shoelaces as I did for the shoes themselves ... hello Google! 



I was able to make myself some fun shoelaces for my fun shoes and I am thinking I’m going to make a bunch more and sell them ... what do you think? I was even able to attach aglets (the plastic ends of shoelaces) so they are easier to lace and won’t fray! 




Would you like some? They can be made from any ribbon and any colors, some of the ribbon I used is wired and some isn’t, I like how the bows look with the wired ribbon!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, let me know if this is something you’d like for yourself, for your kids or your grandkids!

6/25/20

eating keto and popcorn treats :)

I’m often asked how we eat Keto, how we stick to it and for recipes.

After 3 months of being home, almost a week with no electricity during lockdown and less activity than normal, June 1 came with a commitment to get back on track! For me the first step to being “good” is to have as few carbs in the house as possible! This was a little more difficult this time as we’re watching three littles so being carb free wasn’t as easy! They like their cheese crackers, graham crackers and pasta! 

 I did tuck aside any other high carb pantry items that i kept on hand in case of another lengthy power outage, and got serious about our groceries!

Today was a good example of an easy to make, really good,  low carb lunch!

I made an oversized turkey patty, think pan sized, which I seasoned with a garlic & herb seasoning blend. Once the turkey was cooked through, I spread a layer of garden veggie & chive cream cheese, tomatoes & provolone cheese. I covered the pan until the cheese was melted. 

Once cut into 1/4’s I added a side of cucumbers to Rick’s plate, the remaining sliced tomato and Avo Verde Salsa. I enjoyed some carb free jalapeƱo Parmesan crisps with the salsa! Everything was bought at Aldi’s and we have leftovers enough for a second meal!



Easy, peasy and really yummy! 

I realize Keto may not be for everyone but I feel so much better, have much less stomach bloat, no sugar crashes and no negative gluten effects as I’m sensitive to gluten. I don’t miss sweets or breads, pastas or other snacks at all ... except that amazing popcorn in my pantry made by Old Mill Kettle Corn!
That was a shameless plug for some amazing popcorn made by the company our friend Emma owns! :) You can order some here: https://oldmillpopcorn.com


6/20/20

Chatta”zoo”ga, Chatta-shopping & more ...


                                                  


Early Wednesday evening Rick’s brother Ken and sister-in-law Linda came into town! 
It’s always fun the see family and this time has been no exception!

We had not yet visited the Chattanooga Zoo so we took a trip into town 
and checked it out and were pleasantly surprised! 
It was more than we were expecting! 
I included a few pictures of my favorite zoo animals, and some humans too! 

We also visited the Mercantile and some antique stores.
Where else can you find Sasquatch, who we left at the store,  
sparkly black Cons which just happened to be my size, yes,
they had to come home with me
and Donald Trump earrings?!
The floppy hat didn’t come home with us either but it was tempting,
I kind of liked it!
The sarcasm t-shirt was tempting as well and the butt rub gave us a good laugh! 

I’ve also been reading a few really good books and God and I have had some really
good conversations! I’m still learning everyday, and hopefully putting what
I’m learning into practice ... drawing me closer to Him and learning to
love others with more purpose! Because our job situations have been shaken up, I’m open to God’s
leading and an exciting opportunity seems it could be opening up, if you feel led,
please pray along with me for clear guidance! 

Happy weekend .... we’re soon off to do some more exploring! 



6/17/20

I AM HIS!

So here’s the thing. I had a super long post started. I tried to be eloquent and write it the right way. You know, so it would catch your attention, so you’d want to read it, so you’d like what I wrote. Then I realized, that’s just what I wanted to share! This is my blog,with my thoughts, my prayers, my journey with God. I need to write to please Him and nobody else! That is scary, and revealing and freeing all at the same time.

I AM HIS!

He calls me by name and reaches out to me in my moments of despair and cheers for me in my moments of victory! 

I AM HIS! 

I am His yet daily I seek for, I strive for, I cling to your affirmation of me. This seeking, striving, clinging leads me to be someone I’m not. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this means I can be self serving, rather it should lead me to be selfless. But it should also lead me to live a life in line with who Christ created me to be, not in line what I think others would want me to be. 

I wanted to please my parents so I made sure that I checked the boxes of what a good Sunday School girl looked like. My heart wasn’t always where it should be but at least most of the time it looked like I was doing what was expected of me. 

In high school, I wanted my friends to like me so I pretended to go along with them, agreeing with whatever crowd I was with at that time. 

I wanted all of the young mamas in my circle to like me so I put my girls in the same box all their children were in. I expected my children to act the same as theirs, accomplish what theirs did. I parented according to what they thought of my parenting skills; I didn’t let my children be my children, I tried to make them cookie cutter images of others. 

I wanted my husband to love me. I cooked all the meals, washed all the clothes, scrubbed all the floors. I smiled when I wanted so scream and I hid in the shower on the rare occasion I allowed myself to cry, because big girls don’t cry. 

I wanted everyone to like me all of the time. I want everyone to like me all of the time. I smile and I agree and I still do all the things. 

I try to check the boxes that make others see me as a good daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandma, friend, Christian. I live to gain approval and be good enough to be loved. 

I AM HIS! 

I need to stop checking all the boxes. I need to stop putting on a smiling face all the time. 

I AM HIS!

I need to seek His approval, His love and His affirmation. In finding my all in His finished work in the cross, I will be full! He created me, He knows me, He loves me. I am his cherished Child and I am His beloved bride!  

I do not need to seek the approval of any man (or woman or child). This will not make me selfish, but it will make me more selfless. If my worth, my acceptance, my peace is placed in Him and Him alone, I will find peace. I will not need to seek the approval or the affirmation of others. I will be free to live wholeheartedly, to serve willingly to smile joyfully. 

I AM HIS!

He wants to mold me and make me into Who and Whose I was created to be! He can be and will be my all in all, if I let Him! 

I AM HIS! 

I need to stop checking the boxes. I need to stop trading what is best for what I think is good. I need to grow past my need of expecting anyone or anything other than Him to fill me, affirm me or approve of me. If I seek His face at all times, my service can be done in love. I can live in a way that pleases Him and not man, knowing that I don’t need man’s approvals or accolades or affirmations, because I already have all of those things from my ABBA Daddy! He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, of the grains of sand and the mountains, of the sun moon and stars and yet, I AM HIS!

6/14/20

r.e.s.t.


Rest, true rest, peaceful rest, rest that restores and renews cannot be found outside of my relationship with Christ. It has to be the first thing in my life. It has to be my priority. It las to be my all. Sadly, it is not. 

Rest, true rest, peaceful rest, is impossible to come by when my days, my hours, my moments are constantly bombarded by the cares of this world. It also most certainly cannot be achieved through a constant barrage of all that mainstream media and social media throws my way, every minute of every day; and night. 

Today, I spent some time outdoors, in the beautiful sunshine of Eastern Tennessee; praying that as I felt the sun shining down on me, I would allow my Precious Savior speak truth to me. As the warm sun shined on me as if it were He, Himself shining on me and as I felt occasional breeze kiss my face, I felt it as His gentle caress. In the relative stillness of that time, I asked Him to fill me, to speak to me, to convict me. 

Answers that I was seeking came fairly quickly, though I argued with them because I did not like them. 

Answers to questions like:

*Where do you turn to first thing in the morning, often before you seek Me?
*What occupies too much of your time?
*What causes you the most stress?
*What threatens to steal your peace and wreck havoc on relationships you claim are important?
*What causes divisions/dissension between you and those you love, those you call friend?
*What distracts you or drives you? Is it how many “likes“ or comments your latest post gets, how many views your story has? Do you crave the approval of man or Me? 
*Do you allow man to affirm you, or do you seek your affirmations from Me?
*What clutters your  mind, your life and your  home and steals your peace?

My friend, those are hard questions. 
They are questions that are a hard truth to accept especially when the answers to those questions were:

*Fecebook, Instagram, Twitter, the news
*My phone, social media, current events 
*Wanting to be right at the cost of offending others
*Media, differing views with those I love on current affairs .... the virus, the riots, the state our country is in
*My perceived right to be right and to speak it without regard of how someone on the other side feels
*I crave the approval of man
*I allow or at least seek to have man to affirm me
*I have let my mind become cluttered with the things of earth and though we moved to Tennessee with minimal earthly possessions, I have accumulated too much stuff since being here and to use the catchy term, I need to “Marie Kondo” my life! 

All this to say that I have much more to say. I will be trying to post to my blog as I work through this process. The name of my blog is “My Journey 139”. The 139 represents Psalm 139, my life passage. I urge you to read it if you haven’t! If you don’t have a Bible, you can Google it or I’ll be happy to share it with you! This is my journey and may be painful at times. I desire to serve God first, my family next, followed by friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and lastly all of the other obligations I have in life. As with all journeys, there have already been many joyful moments, some very sad moments, some moments of extreme trials and heartache as well as some mountaintop moments and victories! It is my journey to walk with my Precious Saviour, and if you choose to walk alongside me, I’m glad you are here and I pray we can learn from Him together!

3/4/20

words of affirmation

Good job! You rock! Look how cute you look today! I love your shoes! Great job scoring that goal! Good work sharing the ball! I'm so proud of you .....

Words of affirmation. I love to give them and I love to get them.

As I struggled with God at the beginning of last week and asked Him to draw me close, truly close to Him, I asked Him to show me areas of life that I needed to let go of. Interestingly, when I sat quietly and let Him show me things from my past that I was holding on to that were holding me back from fully living the life He has promised me most of them were directly related to affirmations.

I didn't want my parents to be upset with me, so I behaved in certain ways. I wanted my friends to like me, so I tried to do what I thought they wanted me to do. If I didn't feel affirmed, I sought ways to be accepted, approved of, affirmed. As a newly married young mama, I wanted to be loved, accepted, affirmed. I wanted my husband to love me, and tell me how much he loved me ... often. I wanted my children to adore me and think I was the best mom. I wanted the other moms in my MOMs group to think I had it all together. I parented my girls based on what others thought of my parenting skills, not always based on what was best for my girls. I based my success as a parent by measuring my girls against other moms children. If someone's child got straight A's, mine should too. If someone else's child played in band, mine should too. I actually asked my oldest when she was a senior if she had intentionally gotten a "bad" grade in a class so she would graduate third in her class, not first or second so she didn't have to give a speech. After all, my best friend's daughter had been at the top of her class, mine should be too. Yes, that last scenario really happened. This and so many other things flooded back. God was helping me to uproot very unhealthy thought patterns and actions. This is just a very short list of what God and I talked about last week (well mostly He talked and I tried my best to listen).

I speak affirmation, but I also SEEK affirmation. I post on social media to be affirmed. I flood my poor husband with affirmations so he will affirm me in return. I hurt others and myself in the cycle of it all, yet because I forget to look to the One who created me and is the greatest at affirming me, I am continually searching. 

Sunday, our Pastor spoke on offenses, and how we need to stop being so easily offended. Guess what? Not feeling affirmed leads to quickly feeling offended. OUCH!

This week, my devotions are speaking of prayer, something I have been focusing on. Praying with faith, and thankfulness that God already has the answers. I've been praying boldly to believe in those answers, and I've also worked to quiet my mind to hear God speak to me during my day. Guess what? He has, and I still have so much listening to do!

Yesterday morning, my devotional challenged me to pray
BIG, BOLD, DANGEROUS prayers!
So, I did! I shared some of them with Rick before I went to work and then continued to pray them throughout my day. That same devotional reminded me that if I will change my prayer life from stale and boring to big and bold, I will also be vulnerable for attacks from Satan, because he does not like BIG, BOLD, DANGEROUS prayers! 

You know what? By the end of the day, 2 of the requests I had specifically brought to God had been addressed. They weren't fully answered, but there was some clear direction in two very specific areas of our lives that weren't there in the morning! I was so excited about it that I wrote a nice long Facebook post and posted it! God is so good and nothing will stop me from praying those big, bold dangerous prayers.

Literally moments after I hit "post" on Facebook, I saw something on Instagram that offended me. I was taken aback. Honestly, I was hurt. I was offended. I shared my indignation with Rick. Instead of affirming me, I felt like he rebuked me. Now I was doubly offended and not feeling at all affirmed. I went to bed in a bit of a "huff" attacked by Satan ...  and begged God to speak to me. 

In "God fashion" He did. He reminded me that when I began to pray big and bold, Satan would attack. He reminded me that my offense was not in line with what He had for me. That the offense I had taken at what I saw on Instagram and with Rick's response was an overreaction. That my worth in His Kingdom comes from him, not from Rick or an Instagram post. He reminded me that my response was evidence of seeking affirmation that I didn't feel I was getting, and my being so quickly offended over it was a sin.

I spent a somewhat restless night wrestling with all of these thoughts, of giving all of it back to God and trusting Him to affirm me. Praying to not so easily be offended. To forgive quickly if I do feel offended. To trust God, to love others, to continue to affirm, but not in hopes of receiving affirmations in return but because they come from my heart.

Oh, to be more like Jesus and less like me.

I'm thankful for what He has been working in my life! I'm thankful for quick answers {or the beginnings of answers} to some of my big, bold, dangerous prayers and I'm thankful that even when I respond poorly and have to run to Him yet again with all the pieces of my easily offended heart, He pieces them all back together. He tenderly loves me and reminds me of truth. He forgives, forgets, brushes me off and reminds me that this is a new day. A new chance to trust and obey and a new day to again pray BIG, BOLD, DANGEROUS prayers! 


2/28/20

A year.

52 weeks.

365 days.

8,760 hours ...

Seems like yesterday, seems like much longer!

The little photo collage below is a brief glimpse of the past year! 


"Our mountains" as we drive to church.
One of my favorite flowers, pansies, blooming year round.
A beautiful sunny sky over a soccer field.
My quiet spot where I meet with God each morning.
Our cute little fireplace.
My best friend on the walking bridge downtown.
Picking cotton {bucket list item}.
Sunset over the mountains from a beautiful log cabin.
A waterfall in the mountains.

These pictures can only begin to tell the whole story!

Not shown are ...

Co-workers from Soccer Shots & Grace Children's Center who welcomed us, embraced us, and helped us adjust to a new town. 

100's of precious little ones we've had the opportunity to coach.

Families of those little ones who have become dear friends.

Coaches, players & associates of some of the local soccer teams who've become good friends, and have given us opportunities we could only have imagined including the privilege of being able to love on their little people!

Soccer, soccer and more soccer ... to coach, to watch and to play!

A Green Bay Packer fan group to watch Packer games with!

A Liverpool fan group to watch Liverpool games with!

 A wonderful new church & church family. 

A cute, cozy little town house that has quickly become home.

One year ago tonight as we fell asleep in Louisville with our next stop being Chattanooga, I had no idea what to expect. It was Rick & me, our 2 pets and what we could fit into Rick's car and my Jeep. We didn't have a place to live lined up, I didn't have a job, we had only met Rick's new boss via FaceTime, and we knew only 3 other people who lived here. We didn't even know where we'd spend our first days in Chattanooga!

... but God ...

As always, God was with us and He had gone before us!

He was with us as we arrived in town, found a pet friendly hotel and then our apartment. He was with us as we purchased furniture and necessary household items and acclimated to "city living" {me}. He heard me as my words to Rick as I fell asleep each night were, "I love our new city"!

So, here we are tonight, on the eve of the day that marks one year since our arrival here. 

Still loving our new city. 

Having learned more of God's great love for us. 

Having seen our marriage grow and strengthen as we faced new jobs, a new home, a totaled car, recovery from a concussion and more!

Thankful for God's provision through it all!

Having learned {again} that God is always in control, He is with us, He was with us and is going before us! 

We look forward in anticipation to our future with our hearts knit together with a bond that is stronger than it was a year ago. 

I personally am thankful that I have realized that though I miss my parents, my girls and my brother & his wife, my home is where Rick is and that before God calls us to our eternal home, wherever God takes us will be home! I have learned to love God and Rick more, to trust God with all the pieces of my life and to let Rick truly be the head of our home! 

I have learned that I am stronger, and braver and capable of more things than I ever thought I was!

I still love our city, but I guess that now after a year I can stop calling it our new city. I look forward with great excitement to all of our tomorrows!

I'm so very thankful that God brought us here and for all that He has taught me through this year!

Here's to Chattanooga ... and more importantly ... here's to a God who always knows what I need better than I do!

what’s more fun than fun shoes?

I like fun shoes & what’s more fun than fun shoes ... how about f un shoes at a great price with fun shoelaces!  win.win.win! I...