Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cleaning Up

I LOVE that no matter how old you are it's NEVER too late...

to learn.
to grow.
to get a fresh perspective.

It seems like the last week or two, perspective has been heavy on my heart and where God seems to be working on me the most.

For one thing, this stirring in my heart is creating the real me to find its way back out of layers upon layers of "junk" I've allowed to build up in recent months. 

I let myself drop down the list of priorities.  All the progress I'd made about getting healthy and stronger quickly began going the wrong direction when I stopped putting in the time to eat healthy and exercise (REAL exercise---not just chasing my crew of kids and littles around!).  I stopped meal planning and began to rely on prepackaged meals and fast food again because at the end of the day, I. HAD. NOTHING. LEFT.

I had gone back to survival mode.

It doesn't work.

We were meant to thrive instead of barely survive.

Yes, I've been struggling with the disappointment that those pounds that FINALLY were very noticeably coming off were creeping back up and clothes were not fitting (and I DID get rid of anything that was too big immediately so my options have been VERY limited!).  It was more than that.  I stopped being the best me.  I stopped having what I needed in my tank to give my family the best of me.

Working on climbing that rope again.  Not drastically and dramatically at once, but tying a knot in the rope and climbing back up one little pull at a time.

Perspective has also changed so much in my heart.

I'm not going to lie.  I've been a mess. God was doing some serious work in chiseling at my heart and then I started running the other direction.  Life was really getting in the way.  The lies of Satan began to be heard much louder than the truth....and that's a recipe for disaster.  Stress of overcommitments and health battles are draining.  Overextended work hours for my husband has left us both drained and struggling to maintain our high level of connection.  Missing my Dad has been heavy on my heart again though there hasn't been any real particular reason. Feeling the heaviness and scars of rejection in specific relationships. Concerned about some friends and family members that are either being hit left and right with battles or are rejecting Christ. Hurt feelings over something that seemed important to me, but not so important to someone else.  Being homesick for TN while my Granny was having surgery and recovering. Just little things adding up to big....

and I crash.

Everywhere I've turned the last weeks the reminder of perspective has been hanging around and I'm beginning to let it sink in.  I must still have a hard head if God keeps having to put these little reminders in my spirit! 

This morning I spent time OUTSIDE while it was 22 without a coat on cleaning windows.  Crazy? Maybe.  It just felt SO good and like an incredible heat wave after the days upon days of below zero temperatures.  I just needed to feel my feet on solid ground that wasn't ice or snow covered.  I just need to FEEL the sun.  Perspective changes everything.  A few months ago, 22 would have been considered arctic! Now, it feels like a day at the beach (almost!).

Those windows.  Oh my goodness.  They were covered in grime. Blowing snow for weeks on end had done its toll.  From the inside looking out, they didn't look clean, but they didn't look so dirty either.  Until....

I cleaned them. 

Until I removed the gunk. Until I realized just how much my view had changed by accepting things just for the way they were. You can't really clean windows in frigid temps so you just let it go.

As I was cleaning away and amazed at the new view, my heart felt the Holy Spirit reminding me of the same thing.  He's cleaning me up.  Removing layer after layer of gunk.  Some have been there for way too long.  Some I've refused to let Him work on. Others have recently been put there through storms----just like the layers of filth from the snow.  Some layers are there and need cleaned up because I've begun to just "accept" things as they are and allowed the world to creep in.

Being cleaned up is not easy.  Some days grime can easily be wiped away, especially if you attack the mess before it builds up or before it has had time to soak in!  Other days, clean up takes work.  It takes elbow grease.  It takes scouring.  It take hard work and patience.

Last night as I was also thinking about perspective---something I thought looked pretty clean on the surface turned out to be FAR from clean when we tried a different approach---I was talking to God about how I don't want to be just surface clean.  Just like I tell my kids, following the rules is important, but what is most important to me is the heart.  Don't just follow rules to follow them, follow them because God has changed the desires in your heart to want to run from the things that are displeasing and that the focus is on what HE has done for us, not what we think we are doing for Him. I don't want to just be clean on the outside, I want to be clean deep inside.  Him overflowing out of me so much that there isn't room for the me that doesn't belong. 

I want the perspective of seeing through the clean glass. Shiny. Without the layers of gunk.  One layer at a time.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Where Are We Now?

I've been somewhat avoiding this post because I know it's going to be long...even for me. ;)

I've been somewhat avoiding it because it's another one that shows the vulnerable transparent side of our hearts.

I committed to honesty and no "masks" when I started this blogging journey several years ago and I don't intend to go back on that...ever.


A few have asked for me to "journal" our thoughts as we seek to move forward with a calling that continues to grow in our hearts.  Many have asked where we are in the process and what is going on in our hearts.  What now?  When? 

Short answer.

Moving along.  Slowly.

Long answer....

The desire has not changed.  Well, actually it would be more honest to say the desire has grown. We have a bit more of confirmation in our hearts that we are definitely meant to move forward. We have a greater urgency and we have a deeper calling to be willing.


With that...

Comes more concerns.  More questions.

Simply put...

More anxiety.

We see ourselves "there".  We feel ourselves "there".  We see ourselves in roles "there" that put us serving and loving on the "least of these".

However, there's a big chasm between "here" and "there".

Right now, we are still praying and seeking earnestly.  We've had some candid conversations with a dear family that we hold close at heart that are currently serving in similar capacities to what is in our hearts. Kevin has met informally with our pastor again. 

We've had a few commitments to financially support at some level once we are officially in process.  We don't know how small or large those commitments are.  We do now have a vague idea of some of the financial aspects involved.  The numbers are in the range of what we were expecting, which is completely impossible without God's full provision.  We've tossed back and forth ideas of fundraising and individuals that would consider partnering with us.  Yet, that list seems so small.  Such a drop in the bucket.  However, we've been encouraged to not get too caught up in that because we will be surprised by how our list may not line up with God's.  He's WAY bigger than a "list".  I constantly come back to the reminder that Jill Savage spoke about at Mom's Night Out event at a local church a couple of years ago that stuck out in my heart THEN and is powerful NOW.  "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He only needs to sell ONE." Though she was referring to God's provision during their adoption of a son, her words remind me to not put God in a little box.

That brings me to the next part.

What if?

What if... He says "yes"?  That's terrifying.  Sometimes we can be afraid that our dreams WILL come true. This would not be a "little" yes.  It's a life-changing one.  It changes everything.  Literally. As much as we can feel ready, we can feel SO NOT ready.

What if...He says "no" or "not right now"?  Though I don't believe He's going to say "no" to serving Him and caring for orphans, widows, impoverished, and those needing gospel.  He may say, I have a different direction or a different location.  Maybe even a different time frame.

What if?  It's not like we think it will be.  Well, truth won't be.  That is scary.  We can read all the books, have all the conversations, prepare as much as possible...BUT it will be different to live it.  It will be better.  It will be worse.  It will be just right.

The better question I tell myself to ask is "What if we don't?"  Those are some serious regrets to live with.  What if out of our own fears, doubts, or inaction we potentially miss out on being exactly in the will of God.  So much I've been reading lately, conversations I've had, and promptings of the Holy Spirit have revealed to me just how much I live in fear.  I'm coming to realize the biggest fears that are holding us back are the same fears that many in the Bible itself had.  God DEFINITELY used them despite their doubts, inabilities, failures, and excuses.  I definitely don't want to continue to live life in such a way that allows fears to cripple. 

What about the kids? What if it ruins their lives and they are miserable?  On the flipside, what if by holding back we are potentially robbing them of the greatest experiences that can change their lives for the good in such a way that they become true vessels operating under God's control as He designed. 

Our daughter has a heart for missions like I've never seen.  She is ready. I have no doubt. She will go with or without us.  We'll be putting her on a plane.  The only question is will she be with us or without us.  From the earliest days, she has had the calling on her life to serve.  It's as natural to her as breathing.  I'm surprised Africa wasn't her first word.

Our middle son has such a talent for hands on projects.  His mind is abstract and problem solving in nature.  We can so see him truly finding himself on the mission field such as the one our hearts desire.  Sometimes we see him getting "lost" when he isn't allowed to that part of himself develop.

Our youngest still has such a tenderness and pure love and innocence.  We can definitely see him just going all in and embracing every little person he comes in contact with.  Nearly a day doesn't go by that I don't think of those two words whispered in my heart the very second he was placed in my arms as his Daddy was cutting the cord, "Mountain Mover". 

As parents, we definitely wonder about the negatives.  What ifs that can cripple if we aren't careful.  What if the culture shock is too much?  What if they feel as if they gave up too much when they are older? What if they get sick or hurt?  What if....  Those two pesky words can drive you crazy in an instant. 

However, what if....

What if the "yes" opens the door to their destinies?

Recently, we were referred to as a "missional family" in a passing comment by our missionary friends.  Ever since that moment, I've been letting those words work in my heart. Thinking over and over what they mean to me.  Do they fit?  How do they fit us now and how will they fit us later? What do we need to do?  Where does God need to change us for the mission field HERE and the mission field THERE?

Missional family does fit us.  It fits who we want to be.  It fits what God has started in our hearts.

We've been holding back for way too long.  We've been holding back because we don't feel we are ready enough.  Yet, we know that if we wait until we are ready we never will be.  We will never be perfect enough.  We will never be spiritually perfectly ready.  We will never be fully physically ready.  Some things in life you just have to step out in faith.  Get out of the boat and walk on the water. 

We've stuck our toe in the water.  Then put it back in.  Two toes in the water.  Back in.  Perhaps we've actually put an entire foot in the water and are beginning to lean out. 

We know in our hearts that it's time to let go of the boat and start walking on the water with Him. 

Some days we might plunge straight in the water because we failed to keep our eyes on Him.  We let the waves and wind draw our attention away.  However, a day is coming that when we step out, one step is going to lead to another and another....and then we'll be walking on the water with Him.

Today we are leaning out of the boat.  Ready to take that step, but still gripping on to the railing too tightly.  Yet, we know....

we know...

it's time to loosen the grip...

and step....

This control freak.  This adventure avoider (married to an adventure seeker!)----might be wearing a few too many life preservers....but I think she's finding that it's time to toss them aside and let faith do the walking.

And that....

might be terrifying...OH so terrifying....

But so freeing at the same time.

(But someone might need to grease the railing so that once I let go I can't grab it again.  Leave me with the only choice being to walk on that water. Across the ocean. To Him.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thanks, God

God sure knows what we need and just in time He can provide those things. 

I'm just simply....


With the struggles of the last couple of weeks and a rough day, my husband and I went out for our weekly date night (though not our normal day).  Date nights for us are far from glamorous.  We spend very little money most weeks so that we can put money aside for a night away every few months (though we've only been able to do this for the last year).  However, the time together is what matters and allows us to continue to fall in love deeper and stronger. Last night was simply take-out eaten in the car at the park.  Way beyond too frigid to get out---though DREAMING of those days coming again! It was like being given a life vest before being thrown overboard. Just to sit and talk, have someone listen and then having him pray over situations and invite the Holy Spirit to fill in missing gaps....priceless. Even if he had to stop our time together and run across the street to Walgreens to grab some meds when I got hit with a migraine unprepared! After getting home and the kids in bed, I enjoyed a hot shower (uninterrupted!) and came out to him waiting with a bowl of chocolate ice cream.  Yes, that's a man pursuing my heart!  So thankful.  Beyond thankful.

This morning, God knew I needed a boost to my heart and He provided. 

Due to a change in Wednesday schedules beginning today, I have until the afternoon before any "littles" arrive.  I had the true gift of letting my 7 year old get in bed with me after his daddy went to work.  Instead of having to be up and going at full speed ahead, I enjoyed embracing those snuggles and praying with my little guy.  He isn't one to sleep in very long, so we were able to do school, one-on-one in bed without distractions and finished his FULL day by 9 AM.  The big kids were able to sleep in (and I'm hoping that makes for some improved moods!).  Having a little bit of money stashed away for rainy days (or in the case of today...SNOWY day!), I was able to send our oldest out to pick up breakfast from our favorite little hole-in-the-wall diner as a treat.  She works later today so it's nice to just slow down and take the time to be "us".  Just together.  Simple. 

Thank you GOD for the gift of a family that thrives on time together.

My heart was also given the treasure of some encouraging words from someone VERY dear to my growing up years and young adulthood.  Having recently reconnected (thanks once again to a positive of social media), it was an overwhelming gift to my heart to hear from her. 

Thanks, God.

Because the day is about to pick up speed and these days don't come so often, I'm even more thankful for the gift He's given.

It's about perspective.  It's about keeping my eyes open to the real treasures in life.

He most definitely has given them to me.  In abundance.

Most thankful for the reminder to cherish them.  More every day.  The hard days, the good days, and the ordinary days. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

He's Still Working On Me

Today was another hard one.

The day started unexpectedly without my normal time in His word.  No sitting down with my favorite cup with steaming hot tea (Cocoa Caramel Sea Salt happens to be my go to favorite right now) while spending time getting focused where my heart belongs FIRST. Just one of those days...

I know those days end up with me quickly coming unraveled. Unglued. Overwhelmed. Out of sorts.


That describes today.

It WAS a good day full of joy, but it was just overwhelmingly hard.

School was full of great moments (including our oldest completing her Geometry requirements), but it was also a struggle.  Easy things seemed confusing.  Things that should have happened quickly took WAY too long (as in HOURS too long!).

Five "littles" were in my care today.  Though they all had really good days and we did LOTS of fun things together, I just struggled with keeping us all on track and balanced.  When afternoon nap time rolled around it was one of those rare days that not a single one of them took a nap or slept for more than 10 minutes.  Definitely not a "bad" day by any means because we absolutely had a full of fun day and joyful moments....


I was off.

My focus never got going from the beginning.  Though I definitely intended to have that VITAL time alone with God this morning, situations just didn't allow for it.

I definitely let it show in my attitude and struggled to keep things together.

However, once again, God found his way to wiggle back into my heart and get my attention.  Once again in an odd moment at just the right time.

When it was obvious that my older littles weren't going to easily go down for naps like normal, I spent time talking and soothing them and then sang several of their favorite songs.  Some of the songs I sang most often to my children when they were small.

"He's Still Working On Me"....always has been one of my favorites. Since today it seemed that it was one of the songs that created the most calm (with the HOPES of them nodding off into dreamland!), I sang it over and over.....and over....and over again.

Standing in the pitch black darkness.

Hoping that it would soothe my sweethearts off to dream sweet dreams.

Though it didn't work for them, it did work on my own heart.

Though it wasn't an audible voice, the Holy Spirit most definitely was whispering to my heart.

"You know that I am, Tracye. Right?"

You see, I felt like a mess.  Overwhelmed. Stressed. Full of doubts, fears, confusion, questions, and uncertainty.  Life is changing in many ways.  Some I don't feel ready for.  Others I feel past due ready for. We feel the weight of so many questions, concerns, and have REAL fears and trust issues as we walk in faith and prepare for our calling.  We are struggling with heavy issues that are forcing us to seek Him first.  I'm tired.  Bone weary tired physically from SLE and just from being in a busy season of life.  Emotionally tired.  Spiritually tired.  (Most of you reading can identify with those feelings of being tired).  My husband is running on fumes between being sick and working 70+ hours right now in a stressful situation (though thankful, so very thankful for his job!) and it is weighing heavy on him.  Because of how close we are as a couple and because of how involved he is as a father, it trickles down to causing stress in our home because we don't get to be our "normal" selves.  Multiple situations of spiritual warfare. The list goes on....

We are trying to seek Him deeper and grow.  Trying to allow Him to shape us and move us in His direction.  Some days we don't feel we are making the progress we feel necessary and we lose sight of the true picture because "it" isn't happening fast enough.

"He's still working on me."

Singing those words brought such a tender moment of connection back to THE SOURCE.  THE WELL.  Filled up a thirsty soul.

He IS at work.  Even if I can't see the full fruits.  Even if I don't see the doors opening or know which doors to open and which to close yet.  True changes don't just happen instantly.  Growth doesn't happen overnight.

He most definitely isn't giving up on me.  He's still at work.  I definitely don't give up on my own children when they don't learn something the first time (or the millionth time!).

It may be intended as a Children's song, but sometimes those are really just as powerful for us adults. Even the ones with more gray hairs today than yesterday. Lots more.  :)

He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

1. There really ought to be a sign upon my heart,
Don't judge me yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands.

2. In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stepping Back

This last week was a HARD week. 

It was one that left us frazzled, discouraged, and grasping at anything and everything to stay in a frame of mind that kept us connected as a couple and with our eyes where it matters most. 

Friends going through some HARD battles.
Significant problems at work.
Being trapped inside with snow that had drifted shoulder high.
Being spread way too thin.
Little things that added up to create bigger problems.
Trouble balancing responsibilities.
Difficulty in keeping first things first.

In essence, real life hit. No fairy tales.

Life seemed out of hand.

But there were two constants that made the end of the day worth it.

A husband that is truly seeking God deeper than he has ever before. A husband that went out of his way every day, despite significant weight on his shoulders and battling issues that would have broken many men down, to make sure that I kept my head in the right direction and kept my eyes focused on Him.  A husband that is proving more and more each day that he is fulfilling his role as spiritual leader in our home. A man that is about to move some major mountains with God working in Him.

The other constant:  the Holy Spirit.

Drawing us close.
Soothing rawness.
Providing sanity.
Some days required "shouting" in our ears over the noises of life around.
Promises of comfort.
Promises of rest.
Promises of never leaving us alone.

The Holy Spirit also confirmed in our hearts of some changes that had to be made.  Some tough decisions became necessary.  Ones that hurt to make. Revived in my heart some directions and priorities.  Opened my eyes to some things I didn't necessarily want to see.

We've fully committed to our word focus of "move" and one of those aspects was that we are praying is for Him to "move" us closer to Him, even if that means changing paths we are on or even if it means requiring hard things.  We are specifically praying together and inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives daily as we make decisions.  To make His presence more known to us.

This week ended with a big change for me.  Sometimes we can have a calling/ministry that is worthwhile and important, but we can let it become to high of a priority.  My love of children, especially babies and toddlers is a HUGE part of me.  It is such a part of me as breathing. However, even good things in excess can become the wrong thing.  I had to do some deep soul searching and examine my motives, my priorities, and seek Him deeper and transparently. 

The results of that seeking is that I am backing away and reprioritizing.  Though "littles" are such a HUGE passion for me, my original and greatest ministry is to my husband and children FIRST. They are my first fruits. They are my top calling.  I can't sacrifice them to anything or anyone.  I am guilty of having done that.  Therefore, I'm transitioning.  Backing away from the level of childcare that I provide.  Since I don't feel comfortable with doing "less" for those in my care because that's not who I am, I'm stepping back.  It's hard.  Though I will still have "littles" in my life and in and out of our home to some degree, I am no longer providing full time care. Some days are being blocked off as family only. Going back to taking those days to do fun things or nothing.  Taking those days to drive down and meet Kevin for lunch.  Most other days we are going back to no outside care in the mornings.  My heart hurts to make the decision because I find TRUE JOY in my passion.

Yet, my true passion of faith and family is suffering. My eyes were opened to the fact that we are weeks away from our daughter's senior year.  We are hopefully spending our last year in the USA if God continues to lead us in the direction of the foreign mission field and begins to open His doors of financing. My boys are quickly growing and changing.  We HAVE maintained our home education goals "on paper" and have amazingly kept on track, BUT...

We rush. Let me rephrase that....I rush.  On to the next task to get it checked off.

In the process....

We are losing ourselves to the task master of the clock. To the schedule. To the check-lists.

Instead we are going back to what was placed in our hearts all those years ago.

The JOY and LOVE of learning. The slowing down to see life around us and learn about it.  Regardless of what the schedule says.

So much happened this week.
I won't lie.  It left me broken and questioning.

Yet, it has come out as a week that is beneficial for us in such great ways.  My hands were forced to make decisions.

The Holy Spirit gave us the wisdom to make those decisions.

2014---"move"---the focus continues.  I'm continuing to buckle in and listen because I know the One doing the speaking is well worth listening to and obeying.  Even when it's hard.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Going Deeper

This morning....all at the same time...

The 4 month old had just been fed and was sleeping on my bed.

The 2 year old was playing with Little People and had them spread out from one end of the house to the other, but was super content with his VIVD imagination at work. I was laughing and listening to the adventures he was having.

I could hear Spanish pronunciations coming from the junior and the Rosetta Stone voice.

The 6th grader was at the kitchen table working on his math assignment of dividing improper fractions.

The 2nd grader was at my elbow reading his answers to me from his math (4 digit subtraction, borrowing across 3 numbers) and asking every irrelevant question that would pop into his mind. (I love that he is curious!).

I was having 3 different texting conversations going on while attempting to DEEP CLEAN mine and Kevin's bathroom.  (Multi tasker?)

It was in THAT moment....that I felt the nudge on my heart from the Holy Spirit. To stop.  Soak in a moment with Him.

When Kevin left for work this morning at 4AM he left a dry-erase note on our mirror (daily occurrence that I treasure) that reminded me to embrace Colossians 3:2.  "Set your minds on things above...." Yesterday, we had a difficult situation that came up that had left us both stressed and me discouraged.  He was reminding me to keep my eyes ahead to the big picture and to let Christ carry us through hard days. He was reminding me that together we would tackle the situation.  Together as a couple and together with Christ.

As I turned around in the middle of everything going on and looked at that message, my mind took a moment to focus in on what the Holy Spirit was working on in my heart. 

He was giving me a reminder.

Daily life can feel like a whirlwind.  There isn't much whitespace or downtime if I'm not purposeful to take it.  It's seldom really calm and quiet with 3 kids that are homeschooled and up to 5 "littles" ages 4 months to 2 years old. Things seldom go perfectly as planned and it's non-stop.  I treasure it.  I LOVE this life (though exhausted and overwhelming!).  It's a blessing beyond words.  But...


Stop. Refocus.  Keep eyes focused and heart connected to the LIFESOURCE.

I was deep cleaning.  Scrubbing grout, baseboards, little nooks and crannies.  Taking care of the "little" tasks that can get overlooked.  Despite a rough few weeks with back to back lupus flares, we'd managed to keep the house surface clean and picked up (thanks to LOTS of help from Kev!). However, I was "needing" to get in and scrub.  Tackle some of the things that I felt had been overlooked. 

The Holy Spirit reached my heart and reminded me that I needed that same deep cleaning.  On the surface, I'm doing ok.  I'm staying afloat so to speak.  My heart is hungry.  My soul is thirsty.  It needs more time with Him, in intense focused mode. With everything else shut off.  Away from the eyes of the world and the noise.

My soul needs it. 

A whole lot of getting beneath the surface.

No quick flipping through the "daily" reading.  No just shooting up "arrow" prayers (though they are important and throughout the busy day that might be all a busy mom can handle!).  No just sitting on the pew letting a teacher/pastor do all of the spiritual work for us.  No just letting facebook, social media, blogs, etc... provide my spiritual food of the day.

In other words, I need to get back to seeking Him deeper.  With everything in me.  For me.  Time to allow Him the full access to chisel and shape.

This time of the year so many people are making resolutions and changes based on health/weight/finances.  Those are excellent (and necessary!), but I wonder how many of us need to stop looking at the surface and go deeper?   Deeper committed to fueling our hearts with God's words, communicating with Him.  Letting Him get inside those deep hidden crevices. 

I know I do.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Direction



Those two words have been on my heart heavily recently. 

Together and separately. 

Remembering to keep my priorities. 
Embracing change.
Remembering that priorities can change.

Changing priorities is exactly what I find myself focusing on.

It's a new year and so many have made resolutions and possibly since it's day 7 of the year, already dropped many of them.

Though I didn't make specific resolutions, which I know is *gasp* shocking for someone who thrives on list making, I am finding myself contemplative and introspective even more than usual.

It's true. 

My priorities are changing.

My direction with my blog is changing.  I had some opportunities to grow and expand, but it is no longer in my heart.  I have had multiple opportunities to kick up my number of reviews and product give-a-ways.  I had the chance to use a "big" name in Christian publishing/media as an endorsement and partnership to receive more followers/views/receive more products.  I even was approached multiple times about writing a devotional book for women. 

My heart is no longer in it.

I no longer care what my analytics look like.  I no longer care about whether my number of viewers are up or down.  I no longer am anxious to see who "likes" or shares my link.


It's not about me.


It's NOT about ME.

I value each person that takes the time to read my thoughts....



My audience of one, THE one, is all that matters.

My direction is changing.


My heart is to grow in Him, love others deeper, and to be His hands and feet.  My role is to teach my children how to grow more in Him each day AND to learn how to learn.  It is to prepare them for whatever road God has waiting for them and to allow them to reach out for whatever their calling is.

My priorities are changing because my eyes are opening more and more to what God has waiting for us.

I don't want to live for me. 

I want to live for Him. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Time to Move

The new year is here, though I'm quite certain you are aware of that.  I knew it was coming at a rapid pace, but actually looking at the pages of a planning calendar to plan the next several weeks was actually a shock. 

It's here!  Say what? 

This year. 



To Be.



One for the memory books.

We, as a couple and as a family unit, KNOW this year is different.  It's "our" year.  Our year to embrace life differently.  We do live life differently than many, but this year it's even more so.

This year....

We move.

"Move" is our word focus of the year.  Previous years we've done simplify, purpose (as in be purposeful/intentional), courageous (live courageously and focused heavily on "stronger. together") and last year was choose.  It was a powerful year for growth and change.  We definitely made some choices that changed the direction of our home.  I definitely didn't always make the right choices and fell short of my own expectations.  Looking back over that post now I see where I fell short and where I still need to grow and change. 

This year's focus of "move" as our word came EASILY.  Oh so easy.  Granted, fulfilling that word is going to be hard and a battle.  However, we are fight the battle against the enemy. 

We plan to move.

Out of our comfort zones.

Away from things that blind our vision for what God asks.

Away from the "normal" way of living.

Away from unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, anger, pride and all those things that cause separation. One step at a time. 

We plan to move.

Towards Him.
Towards each other.
Towards the calling He has placed in our hearts.

Yes, that even means we plan to physically move.  To another continent.  Thousands upon thousands miles away. Whether the actual move takes place this year or 2015, we are moving ahead.  Taking those crazy steps that feel so impossible right now.  Embracing that God is moving IN us and accepting the call to take the steps. He can't open the next door for us until we move ahead and start the procedures.  As terrifying as it is and VERY unnerving, we ARE ready.  We are ready to be moved for Him.

This year.

We begin new decades.  I will turn 40.  Kevin will turn 50. 

Another one of our children will hit his official teenage years.

 Our oldest will begin her senior year of high school.  The day that I never imagined would come is rapidly approaching.  When we began home education, we NEVER dreamed we would see the results of finishing what we started.  God has been beyond faithful.  It began with a stirring in my heart and then MOVED to a passion that couldn't be denied.

Perhaps our biggest MOVE will be that we want to MOVE out of the way.  Get out of the way of ourselves.  Move out the garbage hidden in our hearts. Move in step with Him.  With His guidance.  With His heart beating inside of us. 

We know that we might find that some days we move backwards.  We may find that some walls feel immovable. We may find that some steps in moving forward might feel like more than we can do.

That IS reality.

However, He is much stronger and much more capable than we can comprehend.

As long as we are moving with Him, we will be moving in His direction.  In His time.

2014---we are ready!  You may have come at us faster than expected, but we are ready.  Ready to move.