Thankful Thursday

Today is Saturday…LOl I failed again on getting this post out on actual Thursday. But it’s okay.

Thankful Thursday

You can be thankful on any day of the week!

This week, my birthday was on Thursday. It was a fun day. Well, actually in all honesty, it started out terribly. Lots of tears. Lots of crying. Lots of unhappy children. But after lunch and rest time, everyone was feeling a bit better. We didn’t have any big plans for my birthday because we had planned a birthday party with friends the next evening. I had a friend message me and invited me out to St. John’s to take photos and enjoy nature.  I took the opportunity to get out of the house and do something I love.

My friend and I had a great time chatting. The weather was perfect and if you know anything about photography, we went during golden hour. The fall leaves were beautiful. We shared photography tips and life issues.  My whole life, I had been sad that I don’t have ‘more’ friends. Friendships have always been hard for me to make and keep. I just put a wall and it takes a long time to tear it down, and people just don’t have time for that. My roommate in college is about the only person who has stuck with me through thick and thin..I guess she is in it for the long haul.

My husband told me once to open my eyes and take a look around because I am a lovable and joyful person and people are drawn to that. Sure enough when I opened my eyes and let my guard and walls come down a bit, I started to notice all the people who love me and care about me and want to hang out with me. I am loved and I am thankful for the people in my life.

People who invite me to be real and share my life with them

People who are on their way out-of-town to bury their mother and still stop by my house with a birthday gift.

People who come early to chat with me and are real with me

People who don’t mind if I use their house to hide from my children and responsibilities.

People who can handle my sarcasm and dish it out just as fast.

People who are in the middle of a crisis and still take the time to stop by on my birthday to say hello even when they don’t feel like it.

People who love me for my crazy self with out judgement or criticism.

I am thankful that I am loved by so many special people. I am thankful for a husband who calls me out and challenges me to be a better person.

Thankful Thursday

I know that today is Saturday. It has been a long hard week at our home. The baby has been throwing a party every night at midnight until 3am… My darling husband and I alternated nights. We are tired. Friday was eventful. My husband celebrated his birthday, I got my hair done and took the baby to the clinic. It turns out that she has a double ear infection, no wonder she wasn’t sleeping well…poor thing. Today things are a little more calm and so I decided to take the time to write-up my Thankful Thursday post today..and not feel guilty that it is two days late. Life gets busy and I am learning to roll with it instead of allowing it to trample and drag me along.  Tuck and Roll baby!!

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for my in-laws. We live in the same area as Scott’s older brother and his family. Scott’s parents live near by too. Everyone is so helpful. My mother in law is wonderful help with chores and taking the kids off my hands when I am at the end of my rope. My family in law is a handy man. He recently fixed my back door that wouldn’t stay shut!!  My brother-in-law, Scott’s oldest brother, is really good at giving me advice and being upfront on things I need to hear. My sister-in-law is an amazing friend. We can just relax together, vent when we need to and encourage and support each other in this mothering thing.

My husband has another brother who is younger. He and his family live a bit farther away  from us, but they are all pretty amazing too. I didn’t want to forget them.

God has blessed me with amazing in-laws and I am so thankful that they love me for me.



Battle with Doubt

The words that I woke up to this morning were paralyzing. They were whispered loudly and stung deep into my heart. Before my feet hit the floor, I had given up for the day.

“You aren’t good enough.”

“You aren’t capable.”

“You can’t homeschool. You aren’t doing enough.”

As the morning went on, I allowed the whispers to get loudly and take a firm grip into my soul. By 9 am, I called school off and began to wallow in my doubt. I accepted the whispers from Satan to be truth.

I sent the kids off to play so that I could do some soul-searching. I made a list of what I want my homeschool day to look like. I made a list of traits and qualities I want to teach my children. I made a list of some of the most important subjects I can teach my kids. Then for some reason or another the word mission statement popped into my head. (We had talked about life mission statements at church on Sunday)

I picked up my Bible and my devotional book, and boom went the dynamite!!

Here is what I read:


After a two page journal entry to remember how God met me in my battle with doubt, I went to work on a Homeschool Mission Statement to help guide us in our schooling here at home. I wanted it short and sweet. I looked up and noticed a piece of art I had made two years ago..and there it was my mission statement right in my face. I know it will grow and change with our family, but I like this:



We will demonstrate and teach our children to TRUST in Jesus

We will DELIGHT in His creation

We will COMMIT ourselves to life long learning

We will REST in HIM.

I ended the morning with a reading lesson, a math lesson and some science.  We moved into the afternoon with a better attitude.  It has been an emotional Monday. I am thankful for God meeting me in my mess and I am thankful for those friends who reached out to me to offer encouragement and to let me know I am not alone in my struggles. All in all, it was a learning day for everyone.


Thankful Thursdays 2016

Thankful ThursdayI am personally inviting you to join me in a season of thanksgiving and gratitude. Each Thursday  I will be expressing my thankfulness for someone or something and I am challenging you to join me!  There are so many things that we can be thankful for. It can be something serious or something silly, big or small.  You can be thankful for an influential person in your life, your cup of morning coffee, or even the shovel you use to scoop your puppy’s poo.

My thought behind starting Thankful Thursday is to begin to prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving, which is only 7 weeks away. We can begin preparing a heart of gratitude and thankfulness for the many things that God has blessed us with. The Bible tells us in Psalms 92:1 that it is “Good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to him.” A grateful heart is really important. When our awesome lives take a turn for the worst, our outlook can remain positive when you seek and search for the good things you have. It is not always easy in the middle of a storm to find blessings but I promise you, they are there! God has blessed us with so many wonderful people and gifts. It will not be hard to spend the next 7 weeks thinking and reflecting on thankfulness.

I would love for you to join me!

You can join in the challenge in 3 ways.

  1. Each week, here @ Restored Through Grace, you can leave a comment telling me what you are thankful for.
  2. You can head over to the Restored Through Grace Facebook Page and leave a comment under the Thankful Thursday Link
  3. Using your own social media pages to celebrate the things your are thankful for. #thankfulthursday

Thankful Thursday kicks off the First Thursday of October and goes until Thanksgiving Day! If you miss a day don’t beat yourself up..pick up again the next week. Even if you don’t join me, take the time to reflect on your many blessings this Autumn season. Don’t forget to use #thankfulthursday

Happy October

hello-october-copyI blinked and it’s already October. The last several months have been a blur. We’ve dealt with sickness, emotional issues, and adjusting to the new fall routine. We are homeschooling and sometimes I think I am crazy. I don’t want to get out of bed because I know I will be fighting my kids to do their reading. It feels like everyday I have to convince them that one day they will actually need to read on their own to survive in this world. School has been in session for about 7 weeks already and so finally we are falling into a beautiful routine and in all honesty, the battles are getting fewer and farther between.


My littlest one, age almost two, is a busy little person. Just when I think I can trust her she goes and colors on the wall, or pulls out the garbage, or jump off the bed. She does something I don’t like and then flashes me a smile and does this cute little wave, my heart melts and sometimes I forget to discipline her. I need to remember to discipline her. Speaking of discipline, she is starting to show me she is ready for potty training. But our lives have settled into a nice routine and I am not about to mess everything up by following around the toddler who is going to pee and poop everywhere. I am planning to push it off until after the new year, maybe if her bottom gets cold she will learn to use the potty more quickly.


Marriage is going wonderful.  I am not sure what my problem is, but I cannot get enough of my husband lately! We all know marriage has its cycles. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I love you. …okay well maybe hate is a strong word. How about I really really don’t want to see your beautiful face right now because all I want to do it punch it. Well, right now, I am in this phase that I really really really love him and can’t keep my hands off him. I don’t know what events lead up to this phase, cause if I could tell you all I’d be writing a book and getting rich. But I honestly have been trying to think back to what happened before this all started and for the life of me, I cannot figure it out.  But I can tell you that I don’t want it to ever end. But life happens and I am sure he is going to do something that annoys me or makes me mad.  Until then I will enjoy whispering sweet nothings in his ear and grabbing him every chance I get!

So, there you have it. A little update on my life and my family. I am really trying to get back into the habit of writing again. So I am not promising when the next post will be or what it will be on. I am learning to roll with it, to go with the flow. I am working on being honest and open and sharing my self with you.


Buried by my own hands

Progress not perfection copyI have this sinking feeling that I just cannot shake. I have been neglecting some house chores and writing and basically anything that requires responsibility. My youngest is now an active toddler and after I have been out of that stage for a while I feel like the only thing I can do is chase her around all day and make sure that she doesn’t get hurt. The other children, ages 6 and 4, are pretty self efficient and I am loving it…mostly because I can’t image how I would help more than one child at a time. I feel buried.

I am buried under piles of laundry, bills and dirty dishes. Life is just flying by and here I sit feeling like I am just riding along and not really forging my own way. But I am learning that this is okay. Many wonderful women and men have gone before me and made the way for me. It is okay for a season for me to lower my personal standards of perfection and to just go with the flow for the time being. I am okay with the dishes piled up for a few days or letting the laundry sit in the dryer for the weekend. The endless tasks will never be done. The need for everything around me to be perfect is what is keeping me buried.

I have a plan for the remainder of the summer. I am going to let go of perfection and just be okay with ‘good enough.’ I am human, not God. I am never going to be perfect and that is okay. I am not giving up either. I am still going to work diligently on being a fabulous wife, a fantastic mother and a favorable housewife. I can do this because God gives me the strength to push through each day, one day at a time until He calls me home. I am no longer going to allow me to bury myself under unrealistic expectations or push them onto others around me.


Word Study: Affliction

word study copyMany readers of this blog are going through difficult times. You might be in the mist of an affair that the world knows nothing about. You might be headed to court to finalize your divorce. You might have just found out your spouse is involved in an affair. So many of you are dealing and facing very difficult and life changing issues. The word affliction has been stuck on my mind for sometime. I wanted to share with you my thoughts.

Let’s start with what Merriam Webster has to say:

  1. :  the state of being afflicted

  2. :  the cause of persistent pain or distress

  3. :  great suffering

I’ve also read else where that affliction is the state of pain, distress or grief. The first thing that came to my head after reading this was David and his collection of Psalms. David wears his heart on his sleeve. He is not shy to share with us his raw emotions. He sings with joy when he is glad and when he is consumed with pain he cries out in anguish. I admire him for that. We are allowed and I think even encouraged to share our emotional struggles with others. It helps us relate to each other. We can ‘feel’ each other’s pain. We know that the heart is deceitful, but we can still acknowledge the souls yearnings and release our emotions. I love that David gets it. He claims how he feels and then grounds himself and comforts himself with the hope of Christ.

How does your heart operate under affliction? I know, for me, that wallowing in my guilt and shame is a favorite pastime. I usually throw myself a pity party. I want to challenge us, you and me, to learn how to handle affliction as David did. Don’t be afraid to share the raw emotions of your soul, but confess your sins. Call out to God. Tell him your affliction, your pain, your grief BUT then, ground yourself in the goodness and love of Christ. Once we confess our transgression we can release them knowing that Christ paid for us with his blood. When we confess our sins Christ sees us as pure and blameless.

No Such Thing

253_17608055097_551_nI haven’t blogged for a while. I can blame my children for being under the weather. I can blame my husband for trying out a new job and changing work hours and him starting college classes on-line. I can blame myself that our routines are just not conducive for writing and that I needed to take a break from writing…All these things are true and have been hindering my writing time. We’ve had to readjust our routines and schedules and I’ve had to take the time to figure out my priorities. Is God finished with my story?


The last month I have received several e-mails with good people in this world reaching out to me for marriage advice. They are reaching out from the bone crushing weight of marriage issues, personal issues, health issues. The one thing they have in common is that they feel their marriages are falling apart. I’ve had some really great conversations with people about marriage and the important of working together. I’ve shared my testimony of how God redeemed my marriage for his glory. I share my brokenness with others and it is so difficult. I get scared when I over think things.

The real reason I haven’t been writing is two-fold. One, I got scared. I am scared that if I share more of our story and how God redeemed us they are going to be disappointed that our marriage is just normal. We hit our low and God restored us to ‘normal.’ We have disagreements just like every other married couple. We have highs and lows. We have days when we are madly in love with each other and sometimes we only like and tolerate each other. I don’t want to disappoint people. We fall into the mundane trap of just making it through the day and trudging through the next. Our marriage was crumbling and now it is like nothing ever happened. We don’t sit and talk about my affair. We don’t wish it away or pretend it didn’t exist, but it is not part of our everyday life. We are normal.

The second thing that has kept me from writing more is most people are looking for ways to have a perfect marriage. I don’t want someone to think that we do have a perfect marriage because there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. There are marriages that work harder than others. There are marriages that make sacrifices to make things work. There are husbands and wives who go the extra mile to benefit their spouse, but guess what they have bad days too. The only thing I know to be true about marriage is every marriage has pitfalls. You can have a great marriage, a marriage that is striving and thriving to have Christ in the center. But it comes down to how you deal with your sin. How do you deal with your spouses sin? How do you move past the failure and not allow it to hang you up.

Marriage carries with it a heavy burden. You cannot be lazy in marriage. That is what gets you into trouble. That is what makes a marriage start to crumble.  Each wife and husband needs to be working constantly at communication, and loving the other as Christ loves us. Do not allow your marriage to fall into complacently. Do not allow your marriage to get set on the back-burner…Keep a watchful eye. Be attentive. Be ready to take action at the slightest hint that something is sliding. Be proactive not reactive. It is difficult to be on the same team or even the same page without communication.

Please do not set me on a pedestal. I am real just like you. My marriage has ugliness, beauty and hope just like every other marriage out there. I am not pretending anything. I am not building walls and putting up fronts..I am here, just me sharing my story with you. I hope that God continues to use my story and I will try to be obedient to his calling. Thank you for sticking with me and letting me be real. I am an open book. If you have questions or comments please ask and share how you feel comfortable. You can leave a comment below or click on the “Contact Me’ tab at the top of the page and e-mail me. I am here, not as a professional, but as a sister in Christ who want to share what God has done in my life so that others can cling to Him and hope in Him. He can make all things new.

Chicago Update

Last weekend Scott and I attended a women’s conference in the Chicago area. We had an amazing time meeting new people and sharing our hearts. The conference went smoothly and I came home with many new friends in my heart. The first speaker shared about Bible Journaling. The information she relayed was wonderful. She has a group of women who meet weekly to bible journal together, sharing their hearts and faith journey on the way. Some of the women attended the conference and shared their experiences with Bible journaling. It really inspired me to jump back into my bible journaling. They work through the devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The speaker read an excerpt out of the devotional and I knew when I got home I needed to purchase this book. It spoke to my heart and offered encouragement. My book arrived yesterday and today’s reading was exactly what I needed to hear for today! God is good!

I was the second speaker. I stayed up and ran through my presentation with Scott the night before. We prayed that God would use my words and testimony to bring him glory. Sure enough as I began to speak, my words were not my own. I followed my notes sparingly. God had me share parts of my testimony that I had not planned on sharing. These are the parts of my story that others talked with me afterwords. I cried during the presentation more than I cried during practice and not because it was difficult to share, but because I was reminded of God’s faithfulness and grace all over again. The depth and weight of my sin, just washed away because my God is, well, God! His love and grace are so undeserving, yet He chose to rescue me.

I did have sound issues when it came to sharing about blogging, but we just moved past that part. I talked with a woman afterwords with a beautiful heart, she was inspired to start-up her blogs again. God moved and I am honored to know that God choose to use me as his vessel. I am glad I stepped out in obedience. I had the opportunity to make great connections, friendships and heard stories of those who are struggling or who have struggled. It was an amazing experience.

Scott and his Auntie were the third set of speakers. They did a fantastic job sharing about Dave Ramsey’s Money Makeover. I had forgotten about some of the tips and tricks and so it was a great refresher course for myself. Scott did great in sharing our testimony with the program too.

The last speaker of the day was a beautiful presentation on parenting. So many great ideas. I could tell that the speakers passion was parenting and wanting to help others. It was refreshing to hear her share her experiences.

Overall the conference was wonderful. Chick Fil A donated lunch for us. The weather was beautiful. My heart was refreshed and new friendships were made. On Sunday morning I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay longer. Scott and I had a wonderful evening with Auntie P and Cousin A. We connected, laughed and shared our hearts with each other. Such a perfect weekend.

This week I have been cuddling the kids who missed us so much. They all three have a cold and so they have required a little more attention. We have been planning my son’s 6th birthday party. I still haven’t completely unpacked from the trip. It takes me about a week to get back into reality. I haven’t been writing until today. Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you. God is good!



Big news for RTG

I have been sharing my marriage testimony, here at RTG (restored Through Grace), since 2012. Individuals who might be struggling in their marriage have been e-mailing me with really great questions. I have enjoyed sharing my personal experiences with these individuals. It takes a lot of courage to reach out to someone.

It has always been my prayer that by obeying God and being vulnerable that people would be able to relate and feel like they are not alone in their struggles. I share hard truths and encouraging words. It has been 3 1/2 years and people are still seeking advice and guidance. I still am writing, not nearly as often as I would like.

In order for me to help other more, I took a class over the summer. It was Introduction to Christian Counseling and I passed. I have no desire to go into the counseling field, but I just wanted to have a little information in my back-pocket that would be beneficial to my readers here at RTG (Restored Through Grace)

Here is the big news!! Scott and I were asked to speak at a conference in the Chicago area. I will be sharing our marriage testimony and my journey with blogging at RTG. Scott will be working alongside his Auntie P, sharing  our experience with the Dave Ramsey program.  We are both so blessed for this opportunity to share with others.  Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels, for hearts to be open and for the love and grace of Christ to shine! lightstock_62669_medium_user_2461293