Monday, October 2, 2017

Breaking up is hard to do. When a friend says, "it's not's me"

Okay, so here I sit, heart pounding.  I don't know if I should share this.  I don't know if I can.  Here goes...

Ecclesiastes says there is a season for everything.  Even though the trials of this life grow our character, I would dare say not many of us sign up for the times of pain and mourning.  We much prefer when the sun is shining and the cool, fall breeze is awakening our souls to the beauty around us.  Scripture also tells us that beauty comes from ashes.  Ashes.  To get to ashes, there must be burning. loss. pain.  Relationships affect our seasons and walls burn down.  And if we let God have the ashes of broken relationships, He can make something beautiful. 

Friendships are beautiful and altogether created by our Creator for us.  Then why are they so difficult and painful at times?  The short answer is that we live in a fallen world and we are all sinful people.  But that answer doesn't comfort me or stop my tears when brokenness steals a friend.  I am not all smiles when life takes unexpected turns, leaving me reeling and wondering if I am lovable.

I have been known to be a nomad of sorts, my family moving a lot as a child and several times as an adult.  I don't have anyone that I've known since 1st grade as my friend.   I have walked away from people, knowing not all relationships "make it".  Ah, but some do...  There really are adult, Christian friendships that live outside of time and location.  Thankfully, I have known the joy of such friendships.  I still do.  I also know the sting of goodbye, of being someone's memory. 

When, in an indescribably difficult time in my life, a remarkable and dear friend shattered my heart in an indescribable way, I wasn't sure what to think about friendship anymore.  There wasn't outright betrayal.  There wasn't a fight.  She just walked away.  Removed me.  Her explanation was vague, at best, despite my effort to get to the core of whatever was wrong.   It wasn't me, it was her.  I had been dumped.  There wasn't just a drifting apart...I have experienced the waxing and waning of friendships through seasons and moving.  No, this was quite different than drifting.  This was purposeful.  She told me she loved me and always would and was glad I had been a part of her life.  Had.  Had.

Suddenly someone that had both rejoiced and mourned alongside me purposely referred to me in the past tense.  I was crushed, confused, angry, lonely.  Seeds of insecurity began to grow, watered by the false sense that everyone would leave me.  That the friendship was never real (It SO was).  That I wasn't a good friend.  That none of my friendships were real.  That, at any moment I could be crushed again and I should distance myself before I got hurt again.  That I must have done something very wrong and hurt her even when she said I definitely did not.

I don't know what happened.  At times, I still long for a satisfactory explanation.  At times, I envision us reuniting with hugs and tears.  And, while the confusion does still sting when I am reminded that I am the only one she chose to walk away from, this painful journey has brought me nearer to my Jesus.  She pointed me to Jesus as friends and the wounding of my soul when she walked away caused me to seek Him more.  The friend I lost was certainly His hands and feet to me.  I don't understand why but I do know God was present in both our friendship and our breakup.  That's beauty from ashes.

Relationships are hard.  Period.  Cry your heart out hard.  Are they worth it?  Yes!  Do I still wonder which one of my friends will dump me next?  Occasionally.  I certainly didn't expect the loss I had.  Are some friendships better ended than pursued?  Occasionally.  There are also the friendships worth fighting for.  The friend that you call even when she hasn't called you in forever.  The friend that you pray for because you know they are hurting but they can't or won't share.  The friend that loves you when you are unlovable.  The friend that sticks closer than a brother.  The friend that points you to Jesus.  And, oh, sweet reader...if you have been wounded by a follower of Jesus, maybe even one who used to point you to Him, know that there is a Friend in Jesus.  He knows your pain.  He will bind your broken heart.  He is near!  He will never leave you.  He will never forsake you. Ultimately He can and will use every part of our journey to bring us closer to Himself.  To refine us.  To show us that He is all we need.  Yes, he put us here on this earth and created relationships for His glory but our relationship with Him is the conduit through which He blesses others. 

Be a blessing.  Be a friend.  It is going to be messy.  We are going to be hurt and we are going to hurt others.  Risk it.  Humble yourself.  Serve others.  Love the unlovable.  Seek the lost and hurting.  Walk with them.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus when a friend needs you. 

I don't always like His ways or the seasons I find myself in but, you see, I have seen beauty turn into ashes more than once. 

So, when I have ashes before me, I give them to the Healer and Lover of my soul.  For out of is glorified  

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom fro the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of he LORD for the display of his splendor.  Isaiah 61:1-3

Now, travel with me to Luke, chapter 4 and to Nazareth a couple thousand years ago and imagine the sound the scroll makes as the Word made flesh Himself unrolls it to read from the passage in you have chills yet?  He tells the hearers that He was there to fulfill all of this.  Oh, friend, let us not become weary in doing good.  Let us not believe the lies the enemy hurls into our minds.  Let us not allow broken relationships or anything else to keep us from living filled with the Spirit that has conquered the grave and offered us freedom

Monday, May 29, 2017

God is our just pays the bills

In January of 2016 I was still reeling over some personal issues and preparing to birth a baby wondering if we would ever sell our house and be able to start building the new one.  We lived in 550 square feet and were planning to build our own house.  We had been saving and were ready to start construction knowing we could continue once our previous house sold.  Our budget took an unexpected blow and we were unable to do that and we were unsure of what we were supposed to be doing and if we were doing the wrong thing. I wasn't sure I could handle much more emotional strain.  I had a come to Jesus meeting in a big way and let go and truly began trusting His timing and His plan.

In February, after almost 2 years on the market, our house sold and sold quickly.  We were shocked at how everything fell into place.  Gone.  No more mortgage.  Did you hear me?  NO MORE mortgage.  We were completely debt free.  Woohoo!!  Now it was time to start spending and building.  :)

On March 4th, we broke ground on our house.  Then my husband who I adore worked so hard on laying the foundation blocks, doing a 3-man job alone, that he literally worked his fingerprints off!  On April 7th we welcomed our Rebekah Claire into the world.  Bruce continued construction and I adjusted to a new baby, tiny-house style.  Because Bruce was working 14-16 hours a day the kids and myself did all we could to make sure the chores were done so that Bruce's focus could stay on the house.

It was an exhausting and thrilling year.  A weary road that brought us to a place where we can now have visitors and fellowship without the use of clown car magic or being a fire hazard.  Doing over 95% of the construction ourselves gave us some serious sweat equity!  Mentioning I am proud of my husband and thankful for help from friends and family is a must.  :)

Our goal was always to build this house with as little debt as possible...maybe none.  After waiting almost 2 years to start construction our timetable was different than we had hoped.  The reality of living in a small space was not our only motivation to move forward rather than wait on funds.  We also had financial and other reasons to borrow money to finish building the house.  Our utility bills in the tin can we lived in were crazy high.  The floors and walls would sweat in the winter.  We had moisture and mold issues to battle.  It was time to move forward.  I didn't take borrowing lightly and God had to humble my heart because I had pride in being debt-free.

So, here we are.  Debt.  Other than a mortgage we haven't had debt in over 10 years.  That hasn't always been easy but worth it.  The blessings, gifts, and provision God has orchestrated amaze me. We made the decision to move forward building our house without the cash on hand.  Because of the Lord's grace through unexpected means, we have a 5 year plan to be completely debt free.  At first I felt defeated to borrow to finish the house but I am definitely at peace now (most days).  I have had many full-circle moments in this season of life.  The Lord has shown me more than once that debt-free living can become an idol itself.  Debt-free is never bad and I certainly recommend living that way for many reasons but anything, even good things, can come before God in our lives.   Doing everything I can to be debt-free is not the same as wholeheartedly seeking after God and His kingdom.  Now, if I am seeking God first it's likely that good decisions such as not living beyond my means will come as a result but there is a HUGE difference between doing good things and putting Jesus ahead of everything...the good things happen naturally because of my relationship with Him. Read Matthew chapters 6 and 10 (and anything else in Scripture while you're at it.  Be careful, it can come alive!)

He is more important than debt and more important than being debt-free

He is worthy.  Worthy of our worship and praise.  His namesake is worthy of all our good deeds but if our good deeds do not bring Him glory, they are filthy rags...He enables us.  He enables us to do the good deeds and make the good decisions FOR His glory, not ours.

My debt or lack of it is not to boast or brag and if what I do or say doesn't point back to my Savior, then my actions and words are in vain.  Jesus.  He is everything.   I've been in some deep places, but Jesus has met me where I am.  And He has helped me do the next thing.  How I love Him. Mess that I am, He loved me first!

With Bruce's workload being quite light this year so far, I am re-learning some lessons about stewardship.  I am realizing I still take so many things for granted.  I know that my heart is selfish and that I don't really like to adjust the budget when the income is less.  I have moments I feel entitled and I have an ungrateful spirit.  Chief of sinners, I am.  Ultimately I am accountable for my actions, attitudes, and stewardship and I fail all too often.  May God do a mighty work in this heart of flesh that wars within my very soul.

Our income may be variable but the deep, deep love of Christ is unchanging.

**Amendment:  This post was sort of a confession and snapshot into some of our struggles.  I do not intend to justify debt or even say that our decision to have some for our house is "right".  I still hate debt.  I don't believe a lifestyle of debt is God-honoring. Jesus died to set us free and to have life abundantly, sharing His love and freedom with others.  He doesn't want us to serve money or be a slave to the lender... I don't have all the answers to living debt-free as everyone has different situations but I know that typical American culture doesn't need to be our blueprint...God's word does. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I'd rather have Jesus (I think)

Isn't the Lord wonderful?  

I recently attended a weekend women's conference and, believe me, I don't think the Lord is wonderful just because I'm on some spiritual high.  He is wonderful simply because He is!  But because of what He is doing in my heart and because of how He spoke to me through His word and the words shared by the speaker, my fingers have been itching to type and my mind has been pondering all manner of Truth.

My heart has been seeking healing but I can't receive the healing when I haven't recognized or acknowledged the wounds.  I'm in the process...  I'm a work in progress...  I want to grieve and move on...  On to what the Lord has in store.  On to breaking chains...  I want to be His servant even when it is tough and even painful.  

The conference speaker, Kelly Minter, focused on Colossians 3:12-14

In the days prior to the conference there was some much needed conviction within my heart and I was reminded of the darkness my own sinful heart is capable of.  I was humbled, as I often need to be, and ready for Him to lead me on and bring me closer to Himself.  God began by softening my heart and reminding me I was chosen and dearly loved.  He reminded me of who I am in Him and because of Him.  And because of who He is within me I can then put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (bound together in perfect unity by love)   even when it's hard, like crazy hard.  It can be hard to display these virtues of holy living  when things are frustrating and breaking, going all wrong and the kids aren't listening.  You know, the kind of days where you're ready to check-out and it's only 9am.  But then there are times and people that go beyond frustration, where the rubber meets the road in a totally different kind of way.  Can I put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience  when it's not appreciated, not noticed, and maybe not even deserved?  The first virtue mentioned is compassion and I think that is because it is the avenue that leads us to seeing people through God's eyes.  Eyes of mercy and understanding and love beyond comprehension.  Eyes that looked on my sin and still loved me and wanted me.  It is while we were sinners that Christ died for us.  And it is while others are sinners that I must love them and serve them by dying to myself and following Christ's example.  The Lord will One Day be glorified through every knee bowing and tongue confessing that He is Lord.  Until then He has His people here to glorify His name and serve Him by following His words.  

The Lord was certainly working on my heart and drawing near to me and that is always a beautiful experience.  But it's not meant to end there.  Now, it's time to pour out of myself what God is pouring into me.  I'm ready!!  When filled with His Spirit, it's only natural to be ready to share that.  But then...


The Lord asked me a question.  A hard question.  He had been preparing me for this question for a while. God used a song Kelly Minter sang to prod and reveal.  The song is beautiful and can surely take personal sacrifice to sing wholeheartedly. 

I'd Rather Have Jesus
by Jim Reeves

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

Than to be the king of a vast domain,
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead 

A certain word triggered the following conversation.
God: Would you rather have Jesus than anything?
Me:  Of course!
God:  Really?  What about when you have been waiting and waiting and waiting for something?  Something your heart desires?  Something that benefits your family?  Something I want you to have but only in my timing?  Even when things don't go as planned and expected?
Me:  Well, now...  OK, Lord I hear you but...
God:  No, Elizabeth, no "but"s.  Would you rather have Me more than anything?
  (I guess it's time to fall apart and humbly, painfully admit and relinquish that which stands between me and Jesus)

Now, I've been asked if I trusted Him many times.  I must often overcome my own unbelief.  My faith and trust have certainly been tested and have certainly grown over time.  But, somehow, I always manage to put something ahead of my Creator and Savior.   Personally, I am being stretched in several areas.  And even though I have seen the Lord demonstrate to me the fullness of His love and perfect timing, I still question His timing when waiting is painful.  I still question Him when my thorn isn't removed.  And, yet...He is there.  He is faithful and He draws me near...

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
I think most Christians would be quick to say that Jesus is #1 for them...and easily say that they do want Jesus more than anything.  When we pray, let us ask God to reveal what is truly in our hearts so that what doesn't look like Him can be removed.
So, I know my heart will continue to wander when I take my eyes off of Him but, yes, I'd rather have Jesus than anything.  And believe me, that does not come easily.  

I am thankful I was afforded the opportunity to join the women pictured below (including Kelly Minter in the middle) for the conference!  The Lord ordained this time with me and my heart.  My hope is that through reading His word and drawing near to Him you, too, want Jesus more than anything!   
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby you must be saved.  Acts 4:12

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I'm so over Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas.  It's always been my favorite holiday.  Even times when I have struggled with its meaning and been heartbroken over the worldly influence seen among Christ followers, I have always found myself celebrating.

It seems in the last few years, the phrase "Merry Christmas" has become a hot topic.  Stores have removed the phrase from merchandise only to add it back in the following season.  People have been bothered and quite vocal when a business that sells coffee decided not to have holiday cups this year.  You're going to want to put on your sarcastic ears for the next part:  Oh, what an dare a company that has never claimed to be Christian owned or operated not sell me something that is adorned with certain words that makes me feel better about the consumerism that dominates this time of year?  Shouldn't the world be forced to understand just how important "Merry Christmas" is?

No!  May it never be!  Of course not!!  The lost world should hear the message of Jesus and His gospel from Christians.  In fact, Christians are commanded to share and be prepared to share what we believe and why we believe it.  Jesus always addressed the lost differently than He addressed His followers and believers.  The same fruit expected in the lives of believers is not expected from the lost.  BUT, when Jesus addressed the lost during their conversions, He would tell them to go and sin no more.  In other words, make changes.  Be different because you are different.  Be a light, a city on a hill.  Jesus didn't address hypocrisy in non believers, but in those who claimed to be on His side but whose hearts were far from Him.  This is because there is no hypocrisy in the lives of those who are still blinded to the Truth.  

We are not to demand of the world to understand what we believe.  We are to share with them what we believe and why.  "Merry Christmas" should never be used as some battle cry, some self righteous banner to proudly wave.  Is there anything wrong with "Merry Christmas"?  Itself, no.  Of course not.  But anything that is neither inherently good nor evil can be used for either.   Do I believe that Jesus, fully God and fully man entered this world to save us?  YES!  I want to cherish that belief and message.  I want to celebrate it.  I want to shout it.  But only because I don't want to hide what I have and what I know.  Not because I am right.

I fear that there are many waving the banner of ideals of Merry Christmas, the display of the 10 commandments, prayer in school, and the like that do not even truly understand the God behind these ideals.  Sometimes it just feels good to wave a banner.  May we, as Christians, not join in these battle cries.  May we, instead, cry for those who are without understanding.  May we weep for the lost and hurting.  May we be on mission to share the gospel.  

Please understand I am not disrespecting our right of free speech (in this country, for now).  I am not disrespecting the battles, be they military or political, won by brave and sacrificial people so that we can have this freedom. There are times to fight for what we believe.  But there should never be a time when Christians demand that the world conform and act like believers.  That isn't possible and damage is done when we smugly capitalize the first 6 letters in Christmas, waving our banner.  Yes, God is holy and deserving or our worship and praise and one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess but it won't be because they will be will be because they will be stripped bare and confronted with the very presence of holiness of God and there is only one thing to do in that situation.  Yes, God deserves to be celebrated and His message spread.  He deserves much more than capital letters.  He is worthy of ALL glory!   Our battle cry is Christ and Christ alone and that is because we are compelled to share His love, to scatter the seed of the Word, and work in His fields.    How we do this will look slightly different in each believer's life because there are many parts to the body and unique callings and gifts.  

So, let's keep on celebrating.  Let's wear our shirts that say "Jesus is the Reason for the Season".  If He is the reason for the season (and every breath that you take) then let Him be the reason you do everything (Colossians 3:17-24)!  Let's hang our wreaths and, yes, our items that say "Merry Christmas".  Turn up the radio when Oh, Holy Night comes on.  Sing loud (unless it would scare the people with you, of course).  Say "Merry Christmas" to loved ones and strangers alike.  May we do these things with the same attitude shown when our very Creator lowered Himself, humbled Himself, and came to walk among us.  He is the Mighty Conqueror and will one day fight and win the last battle and said, Himself, that there would be division and not peace for all (Luke 12:49-53)Yet, because He is perfect and almighty, He did not lessen His power or message by standing silent before His accusers (Matthew 26:63) or by lying in a manger. Neither is it possible for us to diminish His power by putting down any self righteous banner we hold on to. 

Even as Christians we mess up.  We betray our faith.  We doubt God.  We turn away.  We become complacent.  We deny and crucify the very God who came to save us.  Personally, I am a mess.  A mess that He is faithful to.  He is patient with me.  He is loving towards me.  He loves me.  He loves me too much to leave me the way I am and so He prompts me to change, to purge the ugliness in my heart so I can become more like Him and, in doing so, hopefully shine a little light in the darkness.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

If we can fit 6 people and a dog into 550 square feet, why not add another?

Yes, that's right.  The title isn't a gimmick to say "made you look".  We really are going to be adding to our family in the spring.

We are expecting a baby!  Yay!!  Woohoo!!  April 14th!!

Let me first address some common questions, comments, and jaw dropping thoughts some of you might be having...

Yes, we know we already have 4 kids
Yes, we DO know how this happens (quite frankly, that's a bold question to ask and you might get an earful if you ask me on the wrong day.  Ha!)
Yes, we are thrilled!!
Yes, we definitely know that we are running out of room in 550 square feet
No, we aren't trying to form our own sports team (we aren't even sports-y people)
No, we aren't trying to have a bunch of farm hands
No, I'm not addicted to new baby smell (although nestle time with a newborn is heavenly)

We know that children come from the Lord.  He creates them.  He knits them together.  We have been overjoyed 4 times already now with the miracles He has given us to care for.  We have been heartbroken, yet comforted, when His knitting and timing aren't understood.  We have faced both "surprise" babies and those desired beforehand.  I do not pretend to know the ways of He that is higher than I.

I do not believe that it is the purpose of all Christian families to constantly have children.  I think we must be very cautious to draw a black and white conclusion from Scripture that simply isn't there.  The Bible says that we are to be fruitful and multiply (this is addressing married couples yet, we know that the Lord creates many lives outside of those perfect, intended boundaries He created).  The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 that children are a heritage from the Lord.  It says in Psalm 127:5 that blessed is the man whose quiver is full.  The Bible also addresses the cries of barren wombs...there isn't a blanket promise in Scripture that, once married, you shall have 1 boy and 1 girl and then your life is Disneyworld perfect.  Neither is there a promise in Scripture that if you have 15 children you have somehow attained holiness.

Scripture does not say that there should be a college fund available for each child you have or you're being irresponsible.  It also does not say that we should be lazy and not provide for our families (I Timothy 5:8).  Our differences of opinions come when we do not know what that provision should look like.  Well, here's the thing...what matters is our hearts.  Our hearts are always what matters.  My heart is certainly, as the song Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing says, ever wandering and I'm thankful for the patience and persistence of my Jesus.  God wants our hearts to be after Him...not perfect, not worthy...just after Him.  He promises to be found when He is sought.  So, I seek...

I seek Him when I'm confused, frustrated, discouraged, feeling indifferent, angry, devastated, and everything in between.  At least, I hope I do.  I often forget to seek Him first but He always gently reminds me that He wants me to seek Him.  I seek Him for wisdom, encouragement, and direction.  I certainly seek Him as a parent.  This parenting thing is crazy hard  (my 4 year old just thanked me for taking care of her...gotta love the Lord's reminders through His children). I don't have a clue what I'm doing most days and I have moments where I grow weary doing good, thinking my efforts don't make a difference.  But then the Lord reminds me that I am just to be an obedient vessel.  How my children wrestle out their faith is between themselves and God.  I am the initial trainer, teacher and one who points them towards Him.  I am the example, which is scary considering how often I'm the example of what not to do!

I am honored, scared, and humbled that the Lord has chosen Bruce and I to be examples to even another child.  I question whether He really knows what He is doing when He keeps trusting me but, you know what?  He doesn't put His trust in me ever.  He has a master plan that will come to fruition whether I'm obedient or not.  He trusts in His own strength and ability to bring beauty from ashes whether those ashes come from me failing as a mother or from the pain and destruction all throughout this creation that groans for its Creator to return and make it whole.

So, as we prepare to welcome another life into this crazy world, rejoice with us!  At the end of the day we are talking about a life that God has created and given purpose to.  Whether you have children in your home to love and train or you have spiritual children of all ages learning from you, remember to be after the kingdom of God and to seek Him and His righteousness first. And pray for my little one, even in the womb He is Lord.   Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.  Psalm 51:6

Celebrate with us!  It is the year of Jubilee!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A trip into the unknown

Much of life is unknown.  There are uncertainties and mysteries each day. 

Some mysteries can be fun surprises!  I have one such fun mystery surprise in my near future.

My husband, in keeping with our celebration theme for the year, has taken something I have longed for and made it happen.

All on his own, he has planned a belated anniversary trip for just the two of us.  Really.  He picked the destination.  He arranged childcare for our 4 kiddos with grandparents.  He planned what we're gonna do while we're at this mystery destination.  He made us dinner reservations (we're not eat-at-places-you-need-reservations-for kinda people) at a place where I am wearing a casual dress (I'm not a wear-a-dress kinda gal) and I had to go ahead and pick out my entree....ooooooo, ahhhhhhh...fancy!  He has told me that I'll pick out lunch on the way, what to have ready for lunches, snacks, and breakfasts but that I will cook no dinners while we're gone.  Okay, so I do love cooking from scratch and cooking for my family but I am a totally excited about dinners being planned and not having a baby spoon hanging off my plate.  :)

ALL I know is that we are borrowing a camper from family, staying at a campground, my kids are taken care of (We thank you, grandparents!), and we're gone for 3 nights.  One of the best things is that this isn't expensive and it was budgeted for thanks to a return from Uncle Sam.  :)

Now, I'm a bit of a crazy, obsessed planner.  I plan well and way ahead (because of all the not so fun mysteries and uncertainties that pop up).   Not knowing details would normally bug me to death.  But, after surviving my 3rd pregnancy not knowing boy or girl until birth, I'm a little more relaxed about the fun surprises.  Plus, this trip is a dream come true.  My man has thought of everything and I'm just along for the ride.

I'm excited about the mystery.  I'm excited about the moment we hit the road and I get to see if we're heading west, north, south, or east (I'm not riding blindfolded...that would be crazy).   But, I won't know where we're going until we get there.  And, then I'm gonna relax at a campfire.

I'm most excited about the time to cherish and celebrate my marriage!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


In general, I'm not a word-for-the-year kinda gal.  I think that has become trendy and I'm all about being non-trendy...hence my jeans-and-tshirt-wearing, tractor-trailer-living, didn't-even-know-chevron-was-a-pattern-until-last-year life!  :)

And, yet, here I am with a word for the year.  A theme.  A promise.

Towards the end of 2014 the Lord was pressing on my heart that He wanted to remind me what it feels like to really, really celebrate.  At first, I pushed the thoughts aside.  How silly...God telling me to celebrate...God telling me that a season of celebration was coming.

2012 and 2013 were filled with times of great sorrow, trials, death, and pain.  There were, of course, many wonderful things too and much to be grateful for but the reality is that much of the time was spent in the valley.  A valley where my sweet Jesus met me and held me and was SO. REAL to me.  So real.  So sweet.  So precious!  I don't necessarily want to run into any valleys any time soon but I wouldn't trade my time with Jesus for anything! 

2014 was spent coming out of the fog, grieving, moving on, trying to find my way and relationship with God on the other side of the valley.  And, yes, it did really take me a whole year to work through some things.  Between having a baby and moving, I was a little preoccupied.  :)

So, celebrate.  Celebration.   Many events, sermons, conversations, prayers, and scriptures have been pointing me in this direction.  God always affirms what He is doing in our lives and hearts.

I don't know what this year will bring.  We are only 2 weeks into January and I've already had days where I've wanted to hang my hat up.  This theme of celebrating doesn't guarantee that everything will be easy peasy or that there won't be heart-breaking moments this year.  It means that this year, my heart will sing.  I will dance.  I will pray.  I will rejoice.  I will experience joy in the little things.  My husband is calling this the year of jubilee for our family. 

I just have to get past the guilt.  I have been struggling with accepting this season of celebration from the Lord.   How can I celebrate??  How can I rejoice when there is someone out there in despair?  There is someone caring for a dying family member.  There is someone heartbroken over miscarriage.  There is someone lost, headed to hell.  There are marriages falling apart.  There are friends hurting. 

How can I get over being so wrecked for the past couple years that I can accept this season of celebration wholeheartedly?  I don't know.  I really don't know.  I don't pretend to understand the Lord's timing but He has told me that He knows what He is doing and this is my season to celebrate.  I. feel. so. guilty. just. typing. this.   I don't want to forget the valley.  I don't want to lose my growth and progress with Jesus.  I don't want my year of jubilee to be for naught. 

I don't want to flippantly run around happy-go-lucky.  I want to celebrate what God has done for me.   I want to experience joy in the many things He has given us here on earth that are just glimpses of what will be One Day.  

I would never have been prepared or appreciated the Lord gently ushering in this season of celebration without the previous season He walked me through.   So, if you are in a different season than that of celebration, please know that I know your valleys are real.  Jesus knows.  He is with you.  He will BE your next breath, your next step, the lifter of your head. 

For now, I am trying to embrace this promise.  I am trying to have the faith of a little child.  There is purpose in the valleys.  There is also purpose in the rejoicing.  In the celebrating.  Inside, I am giddy.  I want to smile so much.  I am looking forward to smiling more, to truly laughing more.  I could literally dance watching the sunrise in the mornings and fall on my knees praising the Creator.  He has created all the seasons.  The cold, dark, wet times and the fragrant, sunny, bright times and all the ones in between. 

The Year of Jubilee it is!!  Restoration, rejuvenation, and celebration.  For His glory and in His timing.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The month we survived on $75 Part II

Unless you have read Part I, you might be a little lost.  :)

Week 4 - $7: wow!  Just now, as I was typing and looking at the amount for week 4, I realized the significance of the number 7.   God's perfect number.  The number of completion...and, of course, this test of faith had to end in God's perfect timing.  I love Him so much.

Nobody at my house has gone hungry.  Ever!  I don't know what that would be like.  But, there are many people that do...we don't have food and clothes and shelter because we deserve it or God loves us more.  We have those things simply because we do.  Those that don't aren't loved by God less.  Maybe they know God in more awesome ways than I ever will.  Maybe they will be more open to the Gospel because someone meets their spiritual need through meeting their physical need.  God has wowed me many times by meeting my physical need, only to show me that the spiritual and physical aren't really separate.  He meets both! 

What I bought at the store the 4th week has eluded me.  I know that experimenting with making meals from what was in the pantry was interesting and fun!  We learned that we like hummus and falafel.  Never underestimate the power of a can of chickpeas!  :)   I was exhausted and stretched but obedient...what is crazy hard is what happens next...

As some work began to pour in, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I could pay things instead of floating them.  Income came just in time or we would have had to pay INTEREST on the business credit card...this makes me feel physically ill.  For real.  Bruce told me to make the MINIMUM payment...To me, that is crazy talk that sends me into a fetal position.  After I got over myself, I was prepared to do it but, thankfully, I did not have to.  

So, bills have been paid.  The phone is ringing.  Bruce has work!  (Bruce is, technically, always working on something when he's not hanging with his family and sometimes even while he is hanging with his family but I am referring to paid work)

Yay!  Things are easy now, right??

Well, they are different.  Maybe even better but, for me, not easier.  Let me explain.

As hard as stretching $75 for a month's worth of groceries is, figuring out the post-fending spreeze budget is the hardest for me.

I am sure I was driving Bruce crazy!!  I was asking his opinion on every penny I wanted to spend.  We were out of toilet paper, contact solution, diapers, TONS of food items, and at least one kid needed shoes.  Meanwhile, he needed a new winter coat, I didn't have jeans that fit, and gas stations still wanted money when you filled up your tank.  Not to mention that we were feeling like doing a tiny bit of splurging after being so tight.  And, by splurging I mean eating at a restaurant or getting hair cuts or driving to see friends hundreds of miles away.

Thanks to generosity from my hubby's Mom, I was able to visit my KY peeps!  Thanks to a family member and a sweet friend we were able to travel for my Dad's open heart surgery without worrying about the cost.

But, how to budget everything else was weighing on me.  Here is one of my biggest weaknesses.

I don't know how to prioritize without over-analyzing.  After spending a month stretching $75, how can I drop $150 in one trip to the store?  What gets prioritized and when is crazy hard for me.  I don't know if I should spend or save.  Should I stock up on pantry items when things are at their best prices?  I try to buy items on sale (I don't really use coupons much anymore because most coupons are for processed items that we don't usually purchase) and I buy in bulk a lot so having to buy very small amounts as we have the money is mentally maddening.   Should I spend meager amounts at the store and save the money?  Can I spend on x, y, z or are q, r, and s more important?  Not knowing when the next fending spreeze will be, I just don't know.   Do I buy that school book when it's on sale or wait until we have the money but it's full price??

When the wants or needs exceed the ability to buy them all, what should I do??  What does pleasing God with my spending look like?

I am floundering all over the place, I'm sure.   It really doesn't matter what anyone's income all comes down to what you do with what you have.  Decisions must be made.  Sometimes, very difficult or even heart-wrenching decisions.  We really are all in the same boat.  We all have to decide what to do with what we have.  Contentment and wisdom are what I want to guide my decisions.

I do know that somehow it all works out.  God's math, that is.  It always does.  Somehow we have everything we need and so much more. 

I share all this to hopefully encourage you to remember that our minds are fierce battlefields that Christ can be the Victor in...if We really let Him.  Now that you have had a tiny peak into my crazy head, you can run away or, maybe, stick around and pray with and for me.  We all have burdens, way beyond financial decisions to lift up to the Throne of Grace.  Let us go there together with boldness and confidence.

Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

Friday, December 12, 2014

The month we survived on $75

We have a varied income.  I cannot stress the word varied enough!!  We have our own business.  We never know what we will make or when.  There is no base income expectation.  No benefits package.  No paid days off.  Let me also stress that we choose this life.  We have chosen to live the way that we do.  We have also chosen to stay out of debt and hope to, one day, be free of our mortgage and have NO debt.  Sometimes, when choosing our lifestyle and choosing no debt collide with an empty bank account, I freak out roll with it.  We have to make decisions about our stewardship.  

Recently, we were faced with an empty bank account.  Now, we have faced this before.   We bust out fending spreezes when necessary.  But this time was different.  We couldn't just stop spending or cut back.  There wasn't anything to spend.  We paid for our important things like the mortgage (for the house we don't live in) and the utilities.  You might think that food is important and, we agree.  But we have also agreed not to spend money we don't have...and I was worried slightly concerned about getting behind if we began to borrow from Peter to pay Paul (although we have floated things in certain ways so that we stay caught up without actually being ahead).

Amazingly, the Lord worked it all out.  The Lord provided what He saw fit and I love His timing!  First of all, we didn't know we had the $75 ahead of time.  We were starting with $0 to spend on food or anything else...  What we were to spend per week was revealed to us on a weekly basis.  Secondly, we had a pretty good amount of food in our pantry and freezer already.  We just had to be creative!  The $75 we survived on was for anything beyond our regular bills (mortgage, phone/internet, utility, and car insurance).  So, the $75 had to cover food, gas, and anything else...

Week 1 - A customer had paid us in cash and we had $20 left.  Bruce found $5 in his wallet...provision for the first week!   $25:  I honestly don't remember what I bought.  Probably some produce and a random item or two.  :)

Week 2 - We found a dish of coins and decided to take it to the bank.  I was surprised and excited!  Turned out to be $34  $34:  Being so excited that I had more than Week 1, I'm sure I splurged

By the end of week 2, I had no idea where the next week's provision was coming from or if there is even going to be anything to spend.  The excitement about the previous 2 weeks provision is beginning to wane and I'm slipping in to a bit of a woe-is-me mentality.  Doesn't God know that I am going to eventually run out of meat, veggies, flour, butter, cheese, baking powder, fruits and have nothing to be creative with?  Doesn't God know that I am being super creative with what we have?  Doesn't God know that I am just trying to feed my family fresh, home-cooked healthy foods?  Doesn't God know that I have a child with holes in their tennis shoes?  Doesn't God know that we're going to run out of shampoo and toilet paper?  How can I pick between shoes and food?  Doesn't God know that I have been stretched enough this time...I mean, we were running out of things like mustard, cheese, chocolate (mine and Bruce's indulgence each evening is a piece or 2 of dark chocolate), baking essentials, etc.

**God can totally handle my honesty and me talking like an Israelite.  He knows what is in my heart and longs for me to come to Him with my whole heart.  It is the only way He can show me what should not be there and help me get rid of anything that doesn't look like Him.  When I am complaining and grumbling, He does listen and gently reminds me that He is the Creator and Sovereign Lord and and it does me good to remember that...

Oh, wait.  Yes.  Yes, God does know.  And, yes, God does care.  And sometimes He prompts a friend to give you a bag of chocolate and straws because the little things do matter!!

And, sometimes He says, "Do you trust me?" to which I reply, "of course I trust you, God!"  And then He says again, "Do you trust me?"   (Well, He must not have heard my first response because isn't it obvious that I trust Him? )  Maybe I do need to be stretched and humbled.  Maybe I have some pride that needs to be removed.  Maybe I have so many issues that only a merciful, loving God could stick with me.  So, He brings up the subject of trust again...

God:  "Do you trust me?"
Me:  humbly and honestly, "yes"
God:  "Am I enough for you?"
Me:  "definitely, but let me tell you what we need..."
*this is where I picture God patiently, lovingly shaking his head*
God:  "Elizabeth, am I enough for you?"
Me:  "Oh, you mean just You and nothing else?"
God:  "Yes"
Me: "hmmmmm...I think so.  Please help me overcome my unbelief"

Week 3 - I was looking for something in the diaper bag in the van and came across $7.  Party time!!  Found $2 more in change in the house.  Party and dance time!  $9:  I was so tickled at what I was able to buy to feed my family, I had to take a picture.  :)
The simple fact that I worked in an avocado for myself made me giddy!

We are now running out of gas and I am not going anywhere!!  My husband's work van needed gas and that went on the business credit card.  Let's face it, if he isn't able to drive to people's houses and businesses, he isn't able to work so, his gas will get paid for later.  We also needed some feed for the animals but that worked out as well.  We sell our eggs and put that cash in an envelope that is used to buy chicken feed when we need it.  That envelope had enough in it to buy the goat feed we needed.  It is important to feed the goats, especially since one is a dairy goat.  Milking the goat every day during this time was a blessing because I didn't have to fit $4 per gallon milk into the ever tightening budget.  I figured the $9 week would be our tightest.  The test was surely over.  Time for God to open up the floodgates and fill our pantry...

By the way, I am usually always wrong when I try to figure God out.   :)

Week 4 - Believe it or not, it was less than Week 3!!  Stay tuned for the conclusion in Part II!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Surviving winter in 550 square feet

Well, we have been in our current abode almost 6 months!!  I can hardly believe it.   What is even harder to believe is how well we have been doing here.  Really!

We are working through the difficulties and we are wholeheartedly enjoying the outdoors.

Our horse, Estra Lina de Alexandria

Hide & seek inside is not very fun.  Laundry, especially when it's cold or raining, is certainly not fun.  When we're inside, we are in constant contact with one another, often literally; but it gives us more opportunity to smooth out our rough edges.  And I don't know about you but I have A LOT of rough edges that need smoothing out.

So, the outdoors have been our playground, sanctuary, and place where I can go whine to God under the stars of solitude when necessary. 

Now that the weather is turning cooler and the days are much, much, much shorter, I am not sure what thriving will look like.   Being dark and cold by dinner time means that we have a few hours inside after 550 square feet...together...we have almost been, dare I say it?  Bored!  Well, as bored as you can be in 550 square feet with 4 kids.  :)

After dinner, we usually have animals to care for, playing to do, chores to accomplish, golf carts to ride, frisbees to throw, projects to start or complete, etc.   Now, most of that is completed around dinner time because we care for the animals around or by dark.  And, who wants to throw a frisbee or ride the golf cart in the cold, dark night?

So, here we are...trying to figure out what to do in the evenings.  We might have to bring out the board games we dared not play before now because we were occupied, soaking up every moment of sunshine.  We might have to have some Wii bowling competitions.  We might become proficient at staring contests.  Who knows? 

I'm a little concerned about our sanity through the winter but, then again, my sanity is always questionable.  LOL   Hence living in house on wheels to begin with.   So, no matter what this winter holds for us, I know we'll make it.  Besides, maybe there's a world record for staring contests we can aspire to break...

Here are some pictures because I haven't shared any in quite a while!

The few first pictures are really to show off that my new family picture canvas that came in today (photo credits to my fabulous friend and photographer, Mandy Daniel) and the Christmas lights my sweet husband hung for me.  We don't have room for a Christmas tree and I absolutely adore lights so...

 Here is the dog house Bruce built for Sugar.  The cats don't mind snuggling in there.

Here is a picture of the back of the cabin, where the addition to the 18-wheeler is

Oh, yeah, that's a license plate underneath my house!!

If you look at the silver color underneath the tractor trailer, that is the insulation Bruce put around all the plumbing that is exposed under the trailer.  Yay for being able to have running water!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Open Heart

There are moments in life where it seems the world stops turning.  The kind of moments that rock your world completely.  Moments that are scary, joyous, heartbreaking, exciting, confusing, or shocking.  But moments that matter so much that it is hard to believe the world around you is continuing as normal.

A diagnosis

A phone call

A birth

A death

Many such moments have come and gone for myself and family.   How can the concerns of the rest of this world matter when I am wrapped up in love holding my newborn?  When I am wrapped up in exhaustion and grief caring for a dying family member?  When my husband needs emergency surgery?  When my children just need to sit in my lap?  When a friend refers to your relationship in the past tense and cuts ties?  When my husband and I spend our first weekend alone in 10 years?  When the knitting together in my womb stops?  When my Daddy has a stroke?

 I vividly remember where I was, what I was wearing, and what was said the last time I sat on my Pop & Granny's couch in Marietta, GA as Granny patted my leg and told me it was okay that they were moving.  It wasn't for me.  My world was rocked.  I certainly remember the look on my Pop's face and his body language that spoke louder than any words I have ever heard the moment the surgeon told him my Granny's open heart surgery was done and successful.  Relief.  His world had stopped until the news on his wife came. 

My world has been slowing this week as we have been waiting for answers and plans concerning my Daddy.  He is having open heart surgery tomorrow.  TOMORROW.  Open heart.  My world is now stopping.  This is my Daddy.  My Daddy.

Yet, the world will continue turning for most this weekend.  There will be shopping, eating, dancing, football, playing, traveling, working, cleaning and the like going on all this weekend.  But, for some, there will be moments for whom the world stops.  There will be a couple getting married.  There will be tremendous loss.  There will be someone who finds out they are being transferred.  There will be a new mommy wrapped up in love with her newborn. 

I wonder what Mary felt as she birthed and held in her new mommy arms, her Savior? THE Savior.  God with us.  Immanuel.  I imagine her world stopped turning.  The rest of this world continued.  For Mary, the world stopped.  Yet, it was for this very world that the Savior came.  God knew that, in the sleepy little town of Bethlehem, life was continuing as normal for most.  He knew that His entrance would barely be noticed.  Barely. noticed!  And He created the world.  He was willing to humble Himself more than we can ever understand.  The Creator, deserving of all praise and glory, barely noticed.  This world-stopping moment for Mary was God's plan to save His lost world.  Saving for those that hear and answer His call on their hearts.  You see, whether our hearts are beating slowly, quickly, or even kept going by a bypass machine during surgery, they are in His hands.

Whether our world is spinning, completely stopped, or seemingly spinning out of control, He is in control.  It is in these moments that our own little worlds stop that we are afforded the perfect opportunity to experience His presence. 

My Daddy (and sweet Momma, whose world is at a complete standstill) is in God's hands.  The same God who authors the moments of our lives and works to bring us closer to Him so He can receive glory, knows my name.

And when I barely notice Him, He is still faithful.  

While I may experience many more world-stopping moments in my life, I am called by the Creator of this world to care about the others in it.  As He does.  Willing to notice these moments in the lives of others and point them to the One who brings them their joy or comforts them in their sorrow.

The One and Only worthy of glory.

Our hearts are deceitful above all else.  God doesn't just bypass our heart's issues.  He changes our hearts if, and only if, we put our hearts in the capable Surgeon's and Savior's hands.

Oh, Father, may I praise you in the ordinary and in the moments when my world stops turning.  You know my heart and You still love me.  Amazing love!

***Update:  My Dad's surgery went well and he is currently going to cardiac rehab 3 times a week and getting stronger every day.***

Friday, September 5, 2014

Adjusting to 550 square feet

Things on the Hewett Farm are coming along quite well!   We have chicks ready to hatch the first of next week, chickens roaming the yard, 2 friendly kittens, 2 goats (one that I milk each day), 2 dogs, 3 dead snakes (one being a rattle snake that our 3 year old found!!!), 1 injured coyote that hopefully won't come back, and we are currently preparing for another animal...a horse!   There is a horse that needs a good home and we are so thankful that we have been given the opportunity to take this horse into our family.  More on the horse later.   How are we doing living life in 550 square feet???

We are doing well.  Working through the challenges that come in tight quarters together.  We spend a lot of time together!   :)  It is hard to believe we have been moved in for over 3 months now!!   In the time since we have moved, my sweet baby boy has gone from "flat baby" (term my older girls use for young infants) to rolling over, scooting, and eating banana and sweet potato.

Moving things around, organizing, and rearranging are pretty constant activities.  If you put school work on the table, then it has to be moved to eat lunch.  If you put the school work on the couch and then you need the couch to feed a baby on, you have to move the school work somewhere else and then you might need that get the picture.   Cooking, especially baking can get interesting.  But, being creative and super patient is what it's all about.

One thing I know.  The joys and triumphs, sorrows and pain are still felt just as deeply.  The only difference might be feeling as if there is no privacy to open myself up to the Lord or work through loss and pain.  But, I felt the same in over 2,000 square feet when my Grandma and Chuck lived with us during our miscarriage.   Privacy to grieve was no where to be found.  So, really, the space isn't always the issue.  I need to make alone time with God a priority! 

Here's some pictures of how life rolls with us!

Sweet Madelynn holding her baby brother, Marcus.

The man who puts up with me!!  and loves me!!

Some of the chickens that roam our yard.  :)   True free range eggs are the best!

Sugar pup keeping cool under the van

 Bruce and his Dad working together to get goat fence ready (love the 2 of them working together!!)

 My men!!

My purdy family!

Here is our mattress that lives in the living room, dining room, and school room!   The girls like to snuggle up with us or kick us out to take up the whole bed!

Madelynn seems to think having a mattress on the floor every morning is a great way to get some trampoline time in...

 Business calls are often taken outside because it's way too noisy in the cabin!!  :)   If you knew what situations some small business owners were in when they took your call, you would often have a good laugh.

 Reading time on the couch while Marcus plays!  The floor can be a dangerous place for babies when there isn't a lot of floor space to be had.

School on the couch (which really is a wonderful homeschooling perk!)

School at the table!

We hunt 'em, turkey feathers!

You CAN still make a tent in a small space!!!

Okay, so here is a picture of what we have to do to use a DVD to watch a math lesson.   The only place for the t.v. is on the wall and the only place for the DVD player and speakers is above the t.v which is directly under the table.  :)   Yes, we know it's a giant t.v. for such a small space but it's our only t.v. and Bruce and I feel like we are in a theater when watching the 3 or 4 channels that come in with the antenna. LOL  

This is just a fabulous picture of Charlotte snuggling a rooster.  Only this chicken-whisperer girl could catch a rooster and keep him calm in her lap!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Real life in 550 square feet!

Well, we're all moved in!  Not all moved.  There is still much to do at our old house, the main thing being to sell it!!! 

We have been in our new home for a whole month now.   It truly feels like home.  My sweet Charlotte said that she is glad we are here and happy.  She just wants us to live here happy and not build a new house.  Sweet, but I don't know if I really want to sleep, eat, and live in the same room forever! 

550 square feet will teach you a lot and quickly.

I have figured out that some of the things I thought would be the hardest aren't really that bad and that some things are harder than I thought they might be.

I miss some things about having more space like a nice, big countertop available for kneading dough or just spreading out.  But, I have made it work and we certainly aren't going hungry.

I miss having room for friends...this one I can get through if my friends are willing to play outside  or in a barn!   But I do miss it.  A lot!

Um, hide & seek isn't nearly as challenging here...

Laundry (my very least favorite chore) has changed dramatically since our laundry room is in the barn.   Carrying the clothes and things back and forth aren't that big a's that I usually have 1 or 2 small children I am taking with me and the oldest of the youngest 2 cannot be left alone with the younger, so that presents logistical challenges.  I cannot change out a load of laundry in the middle of other has to be an event.  But, one great thing is that mine and my hubby's dressers are in the laundry room so it's pretty easy to put it away (the putting away is my very least favorite part of my least favorite chore).

The biggest changes for us have been less about our square feet and more about our new location...

I am now 30 minutes from good stores and church as opposed to walking distance and 1 or 2 miles.

There is a barn 30 feet from our place.  This, I love.  There is something peaceful and calming about being in the barn.

We haven't had internet at home for a month.  This was frustrating because I do our bills and some business-y things online.  I look for recipes online.  I look up random things online.  I communicate online.  And when your online time is squished into a certain amount of time and you have to remember your laptop checkbooks, bills, passwords, to-do lists, and children and lug all that around to accomplish what is necessary, using the internet becomes a chore rather than a convenience.  I like it much better as a convenience!! 

One of the most important things I have learned here is that I can do many things that I never thought I would be doing. 

I can calmly stand by keeping tabs on the snake in our chicken's nesting box so my hubby can go get something to, um, dispose of said snake.

I can live, eat, school, and sleep all in the same room (and the almost murphy bed isn't as bad as I imagined)

I can drive a truck and trailer around a field so my hubby can pick up hay bails all while a toddler is in the truck with me and the 2 oldest girls are on top of the hay bails!

I can potty train a toddler and nurse an infant at the same time.  Literally.  This I already knew but had tried to forget...

I can (well, almost) milk a goat.  And I can help dig post holes for fencing for said goats.  See, I'm not that confident around animals and my sweet friend Katie is patiently and kindly teaching me!

I can (well, almost) ride a horse.  We have neighbors with horses and they let the girls ride and then I actually tried it myself for the first time in 19 years.

I can see stars here.  I mean, really see stars.

I have found quiet time with the Creator of the beautiful stars more challenging than usual so I'm praying about that.

I have much, much deeper things to share eventually but, for now, they're all jumbled up in an emotionally exhausted heart.  One thing I know about moving into 550 square feet.  It doesn't make anything wonderful or horrible.  Our relationship with Christ and with each other determines our level of joy.  And joy can come in the morning for those in 5,000 square feet, 500 square feet, or no square feet at all.   The Son of Man had no place to lay His head, yet He is the source and giver of joy.  

We found this cute lil' thing while we were moving and decided to keep her!!

The living room, dining room, school room, and master bedroom!!  Our mattress lives behind the bookcases during the day.

Marcus's room

The Girls' room

The Last Supper

Happy Feet

Time for hay

Happy girls!!

OH, yeah!

My man...slinging hay bails and taking names.

He loves the toy tractor
Through the struggles my heart is currently in, my family loves me.  And I love being a part of the family I have...even if the house we live in has a license plate and chickens underneath it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Moving day has arrived!

We are ready to move!!

550 square feet, here we come!

If, 13 years ago, you would have told me that I would move my family of 6 (plus 2 dogs) into an 18-wheeler I would have definitely thought you crazy.  But, wait, maybe that's me...crazy!!

Right now I am feeling overwhelmed, excited, sad, and anxious, and ready.  As ready as I am, I am still sad to leave a home that we have thoroughly enjoyed living in.  A home we brought 2 of our babies home to.  A home where my 2 oldest babies came to know Christ as their Savior.  A home where my family has grown, in more ways than one.

But enough of the sentimental stuff and time for change.  Many changes.  Many adjustments.  Moving is chaotic, especially when you have 4 kids (one of whom is pretty new!), 2 dogs (one of whom is pretty new!), 27 chickens (9 of whom are pretty new!), and you're majorly downsizing!

Check out our humble abode!   (you can check out the before videos and pics on the links above!)

Check out our laundry room/extra storage