"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world , and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oprah for President 2020?

I didn't watch the Golden Globes.  I never really watch the awards shows...not because I'm not interested.  No, it's because we watch primarily Netflix. We don't have cable and while we do get a number of local channels I cannot seem to remember to watch Prime Time TV.

When I woke up yesterday I found this video of Oprah Winfrey's speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award.  I was blown away and inspired.  Enough that I posted it to my timeline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyBims8OkSY

I almost added the hashtag #Oprahforpresident2020 but stopped myself. In part because I know next to nothing about her politics and also because I figured NO WAY would she consider a run.

Then, an hour or so later, I received an email notification from CNN saying that she's "seriously considering" a run.

Huh.

How about that?  I might be psychic.

Probably not.  But I sure wish I had posted the hashtag so I could say "You heard it here first."

It'll be interesting to see if she actually does make a run for President, won't it?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

13th

A number of year ago I read (over the course of 6 months or so) a book that forever changed the way I view race relations in the United States.  It so clearly traces the path from slavery through the Jim Crow South to the Civil Rights era to now.  I understand in a new way the obstacles, both systematic and otherwise, that face people of color in this nation.



Then I read "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson and I became more and more convinced that things in this nation really need to change if people of color are to receive true justice. There is still so much institutional racism in this country, especially in the deep South.  The number of black men who are sentenced to life in prison or even death with feeble or non-existent evidence is reprehensible.


Today I began watching "13th" at the suggestion of my teenage daughter and this documentary feels like the nail in the coffin in my ignorance regarding the criminal justice system of the United States. 

There is undeniably so much good in our system. It was (and is) a beacon and example around the world with its tenets of innocence until guilt is proven, the right to a trial by jury and many, many more precepts designed to protect citizens.

But.

It seems clear to me that the rights and protections that are in place to protect us are not extended equally to all citizens.  People of color are often denied these rights and protections at an alarming rate.

I know there are so many good and honest public servants in all sectors that give their blood, sweat and tears to protect and serve us. Unfortunately, a hopefully small but powerful segment of these civil servants are using their power in reprehensible ways.

I don't have answers.  Right now I am simply trying to listen and learn.  To open my eyes, mind and heart to the invisible privilege with which I was born.  To listen to the stories of those who have suffered and been marginalized.

If you are interested in truth and justice and equality, I would recommend reading or watching the resources I've mentioned above.  There is much, much more out there for us, but these are a good start.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bullet Journaling

My favorite thing to do, it seems, is to find new things to try and then abandon.

I've done this many times over the years.  Below please find a list (likely not exhaustive) of the hobbies I've decided to try, stocked up on all the supplies for and then subsequently got tired of and quit.


  • Jewelry making
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Card making
  • Smash journaling
  • Counted Cross Stitching
I'm sure I've missed one or two here...but you get the idea.

Before you become convinced that I am a complete loss in this area, I will tell you that there are a few hobbies I am consistent in.  I love to scrapbook and still attend multiple scrapbooking retreats a year.  I keep a journal consistently and I love to do puzzles and adult coloring.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the concept of bullet journaling.  I was intrigued.

It's an idea that has been around for awhile and was, in its earliest manifestations, a fairly minimalist approach to planning your days, weeks and months. It's a flexible system that can be adapted to your own needs and preferences. I've included a link to a video here which will give you an idea of what the system looks like.


Some really creative people have taken the concept and run with it and now Bullet Journals (Bujos for short) are a whole thing. Washi tapi, stickers, colored pencils...you name it and they've done it. Do a quick Pinterest search about bullet journals and you'll see what I mean.

I tried to start last January but I had already ordered my Erin Condren planner, which was quite an investment...and who wants to keep 2 planners?  So it fizzled. 

I decided to try again this year, but alas...I had already purchased another planner.  What is wrong with me?

I didn't want to wait another year, so what I've decided to do is to us my bullet journal for habit tracking and lists.  This will give me a chance to play with the system and decided whether it will be something I love and want to continue as a more complete system next year.  This is what I have so far...

The Title Page: Nothing too fancy, but I like it!


This is the primary reason I did this...a habit tracker. I love this one.


Anything to help me keep a cleaner house.

An attempt to help me read the 100 or so unread books on
my shelves.  I am pretty sure I have a problem.  Ahem.

I already use Goodreads to track my reading but
I saw this layout and fell in love, so....

It's only day 4, but as of right now I am loving the Bullet Journal and have done a number of things I would otherwise have skipped altogether (flossing...I hate doing it) just so I could color in that little square.

Only time will tell if I can continue to use it daily.








Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm not a baker.  I'm a cook.  I love to do it (most days) and am fairly good at it (according to my family, anyway).

But baking?  Not so much.  Not sure why, other than I like to wing things and that's tough to do with baking.

However, I have had a couple of cans of organic pumpkin that I picked up at the Trader Joe's that recently opened in our town (on a whim).

They sat in my cupboard, mocking my good intentions...until I decided that (with all the kids home for President's Day and all plans cancelled due to one kid with the flu), Monday was as good a day as any to use them.  I went looking for a good recipe to try and found this recipe on allrecipes.com. I doubled the recipe (so I could use the whole can of pumpkin and have plenty for my ravening hoard).  They were a hit (though my family is baking deprived, so you may want to take my recommendation with a grain of salt)!
 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/7958/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-muffins

Give them a try yourself!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Moving On

After years of longing to move to a new home, God has finally answered my prayers.  We are moving across town in a few short weeks.
7210 Thorncrest Drive Se, Grand Rapids MI  This is the front of our new home. Isn't it lovely?  I am in love with this house and am very eager to start our new lives there, though I will admit that it is bittersweet to think of leaving this, our home of 13 years...our first home and the only place each of our four children have ever lived.

I believe this new home will be a lovely place to raise our children.  It is sufficiently large enough to entertain in and to house our rambunctious little ones, but not cavernous in any way.  It even has the whirlpool tub I've longed for (I love to take baths, even in our tiny standard tub here, so I'm excited!). Since I am prone to guilt, I am glad the Lord has really made this easy and smooth, repeatedly answering my prayers to make it obvious whether this house was for us.  I am comfortable moving ahead with this.

And in other great news:  pending the results of inspections, we have a buyer for our current home.  We got the offer within 6 days, an encouraging fact.  So we'll see what happens next!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Fresh Start

After a wonderful weekend away at a dear friend's house (the only place all 6 of us are welcome for the weekend!), I am ready to start a new year.  This year I am focusing on two main areas: contentment and self-control.  I plan for this blog to be a journal of my progress in both areas.  As of yet, I have not told anyone I know of this blog nor invited anyone to read it...because I plan on being pretty transparent about my thoughts and feelings, and I'm just not ready to "share" with those I know in real life...yet.  I am sure that day will come, though.

Today I did a devotional  from this book by Lydia Brownback:
Product Details
Contentment: A Godly Woman's Adornment


and right away I gleaned a nugget that really spoke to me about this journey I am on:

"Our unhappiness does not spring from what we lack.  it springs from our desire for what we lack."


I feel like all my life I've wanted more:   a bigger house, more stuff, more friends, more children, more...more...more.  My goal is to become content with where God has placed me right now, with no looking ahead to what He may have for me later.  As the author so eloquently states, "Happiness or contentment comes from where we look and what we believe, not from what we have."  Amen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Angry Mom

So often in my parenting I find myself impatient, unsympathetic and even downright ornery.  I so often forget that my children are amazing gifts from my Father and have a tendency to see them instead as interruptions.  How can I lose sight of the fact that, other than God and my husband, they are my number 1 earthly priority.  I want them to do more than know that they are loved...I want them to FEEL loved by me.  I want them to feel cherished and appreciated and the Mom they often get falls short of that mark.

Right now I am being challenged by this book:

The Five Love Languages of Children

I should admit here that I have never read Dr. Chapman's classic "The Five Love Languages", but I am aware of the concepts running through it.  This book is shifting my paradigm for parenting.  It's showing me that many, many of my parenting "techniques" are causing damage...to the hearts of my children and to my overall parenting goals.  My impatience and anger are worse than just counter-productive.  They are downright hurtful.  I want to stop.  I want to follow the Lord's lead in loving my children well, with grace and compassion and in an unconditional way.  My prayer is that He will transform my heart, increase my love for my children and deepen my dependence on Him.  I want my parenting to be a model, albeit an imperfect one, of the love that God has for His children.

While I have a long way to go, I have already begun implementing some of the ideas in this book and am seeing almost immediate results.  I highly recommend this book, no matter where you are in your journey as a parent. 

I am glad that life is a journey filled with second chances and that our God is the God of new beginnings...aren't you?