Wandering Home

Wandering Home final 2

I had determined that so much time would not pass before I wrote again, but six months happened anyway.

Six months of life and joy and ups and downs and all the things that come from what happens when less and less time is spent at a keyboard.

I miss it, often. Most days, really.

But I also see the gift in giving myself the freedom to breathe away from screens and, instead, sit on the floor and play with bristle blocks. I didn’t even know they existed until my little boy came along.

Somewhere in the last six months…

…we went from first to second grade.

…we went from seven months to thirteen, six to seven, 38 to 39, and someone, who shall remain unnamed, found his 40’s. 😉

…we went from fourteen years married to a milestone. 15.

…we laughed and cried, fought and rebuilt, hurt but chose love.

…we built a thousand plus more memories.

…we turned a two bedroom to a working-on-becoming-three-with-an-extra-family-room thrown in there. Hello, awesome construction and MORE space. 😀

And so much more. (Including miserably failing at anything related to writing.) 😉

I’ve never been the type to stick my roots down. I think insecurity and painful childhood memories have a lot to do with that. When I actually did fall under the title of nomad, I reveled in it. The freedom to go and see and do…

And leave.

Yet, here we are, and the house at #127 has the deepest roots we’ve found so far. I’m not sure they’ll ever really be yanked up, and that’s oh-so-good.

And hard. Some days, really hard.

The July day we broke ground was the day my Indonesia heart broke a little, too. No one knew because I masked it with a big smile, but I knew that, most likely, an Indonesia life wasn’t in the plans for us anymore. My heart has always longed to return, somehow. Short-term, probably, but long enough to love again. But God has to move in all hearts, not just the emotional one.

And so, above dragging my family across the world and tearing us from a place we all love, I choose to honor God’s calling for us in this season. I press into the relationships and hang on to those that need a little extra hanging-on-to. They’re precious, and friends like this don’t walk into my life every day. I cover our lives in prayer because we always need it, but I think we all need it a little more right now. If that even makes sense.

I choose to invest, even on the days when it hurts; I smile when I sing a praise song because even though the act of praising is sometimes bittersweet, the God I’m singing to is unchanging. Always the same.

And we breathe silently and deeply, the kind of breath that catches in our throats because another year has passed…and we walk our girl to her second grade classroom, where she flits off and gets ready to fly just a little more. And tears pool in the corners of our eyes as we watch it all. But then the stories of recess and art-creating, of singing songs and learning math spill out of her at the pick-up line, and I know to the depths what a blessing this all is.

But my wandering heart is still learning to stay anchored to the One Who holds me.

And so I stumble out of bed every single morning, a bit earlier than I’d like thanks to the baby boy who enjoys those early hours. I sip a little extra coffee, find some time and space for my Father and what He has for me that day, and then she rises so we can really start the day. It’s routine…it’s our becoming.

The kind of becoming that teaches us, again, that no matter where we go, He is always with us. But the part of that verse I never see there, and maybe He just meant to imply it because we should already know it, is that wherever we stay, He’s there, too.

I’m finding myself again slowly, in the most close-to-Jesus way possible. I know he’s my everything, and so I lack nothing.

But sometimes I still wander.

Away from my blog, away from what I should be doing, and even, at times, away from Him.

I’m so, so grateful He doesn’t wander from me.

There’s a lot of life not shared here anymore…and I miss that part. I was half-joking, kind-of bragging to friends the other night that when it comes to words, I’ve still got it. 😉 But the truth is that sometimes He asks silence from us so He can quiet us and teach us more than we’d learn if we were making noise all the time.

So that’s our season. For now.

Seasons definitely change, and I don’t know what the next one will look like. But I do know Who tells every leaf where to fall.

And so I’ll wander a little bit more, looking for His next plan…but I’ll always wander back to Him.

I’ll always wander back to Him, because in the end, He’s Home.

Sig

On Seasons and Sleep…and Giving Thanks

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It’s been a long time. A really, really long time.

And I don’t know why this morning is any different from the other mornings other than I feel like there are some words. So I should write them, yeah? :)

Potentially it’s because I browsed facebook for all of five minutes this morning and dissolved into a puddle of tears twice because of Humans of New York and CBS. (Thanks, guys.) And then I watched a story last night, too…this one. And it made me weep because that’s just what I do these days, apparently. (Though…major tissue alert. Just sayin’ that right now.)

Maybe those tears are pushing the words out, I don’t know.

Or maybe it’s that the last two nights I’ve been out cold before 9 p.m. (Actually, the first night was 6:30. SIX-THIRTY, y’all.) Clearly I’m catching up on sleep. This is sort of funny, but I fell asleep in my puffer vest and leggings last night…the night before it was in my jeans and hoodie. Who needs pajamas?! 😉

At any rate, it’s not even 6:30 a.m. 7 a.m. and I’ve already had two three (and a half) cups of coffee and am considering stock in Kleenex.

So it might be that kind of blog post. We’ll see. But I haven’t written in a long time, and I miss it sometimes. So I’m guessing there will be a lot of words this morning. (You’ve been warned.) :)

It’s honestly been a random sort of existence lately.

I don’t so much remember this with Mae, but I’m sure it happened then, too. It’s just that with her, I never had to be anywhere. We never had to do anything. So our normal was whatever the day brought. With Mac…it’s different.

We have a first grader to keep up with…and she needs to get to school, be picked up, have her mama there for certain things. It’s all good and it’s all beautiful, but it’s changed the baby game plan I had in my head. The kind that looked like two solid naps a day, sleeping through the night…all that good stuff with which I was so incredibly spoiled with Mae. (But I’ve tried not too compare my kids. Too much.) 😉

The truth is that I’ve loved watching my daughter grow up, even though it’s bittersweet. Every day I take her to school, and my heart pinches and explodes at the same time…leaving her there. Knowing it’s right, but accepting that it’s going so, so fast. I mean, look at this girl! Seriously. So. Grown. Up.

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She’s such a cool person, in my incredibly unbiased opinion. 😉 She writes plays that make us laugh our heads off, she fills up journals at the age of six, she’s asked to “real blog” (though I won’t let her use her domain just yet), she’s rocking the big sister role, and she’s reading chapter books with her reading light, late at night when she’s supposed to be sleeping. She’s got such a tender heart, always praying for others and hurting when they hurt.

I don’t know God’s plans for her, but I know they’re going to be amazing. I just love this girl.

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And watching her be Big Sissy to this Little Man? Oh, my heart. (In a puddle all over the floor.) I was so, so worried about two kids, girl and boy, six years apart. And, yet…Mac completes our family…and these two. Just the best.

Baby boy keeps growing and changing because that’s what little boys do, and it seems like it’s already going way too fast. Flying. HOW is he four months old already?!  He’s rolling over and moving around tons, and I think he’s getting ready to crawl. OY. And, judging by the amount of drool he produces, I’m pretty sure that teeth aren’t too far off either. WHERE is time going? Ah, this face. Melting again.

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It’s Thanksgiving week, and I really love this time of year. It’s starting to get colder, which might not be my favorite…but a change in seasons always makes me stop and think about life and how there are always changes. Challenges. Sometimes pain. But a lot of joy, too.

On Saturday, fall-ish winter finally arrived. I (somewhat painfully) put the flip flops away and put on an actual coat as the temps dipped into the 20’s and 30’s…and I was forced to reconcile with the fact that my toes will now need to be covered for approximately five months. (Give or take. And here in the bi-polar Midwest, it will probably be give.) :)

Sometimes I gripe about change, but the truth is that I enjoy it most of the time. I like the surprises of life, and I love a good adventure. Sometimes change brings hurt, too…but I’m learning to deal with that. Just like I’m learning to put on a winter coat. Because…reality. I live in Illinois, and it’s November. 😉

Our last year has been full of change, for sure.

Sometimes I look back and am amazed we survived. Or, me at least. 😉 A year ago, I’d just seen the positive pregnancy test, and a few days later I was already vomiting my guts out. (Sorry for that bit of graphic information.) And as the weeks progressed, it became apparent that, if baby was going to make it, I needed help. (And IVs and lots and lots of medication.) We were scared…there are side effects and unknowns that come with those things, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I was worried there would be something wrong with my baby boy. But God…He’s good, and Mac is healthy. Though I do wish he’d take naps! (We’ll save that post for another day.) 😉

macmommy-finalSorry for my freakishly large-looking hand.
Selfies will do that to ya.
😉

I truly have so, SO much to be thankful for, and no doubt, topping the list is a sweet little boy named Mac. My little family, my friends…many of whom ARE my family, a place to live, more than I will ever need, prayers answered beyond what I could have imagined by a Father Who loves me more than I will ever understand.

Life is really good, even if it’s really random.

And thank goodness there’s coffee to help survive the random. 😉

This has always been one of my favorite songs. It’s been around awhile now, but…I still love it. Maybe having a listen will bless your day, too.

I’m so thankful for all of you. Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Sig

Stepping Back

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I was so close to quitting it all. SO close.

Sometimes life has a funny way of telling us that’s the best thing, right?

Things were getting overwhelming and I felt, often, that I struggled to even keep my head above water. Between being a wife and a mama and now a NEW mama, six years later, who was re-entering the infant stage…let’s just say it was all becoming too much.

My house looked like a tornado had ripped through it, the dishes continually piled up, I couldn’t remember to actually finish a load of laundry in one day, and let’s not even talk about how many times I didn’t cook dinner…

AND? I was doing good to keep the kids (yes, kidS…plural now) fed and alive.

That’s how life felt two months ago when I messaged my dear friend, Alecia, and told her I needed a break from God-sized Dreams.

I was taking that oh-SO-much-needed break…but in the back of my mind, I wondered if it was a step toward being done with the site, too.

Between an extremely difficult pregnancy and, now, a brand-new baby boy…and trying to give everything I could to my family and life here, I didn’t feel like I had much to offer to other dreamers.

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, sharing a little about life lately and where I am now. I hope you’ll join me here:)

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Sig

June Favorites (But Not on a Friday) :)

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So I’m not exactly sure where June went.

But here we are.

My daughter is five…she’s been five for TWO. WHOLE. WEEKS. and a day. And we’ve also had possibly the craziest June ever which was topped off with two performances of The Lion King, where my girl was the uber cutest lion cub ever. And we all say, awwwww! Plus we celebrated my hubby yesterday and tonight there’s gonna be cheesecake with friends because…well, because birthdays. And friends. And cheesecake. They’re all really, really good and we like them in our house.

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But, sticking to the theme…and the fact that I LOVE writing this post, I bring you some of the faves for the month. :)

June faves final

Read

I didn’t read quite as much in June as I did last month. That could be because of the crazy of VBS and other things that occupied our time…and the fact that it’s now warm enough to swim and play outside every day. (Well, when it’s not raining. We’ve had PLENTY of that, too, this month.)

Row For Freedom: Crossing an Ocean in Search of Hope (Julia Immonen) This book was handed to me at Allume last fall by a publisher, and like just about every book does, it landed on my bookshelf for a few months. (If you’ve been to this conference, you understand the tons-of books-problem. It’s almost overwhelming to even know where to start.)

But a few months ago, I picked it up, read the back, and added it to my I-need-to-read-this, stack. I’m so glad I did. SO. Seriously…not only is the message behind this book powerful, it also made me want to go find four of my closest friends and convince them to row the Atlantic with me…really, any ocean will do. Or a large sea? (Some of you are looking for a place to hide right now, aren’t you?!) 😉

And while it’s not a book, this list of ENFP struggles is so worth the read. I mean, it’s worth the read if you ever want to begin to understand your good friend, Mel. 😉 It’s almost frightening how accurate most of the list is.

Watch

Well, I’ve been oh-so-patiently (not really) waiting each week for the new episode of When Calls The Heart. Still a favorite.

And, somehow, the first ten Love Comes Softly movies are available, on DVD, from Amazon for 13.99. I don’t know how, but I don’t ask questions. I watched the first three in a week and decided I’d cried enough, but when I have more emotional strength, I will venture to the next one, which I’ve already seen and just about wrecks me completely. (Who comes up with these plot lines? Seriously.)

And, yet, I still watch. Over and over because I’m me and because I apparently own stock in Kleenex.

Wear

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Hmmm. Well, my hubby gave me (let me buy?) an early birthday present in the form of a cute dress. (That you can see here because…well, I took this picture so late that I had to do a selfie.) 😉 It’s my favorite, at least for this week. I wore it a week ago on Sunday morning for praise team, and then I liked it so much that I wore it the rest of the day, too, even when we played three games of bags and frisbee that included running around. 😉 My sweet daughter asked me why I didn’t change clothes, and I just smiled at her. Because Mommy likes cute dresses.

And, also, my Fair Trade Friday Earrings of the Month about took my breath away. Seriously, these are GORGEOUS and my new favorite. I sometimes give my earrings of the month as gifts (because even I don’t need that many earrings) 😉 but these are mine. I wore them on Sunday with my cute dress.

It was just a cute day. 😉

And if you’d like to learn more about the Earring of the Month club, you can check it out here. I highly recommend it. It’s an awesome way to make a difference in the lives of women around the world AND to have a tangible reminder to pray for them. (Plus, cute earrings? Yes, please.) I think it’s the best $12 I spend every month. (The ones from this month are available here, too.)

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Listen

Last week I took my guitar to my voice lesson just to change things up a little. I’d been strumming through a few of my favorite songs, and my teacher and I ended up on Stronger.

I’ve loved the song for awhile now, but it took on a new meaning that morning. I told a friend later that sometimes I struggle with believing the words that I sing, and her response was something I needed to hear. Sometimes we sing them TO make ourselves believe them.

There are hard weeks, there are struggles, there are days when we fight to trust our Father…and I’m certainly no exception to any of these. I need the daily reminder that He is Lord of all. That He always has everything. Because He’s stronger than all of it.

So I hope you’ll have a listen to this one by Hillsong. It’s incredible and it’s meant a lot to me in the last weeks. (And if you’re anywhere near my back porch this summer, you’ll probably hear me belting it out at least once. Sorry about that.) 😉

And…I think that’s it, at least for this month. What are some of your current favorites? Anything I’m missing? (I’m sure there’s a lot!)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, my friends.

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: What to Give, What to Give

Find a way to pay it forward. You’ve been encouraged in your God-sized dreams by your sisters here the last few months. How can you spread that encouragement forward by investing in other dreamers? It can be small and simple or BIG and wild. Ask God what you can do and get creative.

I read this last week.

I maybe went to hide under the bed after I read it. Or, maybe I just thought about hiding. 😉

And then I spent several days tossing it around in my head…

What to do, what to do…

What to give, what to give…

And then I landed on a Great. BIG. HUH?!

Zero direction. God? I’m a little confused.

So I walk a little on the crazy-dreaming side sometimes. Big surprise, huh?! 😉 I tend to come up with grand schemes and plans in my head, plans that often are really a little too far out there. (That’s why I am married to T…he keeps my head from completely floating off into the clouds.)

I’m also a gift-giver which does not always go well with being crazyish…again, thank you, hubby, for keeping me grounded enough that I don’t give away our second car or an all-expenses-paid trip to Bora Bora.

Kidding, kidding. 😉

It’s just that when I read this, God said Give.

Give what, God? What do I possibly have to give?

How do I invest in another dreamer when I’m wading through what exactly my own dreams look like?

And then I just took some time to think about my dreams…what He’s doing with them, where (I think) I’m headed with them, and what might be the next step.

I’m in that season of waiting and searching and praying…I’m not exactly sure what comes after dashing out a 37,000 word rough draft. I’m not exactly sure how to pursue being a writer for a bigger blog when it seems that sometimes I can barely keep up with my own space and life. And I’m scared of Twitter, too…which seems to be a necessary aspect to anything these days.

There, I said it. Really. Any and all Twitter advice would be greatly appreciated. 😉

Anyway, as I was tossing these things around in my brain and in my heart, He reminded me of a few things.

Prayer and encouragement.

They seem small, but I think of the times that, out of the blue, someone has sent a text of encouragement or offered a prayer for me…those mean so much to a tired and struggling heart.

And maybe that’s where I am right now, too…I may not have anything wild and crazy or earth-shattering to give or share, but I can

Pray.

Encourage.

Love.

And maybe there was a gentle reminder, too, that my eyes don’t always need to be on me. Maybe in this season of waiting and praying, He’s asking me to look and see what I can do for others…

Maybe someone needs a friend.

Or a safe place to cry.

Or a shopping buddy…I’m really good at that one!

Or a chitchat over coffee. I do that really well, too.

I’m praying God will keep my eyes open to what those around me might need.

How are you doing, friend? Is there something I can pray for? Do you just need a word of encouragement? Leave me a comment or send me an email. I’d love to pray for you.

And, who knows? Maybe I’ll be giving away an all-expenses-paid trip to the tropics someday soon. 😉

It’s Tuesday! My dreaming sisters and I are hanging out at Holley’s space. Come by and say hello…we’d love to see you there!

God-Sized Dreams

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: How I Live

What’s a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?

When I first saw the topic for this week, I smiled and started singing a song.

One that, for reasons unknown to me, somehow made it onto my running playlist about a year ago and became a favorite. I especially love the chorus.

Turn up the music, turn it up loud
Take a few chances, let it all out
‘Cause you won’t regret it
Looking back from where you have been
‘Cause it’s not who you knew
And it’s not what you did, it’s how you live

“How You Live” Point of Grace

Though it may sound a bit flaky, I try to live my life in this way…with the music cranked up (sometimes literally), looking for the adventure in every step, and dancing throughout my days, too. (As long as there’s coffee. ;))

On a perfect day, I start with a run.  I usually do between three and four miles, but  I only did 2.4 this morning…on Monday nights I work out with friends, and our workout went late last night and was topped off by a frappuccino and a chat with my dear friend :), so I didn’t push it. I’m not Super-runner Woman, either (though I would look good with a cape, huh?!)…it’s something I became intentional about in order to shed those baby pounds and turned into something I enjoy.

When I get home from running (before 7 am) I get the coffee going and get ready for the day.

Key word here = coffee. I drink a ton of the stuff. True confession. But not black…always with creamer. Bailey’s Creme Brulee is my favorite. Mmmmm.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and it’s the job title I wear most proudly.

I’m mama to the most incredibly wonderful, spirited, sweet girl, Mae. Ever the non-napper, she almost always gives me a wonderful night’s sleep, so she usually isn’t awake before 7:30. (Unless we’re in time change mode. Ugh.) I love that it gives me time to hop through the shower and get ready somewhat before she’s up.

Once Mae is up, it’s the usual. Breakfast, sometimes-playtime, sometimes-Sesame Street. If she goes the tv route, I use that time to do some Bible reading and blogging. It’s when most of my daytime writing gets done. A lot of people start their mornings early. early. early. with spending time with God. I have found  that it  simply doesn’t work well for me.

I love Him.

But my mind is not coherent enough before my run to focus. Instead, I crank up a pretty sweet playlist of praise songs for my run and worship Him in that way. I love it, and I usually sing along. 😉

The  rest of our day varies, depending on the day. Some days we head to church for Bible study or to help with Feed My Lambs; the other days we’ll chill at home and  do art projects or read stories or play princesses or bake. (She’s a huge play doh fan right now, too.) We save errands for the afternoon, usually, because my ever-so-sweet girl mostly-dropped her afternoon nap last summer. (She takes about one a month.)

It’s a simple day, usually, and sometimes there will be more writing or catching up online interspersed with what we do.

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My main goal as a stay-at-home mama  is to simply enjoy her and be the best mommy to her that I can be. The days are already passing too quickly, and she’ll be off to preschool in just five short months. Tear. 

My hubby usually gets home around 5:30, and  we’ll spend a little time together as a family,  eat dinner, and then it’s off to bathtime and bed for the non-napper girl we have. :) She’s usually in bed and asleep before 7:30 which gives us some time to unwind. Sometimes T and I will play a game or watch a movie; sometimes we’ll do our own thing…me, usually write; him, catch up with his favorite blogs or watch a TV show. Fun fact: we really love playing cribbage. I know it’s an old-people game, but it’s fun! You should try it. 😉

Being a SAHM was not something I ever thought I’d be, but I love it. I’ve realized, too, that it’s something I should never take for granted. My husband works hard so I can be with my girl, and I know there are a lot of mamas who wish with everything in them that they could be home with their kids, too. I am extremely blessed, and so thankful I can spend my days with Mae. :)

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One of the things God has over-and-over convicted me about is my prayer life. I grew up always thinking that to pray, I needed to stop what I was doing, fold my hands, close my eyes, and talk to Him in that way. And while there are times for that, I try to make prayer part of my lifestyle…and I talk to Him throughout the day. Sometimes in a sentence, sometimes longer. While I’m washing dishes, vacuuming, or even changing a diaper.

I love that He hears me…and that He listens no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

I also love that my daughter is learning the value of speaking to her Father, too, no matter where she is in her day. Often, we’ll pray for Putra, our Compassion child…his picture is on our wall in the kitchen, and she likes to look at it. Mae knows that we can talk to God about him, and that we can do it while we’re playing princesses, too. :)

In relation to my dream(s) and pursuing them in daily life, my biggest goal is to place them in His hands each day and pray for opportunities. Right now, my sweet friend is reading through my book, and I’m good with that…in some ways, it’s a break I can use to reflect on what He’s asking of me and what could potentially be next. As for my other dream of writing for a bigger blog, I talk to Him about it…and just keep doing my thing…

…writing  in this space, which I truly love. I really do, even if the number of blog posts a week has dwindled a bit. (I’m trying to focus on content more instead of word count. Please don’t count the number of words in this post. ;))

I’m trying to be faithful with the smaller things…and trust that He’ll bring the big things when it’s time. His time.

More than ever, right now, I’m content with that, and it’s a good place to be.

Just living the life He’s created for me, following Him in obedience, and trusting that His plan will happen.

And it’s Tuesday! Hop over to the lovely Holley Gerth’s place to read more stories of what God is doing in the lives of my dreaming sisters! We’d love for you to join us. :)

God-Sized Dreams

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: Finding Balance

Hi, friends.

I’m gonna start by repeating myself. :)

I am just so, so incredibly thankful to God and blessed to be part of the God-Sized Dream team. Each day I am encouraged, inspired, and challenged to grow closer to my Father by these amazing women. I just love them…and hearing about what God is doing in their hearts  and how their dreams are coming true is just the best.

Ok, on to book-writing. :)

I’ve shared the dream. To take my Indo stories…the blessings and the tough stuff, the best moments and the things that made me cry, all of them…and put them into one place.

My book.

I’m already calling it that…even if I don’t have a publisher yet. :)

I’ve been going through Holley Gerth‘s e-book short, The Do-What-You-Can-Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better.

To tell you that this book has been a blessing is an understatement. I feel like God is using it to give me clarity, focus…and amazing hope and expectation for what He is going to do in my heart and life.

I’ve known He wanted me to write the book for awhile now, and in my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-pretty-much-every-day, dive-in-headfirst, mind…I guess I figured I’d just sit down and tap out the words…and Voila!

Book.

That’s proven harder than I anticipated. Maybe we’ll just call it a reality check for someone who tends to live with her head bobbing in the clouds. :)

Holley stresses over and over in this book…small steps. One thing at a time. It will happen.

I SO needed to hear that…and hear it over and over and over. (Can I blame it on the ENFP in me? ;))

So twoish weeks ago I sat down and started to write out the small steps…the shorter-term goals…I felt were necessary to reaching my goal. I was desperately needing to find some type of balance…because I’m not just writing a book. I’m also a wife and a full-time mommy…I love my husband and daughter, and they deserve the best from me…not my “left over” time.

So here are the goals I came up with…one step at a time. (I only had to technically share one or two, but hey…I’m an overachiever. Or, I just like to talk. :))

1. Write out a plan for the book. My book is divided into three sections. Seventeen shorter chapters per section. I needed a plan or outline…some way to put it on paper so I could see where I was heading, to keep track of progress, and to actually see my chapter ideas. I’m finding that, due to the length a book should be…I will probably need to add a few chapters. I don’t think coming up with ideas for that will be hard, so I’m encouraged. And I’ve (mostly) finished this part.

2. Have a somewhat-flexible writing schedule…aka: certain days/certain things. It is extremely out of character for me to even use the word schedule. 😉 But listing out what I should be doing on each day has helped me find balance. Balance between being a wife/mommy and a dreamer who’s reaching for a goal. For example…today’s Tuesday. :) My goals are to work on my post for the G-SD team, spend some time reading and commenting on friends’ blog posts and goals, spend lots of time with Mae, catch up on cleaning/laundry, make dinner, and work out tonight. No book allowed on Tuesdays, and it’s good. (Maybe I’ll share my schedule with you in another post. :))

3. Connect with my prayer buddy on a regular basis. This one isn’t too hard since we text almost daily, and I have chances to talk with her throughout the week. While I don’t want to overwhelm her (she has a life, too!) prayer is an important part of this journey, one that I sometimes put on the back burner. The truth is, it’s an amazing blessing to have a friend (and even, friends) who will pray me through this journey.

4. Surrender daily. Along with prayer, I’ve realized that each word I write needs to be surrendered to my Father…I want to give Him all of my book and all of my dream. This isn’t about me keeping a tight clench on the pieces of it I think I can handle on my own. It’s about letting go and trusting that He’ll bring something beautiful in His time.

Progress is slow on some of these, but I feel like I’m finding balance…something that has often been lacking in my daily life.

And since I should probably save something for next week, I’ll stop there. :)

Definitely smiling today…God is so Good, isn’t He?

And if you’d like to read more about what God is doing in the lives of other dreamers, hop on over here and check out the linkup! Truly, there are some incredibly beautiful stories here that God is writing. :)

God-Sized Dreams

Sig

Just a Diet Pepsi Chat…

Hi there, friends.

Just a sit-down-with-a-Diet-Pepsi and chat-with-you-all kind of night. :)

First off, I want to say thank you to all of you.

Your encouragement and comments in the past weeks (especially Tuesday) since I’ve started sharing more about my God-Sized Dream have knocked my socks off. Well, figuratively. It’s far too cold for even me to be running around barefoot. 😉

I have to admit that as I continue to write and share my heart, this whole book-writing thing gets scarier and scarier. There’s so much that needs to happen…and so much that I’m admittedly uneasy and nervous about. Extra reasons for me to grasp more tightly to my Father’s hand, huh? He’s got it. :)

But I want to keep most of my dream-sharing for Tuesdays…so I’ll save my most recent thoughts until then. :)

It has been quite the week in the Schroeder house.

Hubby is wrapping up his job tomorrow…the one he’s been working since we moved here in July 2010.

It’s very surreal for both of us…sad, yes, but there is so much hope for the future, and we’re extremely grateful for that. With his new job, I’ll be able to stay home with Mae and write…with the non-pressure to make some money if I would like. I’ll just get to be with my girl, work on my writing, spend time with friends and at at my church…that makes me really, really happy. :)

Like, REALLY, REALLY HAPPY!!!!

And I’m happy for him, too…this job is a blessing in so many ways, and we’re excited for this new step. :)

It’s also been a hard week.

I’ve hesitated sharing this…and I’m going to leave most of the details out here. Really…if you want to find out more, I’m sure it won’t be that difficult, but I want to respect the people involved.

There’s been so much heartache and sadness for friends from the church we left behind in Minnesota, who I’ve known for several years and Tobin has known most of his life. They are going through something incredibly heart-wrenching and devastating…their son was charged yesterday with killing his wife on Sunday.

It’s the kind of situation that makes me sick…both physically and in my heart.

Sick for the family and friends of this beautiful woman and mother.

Sick for the little boy she left behind.

Sick for his family and friends…not only are they left with so many unanswered questions and wonderings, but they’ve also lost a daughter-in-law, sister, and friend whom they loved, too.

I just ache for them…to the point where I’m not sure I can even put it into words.

Will you pray for this family? I know they need and would appreciate your prayers so much. I’ve been asking God to just hold them tightly and reaffirm His unconditional love for them in amazing ways. I just cry for them…they must be hurting so much.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

What a beautiful thing that, as children of God, we can claim this promise.

So thankful for that tonight…thank you for praying. Love to you all.

P.S. This song has been playing over and over in my head over the past two days. I love it and the Truth found in it. Have a listen. :)

Sig

Collisions

Is it bad to tell you that for the last week writing has been about the last thing I’ve wanted to do?

I especially felt guilty about that as I’d read the blogs of friends…they were all so inspiring and beautiful as each writer managed to take something profound from the birth of Jesus and apply it to life now.

I mean, it’s Christmas, after all. That’s when bloggers are supposed to pull out their best writing.

Not me.

And I suppose it’s not that way for everyone. It’s just how I feel. How I felt as I labored, literally, over each word in the last week, trying to pull beautiful out of seemingly nowhere.

And as I opened my laptop tonight, part of me just wanted to go to bed and do some more non-writing.

Which, I guess, is the opposite of writing.

Which makes me a genius for figuring that out? 😉

At any rate, yeah.

Life is just a strange collision right now.

In some ways, that’s not a diversion from the normal of life. There are always ups and downs, joys and sorrows, things that make me laugh and others that make me cry, times of being surrounded and times of loneliness.

I usually have no problem processing those things, but for some reason, it feels almost impossible to scribble out anything worth reading lately.

That’s why I post pictures like this one. Hey, when you have a cute little princess dancing for the camera, who needs words? 😉

But if I’m being honest, life is a mix of crazy confusion and big blessing right now.

I’m supposed to be in the thick of book-writing right now, and instead I’m wading through a swamp of doubt and fear and insecurity.

To be blunt…it sucks.

Not only does it just suck…but it’s suckING me down, slowly.

I’m questioning purpose, the right to dream, and if I’ve actually got what it takes to follow through. It’s discouraging, at-times depressing, and just feels…wrong.

It feels wrong to be even feeling those things when there are so many blessings surrounding me.

Because there really are.

Friends, family, community, church, sisters and dreamers…all good things. And there are so many more.

I know I am blessed, but I am also reminded that any journey toward a goal isn’t without challenges.

Most of you know that I’m writing a book with the goal of being finished by May. (I’m shooting for much sooner, but well see. :)) I could use prayer.

Prayer for focus…that I will keep my eyes on what I’ve set out to accomplish. And that I’ll keep them on my Father and what He’s asking me to do.

Prayer for balance…because I’m still a wife and mommy, and those two titles take precedence over “writer” each and every moment, as they should.

Prayer for wisdom…that God will guide my words and help me to speak Truth without being culturally offensive. (This is a big fear of mine because some of my writing deals with life in another culture.)

Prayer for love…that each word will be just that.

Thanks for reading my collision of words tonight. Blessings to you all as you close out 2012…can you believe it?! Time just zips by.

Love this quote I found today…maybe it will add some inspiration to your day, too. :)

Sig

A Day of Silence for Newtown

Sig