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.


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. :)


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


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!


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


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. :)


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. :)



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. :)


A Day of Silence for Newtown


and More Honesty

I don’t want last Friday to become a theme of my blog.

Because it isn’t about me…though it is where my heart is right now.

And I have to tell y’all the truth…I’m completely and utterly torn. Like, wake-up-at-4:30 a.m.-with-tears-streaking, torn.

In the dark, I whisper why‘s and how‘s and what-if‘s…all of those questions that should never be uttered because I know


And my sweet girl sleeps soundly in her room, and everything in me aches to lift her from her gonna-be-a-toddler-bed-soon crib, even though it’s the wee hours of the morning, just to feel her heart beating against my chest. How I would gladly sacrifice sleep and a less-tired day for the reassurance at that moment that she is alive and well.

I opt, instead, to tiptoe into her room, rest my sweating and shaking hand upon her chest, and wait until she’s taken a few deep breaths. Satisfied, I leave as quietly as I entered.

But sleep has escaped me and there’s nothing to do but lie there in bed and…pray.

I know my prayers aren’t meaningless and unheard, but how can a person feel that their words to God can mean anything in light of the magnitude of heartbreak enveloping so many lives?

It’s a question I grapple with as I lie there.

The household doesn’t stir for almost an hour an a half more; even the dogs are oblivious to my nighttime restlessness.

I talk to Him. About the families, about those aching. I pray for those I know personally who need extra strength or healing. I talk to Him about my dreams, about my hopes.

I give thanks.

Thanks that I have the blessing of a little girl who is the sunshine.

Thanks, too, for the shadows that preceded the sunshine, because they brought more beauty than I ever dreamed possible.

And in that moment, I remind myself…

Oh, what dark shadows are surrounding these lives right now.

But, oh, what complete beauty will come.

Weeping may last for the night, but joy…JOY…comes in the morning.

He’s promised us this, and so we can know and lean on this Truth.

Oh, Father, we anxiously await the day when You will bring that JOY. And until then, we lift these precious families to You, knowing that You’re holding each of them in Your strong and sovereign grasp.


Friday, Um…

My favorite Friday link-up is taking a break for the month of December.

I will miss it…miss my five minutes, miss my blog hopping to visit my writing friends, miss them hopping over to say hi, miss the topic being chosen for me.

Now the truth comes out. 😉 

So I was really trying to alliterate my title.

Many thoughts came to mind. Such as Friday…



…frustrations? (Sorry, out of the three, this one would have made the most sense today.)

But I don’t want to write about that at all.

So, here are my Friday thoughts…a sweet friend sent me some verses today that are definitely worth processing. :)

This game of waiting never seems to end.

When I think about it, life for everyone can be viewed as a series of events that leave us waiting.

Waiting to finish school…

…get married…

…buy a house…

…have kiddos…

…find that perfect job…

The list really never ends.

I joke that I don’t wait well, but the truth is that I really don’t.

I want to, but I so often allow my mind to race, my fears to set in, the worst outcome to become my reality…

That’s why I need to continually remind myself of this…

Do not be anxious about anything…

Words straight from Scripture. Somehow the whole NOT worrying thing must have been important for us to grasp if He put it there.

but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

God, do you know how hard it is to give thanks while I wait? Oh. Yeah. You do. You’ve already been there.

let your requests be made known to God.

Why is it that my first instinct is always to worry instead of pray?

He may already know my heart, but He still wants to hear from me. I feel pretty special knowing that. :)

But maybe my favorite part of all of this is the next verse.

And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

Amen. Amen. Amen.

God, I know I’m such a worrier…I let the what-if’s take over far too often instead of trusting in what I know of You…that You are faithful and have it all figured out. I pray for Your peace while I wait…because I know it only comes from You.

Waiting. Would appreciate your prayers. Hopefully I’ll be able to give you an update soon!

Hope you have a great weekend…thanks for stopping by!


Update on Taylor

Today, I believe in miracles.

I always have, but today? I really, really, really believe.

But rather than give you my take, I’ll just pass on what I know. :)

:) Taylor made it through surgery.

:) Though her tumor was wrapped around several arteries and veins, the doctors got it ALL.

:) Then, they biopsied several areas surrounding where the tumor had been, and ALL BUT ONE came back negative. The other one showed just a microscopic amount of cancer.

:) Four months ago, this little girl was diagnosed with aggressive, Stage 3 neuroblastoma. Next week she’ll hopefully continue her chemo treatments and kick the rest of this thing!

What an amazingly strong, beautiful little girl Taylor is.

What trust and unshakable faith her parents have demonstrated through this journey.

What a miracle-performing, disease-healing, awesome, powerful, sovereign God we serve.

He still does miracles, He still moves mountains.

And we saw that today.

Thank you to each of you who prayed…this family was covered in prayer today.

Praise Him.


Little Blessings (Pt. 52)

:) Laughter with my girl.

:) Perspective…and the insight that can be gained from a rough morning.

:) The chicken dance. (BAIS peeps, do you remember? ;))

:) What the house looks like after three hours of cleaning. (Since the girl is sleeping, we’re guaranteed it will look this good for another ten, too!)

:) Cozy blankets and chick flicks. (Guess what I’m doing tonight?)

:) Blog hopping…love reading my friends’ takes on life and all that God is doing.

:) Early morning 5k PR’s. :)

:) The gift of true friendship.

:) Anticipating a crazy-fun, downtown-5k weekend.

:) Prayer…and a Father Who loves us each so deeply. Please keep the Hall family in your prayers, especially tomorrow. (Tuesday.) I went to college with Julie and Randy; tomorrow, their youngest daughter, Taylor, who is not even two yet, will be having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her spine. This is a very delicate, risky surgery as the tumor is wrapped around arteries. Please lift up Taylor, the doctors who will be working on her, and her family as they trust God to heal their precious little girl. You can read more of her story here, and if you’d like more updates or information, there is a facebook group called Praying for Taylor. I know they would appreciate your prayers so much. Thanks!

P.S. Wanted to give you a photo…what a beautiful little girl. God holds her in His hands. :)


Just a Few Words

Long day.

Preceded by a night of little sleep.

This morning we crammed in three errands, a trip to the doctor for Mae, and a trip to pick up a prescription. Then we came home and kind of crashed. Well, crashed minus sleep. (Does that make any sense? ;))

My poor girlie is sick…thankfully I took her in right away and her doctor got her started on something to help. Deep cough, feeling miserable, difficulty sleeping…those things just don’t work for a toddler. It’s hard to see her like that.

If you’d say a quick prayer for Mae, that would be wonderful. :) Nights are the hardest…for the most part, during the day, you’d never know she wasn’t feeling well. (She’s kind of on a permanent bounce-o-meter…or something like that. ;)) She even played outside in the leaves with Sammy tonight. But when the cough kicks in at night, it just doesn’t seem to stop.

Tomorrow is going to be a take-it-easy, stay-at-home day…hopefully it will help.

Seeing my kiddo sick and miserable makes me so sad…praying that this doesn’t hang on too long.

I’m off to get as much sleep as I can…from the couch cushions we put on the floor of her room…there’s no other place I’d rather be tonight. 😉