Lessons from MOTTTS (Mothers of Tots To Teens)

Being the mother of 2 very strong-willed children isn't easy.  

I have my ups and downs when it comes to parenthood and today was one of those days...  I decided it was good and honoring to God to be intentional about parenting with grace, patience, and reliance on Him.

This morning I had the privilege of attending the last MOTTTS meeting of this 2011-2012 school year.  
I am ALWAYS in awe of how real these ladies are.  And how God shows up weekly, faithfully, during these meetings.  God has used this group of ladies to teach me, challenge me, and encourage me during the most difficult times of my transition here.  There is no doubt that I am striving to be a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, neighbor, and sister in Christ to those around me, all because of the work God is doing in my life.  
So, this morning, being the last meeting of this school year, we walked down memory lane and reviewed the book (Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl) we studied this year, as well as shared some of the ways God stretched us this year, to become more than just a Bible study girl :)  We laughed (A LOT), we cried, we remembered, and praised God together.

Since I didn't share it during our meeting (I wasn't prepared to share... for some reason I had so much in my mind and was trying to be attentive to everyone else in that room), I thought I write them down here.  Besides, this is my blog and I can write/share whatever I want to, right?

Ok, lessons from this past year's MOTTTS meetings:

1. I am not equipped to handle other people's stuff... the good and the bad.  One of the things I learned was that I am not to covet other people's stuff... schedules, personalities, gifts, material things, relationships, etc.  God knows exactly what I am able and equipped to handle.  
2. My "uglies" come out and I am called to PRAISE and BE THANKFUL.  I get angry.  A LOT.  I get frustrated, irritated, short, mean, harsh... you name it.  I get IT.  It can happen in the morning, afternoon, or at night.  I get angry at my children, my husband, my family, friends, any random person who might cross my path that particular moment.  WHY?  Why do I do that?  My heart is not right with God when I forsake my times with Him.  I already know that I completely depend on His mercies, daily, so I can tell that when I'm angry, it's only because I denied and refused to be in His presence.   So, when my "uglies" come out, I am called to get on my knees and praise God for who He is and who I am in His eyes.  
3.  I was challenged to be a vessel and source of encouragement to those around me.  SO, when I hear someone share that they're going through a tough time, or if I sense that someone is in need of an encouraging word, I DO IT, right there and then, OR, by sending them a card.  I am committed to carrying that out for as long as I can.  
4.  God is preparing me now, to accomplish His purposes for my life in the future.  All I need to do is focus on Jesus and keep moving forward... one step at a time, one day at a time, one challenge at a time.  
5.  I'm not JUST a stay-at-home-mom.  I am the "manager" of my household.  

I'll need to get used to NOT going to MOTTTS every Thursday morning during the Summer.  
But I am looking forward to what God will do in all of our lives while we're apart.
So, ladies...  have fun!  
Be kind.
Be faithful.
Enjoy your children daily.
Enjoy your time with God.
Eats lots of chocolate covered strawberries (or pineapples... yum!)
Crave Jesus.
Love your husbands.
Dance with your little ones!
It's ok to be silly! :)

Our 2012 Garden: The Beginnings

Our 2012 garden is well on its way of a very productive season.  

Joel already tilled, fertilized, and planted some of the cold crops: peas, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, radish, spinach, and potatoes.  
And this weekend we'll be putting in the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and sweet potatoes.
Then Joel will work on the corn and green beans.
I wanted to post some of the early pictures, so we can share the beginnings of our 2012 garden with you guys.

Here's our bare garden back in March (when my family was in town).  Our grapevine was still "dormant".

Oh, and here's the before and after views of the grapevine.


Lettuce (and peas and carrots... oh my!)


... and broccoli

So... I'll keep everyone updated on how our garden progresses.  

We've already enjoyed lots of lettuce, radishes, and spinach (which is already all gone!).

We're so thankful that God's blessed us with good weather, good soil, and a hard working gardener (aka. Joel) :)

50 Random Facts About Me - Part 2

It's been over 2 years since I posted my first "50 Random Facts About Me" entry here.  
I thought it would be fun to do another one... 
So here it is:

  1. I was born and raised in the city, but now live and love the country.
  2. I miss living by water.
  3. My daughter is a replica of me when I was younger.
  4. I love baking with cinnamon.
  5. I’m over Starbucks coffee.
  6. I get a haircut every 4-5 months (instead of 10 weeks like I used to).
  7. I’ve learned to appreciate quietness over busyness.
  8. I’m in my 30s.
  9. I often go grocery shopping after 10pm.
  10. I dip pretzels on peanut butter.
  11. Crunchy peanut butter and Nutella = a winner every time!
  12. I don’t get the obsession with Bieber or Taylor Swift.
  13. I don’t swim too well.
  14. I have a “thing” for left-handed people.
  15. My son eats with his left hand, but throws with his right.
  16. I envy extremely creative people.
  17. I’m wearing hot-pink/magenta nail polish on my finger nails right now.
  18. We own chickens and eat lots of eggs around here.
  19. I tend to sleep on my right side.
  20. I’ve developed an addiction to YouTube.
  21. I read The Hunger Games in 2 days.
  22. Online shopping is one of my weaknesses.
  23. I miss working.
  24. I love the Bible.
  25. My sister is married to a twin.
  26. My brother is married to a runner.
  27. My youngest brother is a racer.
  28. My husband owns tractors.
  29. I’m always on the lookout for healthy and yummy snacks.
  30. I love getting random packages in the mail.
  31. I wish I had more penpals (message me if you’re interested).
  32. I collected Sanrio stationary and stickers when I was younger.
  33. I take hot (not warm) showers.
  34. I like anything with coconut.
  35. I have yet to find a good and wholesome TV show on prime time tv these days…
  36. I own the series finale episode of Dawson’s Creek on DVD.
  37. Psalm 16 is one of my favorites.
  38. I like to read.
  39. I have good neighbors.
  40. I miss taking the bus to downtown Seattle.
  41. I made new friends this past year.
  42. I’m extremely ticklish.
  43. I don’t like carbonated drinks.
  44. Sometimes I crave donuts.
  45. I’m still hoping to get a Kindle Fire with my Swagbucks (I’m over half-way there!).
  46. I get impatient easily, but I’m known for being and appearing ‘calm’.
  47. I was 24 when my father passed away; he was 59.
  48. The day before I was to move from Seattle to Chicago, my car was stolen.
  49. I almost always order the same thing at Red Robin.
  50. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
I'm tagging you!  
What are some random facts about you?


Did I just take a 2 month hiatus??  

Life happens when you're busy doing other things...
So I've heard it say.
I miss blogging.
I miss sharing my thoughts with you all.
I miss the interaction I have with those of you who take your time to comment...
... or those who simply stop by to say hello.
So much has happened these last couple of months that I would be crazy to try to summarize them into one single post.  
So I decided to just... keep moving forward.  
That's right.  
I'm doing well, and God's been awesome!
There were some changes around here, but overall... God is FAITHFUL and full of grace and mercy.
I am seriously committing myself to blogging again and MORE often than before.  
I'm cleaning up the clutter, pruning the bad, creating space for the good, and sharing them with you all!
It's good to sit down and type away... 
So here I come!