Laser Tag Set for $25

Keep the kids moving and entertained with this laser tag 4 pack for $25 <– nearly half off! They seem to have great reviews! Click here to order(this is an affiliate link, meaning I may collect a small commission), and use code 4PACKU9G at check out for the discount!

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Nike Hoodies for less than $20!

Just purchased a hoodie for my main squeeze from Nike…  Use the code SUMMER20 for an extra 20% off AND sign in to your Nike+ account for free shipping!  Scored this hoodie for $19.97 shipped! You can find it here!  What great timing with Father’s Day right around the corner! There are other deals to score with the code if you peruse the site’s sales.  🙂 Let me know if you find any other great deals!

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Cliff Gazing vs. Trail Blazing

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Recently my husband and I hiked the Flatirons outside of Boulder, CO.  It’s a beautiful area, and the hike didn’t disappoint.  The Flatirons are a series of rock formations that are tall and steep, but their are trails that lead to different vistas and through the backside of them.  However, on a nice day like the one we hiking on, you will see skilled climbers with their gear climbing the face of the rocks.  We also saw one brave soul free climbing the face of a huge flatiron.  I was continually looking for him during our hike to be sure he hadn’t toppled down (#mommaduty).

There are so many things in life that face us like a flatiron: relationship difficulties that seem impossible to work out, financial mountains, depression, or a calling that seems out of reach… the list could go on and on.   When we are faced with these problems we think we can’t overcome them without a specific set of skills (or a helicopter).  This is why so often we just stare at the giant “obstruction” and wait and wait and wait for a miracle to drop into our laps. Because how else will we make it through? Fear can paralize us, doubt can plague us (“This can’t be God I don’t have that equipment or skill.”), or depression can sink in.  But what if God called you to the top another way…

I completely believe in God’s miracle working power in the midst of our struggles, and I love it when He breaks in to this fallen world in amazing, inexplainable ways with power and might– but sometimes there’s a different way. It’s a trail that not only changes our position, but changes us in the process. The Bible says that God has given His believers everything they need to live this life he has given us. It says in 2 Peter 1 that as we hold on to that promise God desires to add to it in the waiting.

When Seth (hubster) and I hiked the steep, high altitude trails, even though I could do it,  I wanted to give up multiple times.  We had very little water, I was incredible out of shape, and was suppose to be on a  getaway to “relax.”  However, I knew that if I quit I would miss out on seeing the gorgeous view at the top. Not only that, I would leave feeling defeated instead of feeling the empowerment and victory that I knew were inside of me.

You see often times there is a path for us that requires us to look closely. It requires us to work patiently. It forces us to trust that the destination that we can’t always see really is at the end.  But this path unlike the direct one provides so many other valuable gifts along the way.  Some gifts mentioned in 2 Peter are knowledge, self-control, and perseverance.

Do you have a mountain in front of you that seems insurmountable?  I would challenge you to hold on to the promises the Lord has given you. Ask Him what steps you can take (even if they look like baby steps or backwards steps) to move towards freedom and healing. There is a mountain top waiting for you in this life or the one to come. There is no better place to be than journeying with Him. That journey is a gift to us that I pray we see, and embrace.

Blessings.

Mac ‘n Cheese Deal!

Unless I’m on a GF kick, mac’ n cheese, chicken nuggets, and a side of green beans is a regular lunch around here.  Our go-to is Annie’s. It has less weird ingredients than the big name mac ‘n cheese company, but is a quick and easy “go-to” that my kids beg for.  Right now if you go here (This is an affiliate link, and I may get a tiny commission if you use my link. Thanks!) you can score 12 boxes for less than $10 shipped if you are an Amazon Prime member!  Just clip the $2 coupon, and there you go!

 

I don’t normally post these types of posts, but I figure if it’s helpful to my “Dwelling” maybe it will be for yours too!

Blessings!

Let’s Be Honest #momedition

 

#LBH, I sometimes still have the clothes I slept in on and don’t notice until dinner.

#LBH, If I *know* that I’m not going to see anyone/go anywhere, I may not brush my teeth.  Because brushing my teeth just doesn’t come to mind.

#LBH, I rarely mop the floor since I’m constantly cleaning up spills.  The floor is constantly being cleaned one spot at a time.

#LBH, The pile of laundry on my bed, the one I put there so I would “have to” fold it before I go to sleep,  I’m probably going to push it into laundry baskets *again* tonight. (I did fold one basket full, so it’s not a total fail. …and rewarded myself with an ice cream sandwich)

#LBH, I *did* buy a Beachbody workout dvd set that has been sitting in my top drawer calling to me… and I continue to tune it out.  Baby lifting, climbing 2 flights of stairs, squats… Yeah, I do that. #notmyseason #seasonofexcuses

Being a mom can offer so many opportunities for guilt and poisonous comparisons. Especially, in a world of chopped and cropped Insta pics blaring at us.  It takes an intentional strength to decide to focus on one Voice, and #youdoyou.  Here are tips that are helping me do life better in this season of diapers, toddler emotions, laundry piles, and block towers.

  1. Know me.  I’m not talking about as a daughter of God, that would be foundational. I’m taking about me being the unique expression that God created.  I know I’m a verbal processor. I know I’m outspoken at times. I know I like to wear neutrals. I know that I will always do things I regret with my hair (because, well, it will just grow back).  I know that details are not my strong suit.  I know relaxing for me is finishing a craft, blog post, or spending time alone.
  2. Know me in this season.  We can’t expect who we are to look the same in every stage in life, so we must know how to adjust without losing who we are.  Again, foundationally we can always be secure because we are always safe in the Hands of God no matter what life looks like, BUT if we want to live feeling fully alive, it’s important that our unique expression is active. For example, I enjoy fashion and dressing well, but there are 8 in our family.  #LBH, that’s a lot of people to cloth.  I’ve found that I can still express this side of me by having a couple nicer pieces that I can wear when I have somewhere other than the grocery store to go, and the rest of the time, I rock my Target t-shirts and stretchy pants (don’t be hating).  I enjoy crafting and DIY, and doing these things add happy and rest to my brain which often tries to get weighed down by my child’s behavior, or all the dishes and laundry.  So, sometimes the dishes sit in the sink, and I draw or play with wood.  I cannot spend my day on a project, or spend a fortune at Anthropologie, but I also don’t have to have a pity party or pretend it’s not important.  Being flexible and resourceful is a huge part of this.
  3. Keep your idea of “working hard” realistic.  It would be easy for me to beat myself up because I don’t have every closet organized, or because I don’t have the mountain folded every night, but I have to be realistic. Did I work today. Heck yeah!  I helped the kids get ready for church, did dishes, changed a LOT of diapers, folded (some) laundry, made meals, made snacks, washed clothes, cleaned up the kitchen, gave baths, cleaned spills, held babies, kissed ouchies, chauffeured, counseled kiddos..  My point is, just because I haven’t done everything I want to have done doesn’t mean I’m not working hard.  Life with always have chores, so chose what really has to be done wisely.

There will ALWAYS be stuff to do, so make time for the fun stuff, and don’t let the perpetual tasks keep your from relationship, following your passions, and serving those around you. God wanted your individual expression now… Not when the kids get to college. Not when you land that perfect job… Not when you finally know it all and have that perfect body… Today.  Refuse to live life as a slave to your to-do lists and imperfections! Live LOUD!

Springtime

dew-droplets-flower-94847Spring. It’s wild. It’s unpredictable. It’s nearly May, yet outside it’s blustery and snow is blowing around. Yesterday I was coloring with sidewalk chalk, enjoying the sunshine with my kiddos in nearly 70 degree weather. We like to say that our geographical location is crazy when spring hits, but I don’t buy it. In every region I’ve lived spring has been odd. We also like to appreciate spring in theory, but when it comes there is constant banter about how frustrating the weather is.

This crazy weather has reminded me of the “Springs” we face throughout the journey of life. Seems like when we walk out of a season where God has been doing deep work in our hearts it can feel a little like spring. Our confidence is tested. Our new thinking is in tension with the old. We can act a little… unpredictable. Cognitive dissonance, the difference between the truth we are now aware of and the habitual behaviors we have walked in, can cause us to feel and act awkwardly. You can see Summer, but Winter is still trying to hold on…

So I’m writing this to those of you whose hearts are turned toward the Son, and are going through an emotional “spring.” Hold on. Hope despite the struggle in your soul get to the sunshine. Embrace the chaos. It’s a good place. It’s the place between your order and God’s better order. You can chose to bemoan the transition, worried that others probably see your personality and confidence struggle as you embrace new realities, or you can chose to embrace it, trusting that God is working for your good and that He is cheering you on… because he is passionately cheering and guiding more than you may realize. He’s cheering for the authentic you to stay strong and wait. Wait for it… The season *has* changed, and full manifestation of your breakthrough is just around the bend. He likes messes (He formed us from mud). Embrace what He is doing in you and don’t be hard on yourself.

He doesn’t despise the wild.

He doesn’t hate your unpredictability.

He sees what’s ahead, and His eyes are on you with joyful anticipation.

A Real Life Mom’s Take on Spiritual Disciplines

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The Spritiual Disciplines. I love them, but sometimes I feel like I love them the same way I love the Jimmy Fallon Show.  I love to watch, but our relationship is less than consistant.

Take for instance, silence. A few days ago our adorable baby boy woke me up at 4:45 (one of the reasons God made babies cute: so you can still be sweet to them when they wake up crying at the wee hours of the morning). I had just listened to an inspiring podcast the previous day by Pete Scazzero on the spiritual discipline of silence. As a mom of six under 10 (4 of which are under 5) this discipline usually seems the most daunting. Nevertheless, this morning, in the early hours, I had a great idea in my delirium. This is a great time to practice silence.  5 minutes later: Zzzzzzzzz. Ha! Next time I’ll have coffee first!

Then there is fasting. I love fasting. I have never regretted a fast. However by the time 10am rolls around I’m ready to tear my bath robe and put the fireplace soot on my head.

I guess my point is, my flesh is still very alive and very much a pansy.

I joke. I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking, “I feel you. My heart is willing but my flesh is weak.” There may be others who have a grace for these disciplines and you’re saying, “What’s the big deal? There’s a reason it’s called a ‘discipline.’ And you could use some.” To all of you I would say, YES. Just a hardy YES.

I remember a time as a new mom feeling so overwhelmed and like time ran me rather than me running my time. It was all I could do to find a few minutes to pray in the shower. God didn’t look down on me, or distance himself from me in that season. Being a mom is emotionally and sometimes physically draining, and we are flesh. When we are down and out, we don’t want another thing to do. So my challenge is to the mom’s out there who are struggling to connect with the Lord, or sometimes struggling to even want to connect. Sometimes you need to deal with a “deeper” issue, but often times the enemy is taking your tired, worn out self, and having a hay day with it. Here’s are some steps to walk past it:

  1. Ask God for help. In Him we live and move and have our being, and it’s by His grace that we get anything done. He delights in your asking, and He delights in answering.
  2. Don’t feel overwhelmed by what you feel like you “should” be doing. It’s a trap.
  3. Don’t feel like you can’t do anything. The enemy would love for us to follow our feelings until the day we die. We want to be effective and productive citizens of God’s kingdom, and He wants us to too.
  4. Just start somewhere. Tell yourself that instead of making mental lists in the shower of what you have to do that day, take 5, 4, or 2 minutes to pray. If you don’t know what to pray, just start thanking God for anything… eventually it will be so easy, and it will change your outlook. It will. Or tell yourself you will find one scripture to read that day, and you will think on it at different times.   Psalms is a great place to start, or the YouVersion always has a great “verse of the day” to encourage you.

The opportunity to grow and connect with God throughout our day is central to walking in the Spirit. While I may not always get in silence, and while my fasting may only last until noon sometimes (hey, it’s something), I can find time connecting by reading my word first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee. Sometimes this happens while a toddler is next to me eating breakfast and watching (gasp) Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Sometimes it happens when I’m doing dishes and tell I say, “Hey, Alexa! Turn on the Elevation Worship station, and make it louder than my children.” Sometimes it happens with an extra thirty seconds spent in the only room in the house I seem to find a moment of privacy. Then there is my new obsession, my planner (which has very little planning in it). It’s where I jot down encouraging and challenging things that I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me (and add cute stickers and colorful washi tape <-I’m certain God loves washi tape too).  I feel like I’m the most connected when I find multiple ways multiple times a day to intentionally connect with God.

The spiritual disciplines are a great tool for us to submit our day and our lives to the One we chose to trust daily. I feel the enemy loves to make us feel one of two things, A. I’m not doing enough. B. I can’t do anything. These feelings can only be remedied by actually connecting to the God who loves you in this moment more than life itself . Only He can help us balance our lives. Be encouraged not condemned, mamas! This job is tough. These little unpredictable balls of energy are No. Joke. Take heart! It is God’s “divine power [that] has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3).”

Blessings and Grace!