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!

Trust me…

I don’t have any cute stories this morning.  Well, actually I did have one, but I thought it would get me in trouble, so I’m skipping it.  If you want to hear it (and how it relates to this post), you’ll have to prove to me that I can trust you with it. 🙂  I may even show you the corresponding picture.

If you know anyone who has trouble trusting, the challenge is partially yours to help them. It’s impossible for people to build trusting relationships if we aren’t being trustworthy.  How can we be a trustworthy friend?

  1. Be kind and compassionate.
  2. Have integrity. Tell the truth. Keep a secret.
  3. Go deep. Know people well enough that you can almost predict their behaviors and responses. Healthy trust happens in sincere relationships.

It’s easy for someone with problems trusting to feel like they simply need to step out and trust people more with deep information, but in reality they need to learn WHO to trust. In fact, one of the biggest sign that someone has trust issues is that he is trusting people that he has no business trusting.

King Saul had serious trust issues  that sabotaged his relationships and eventually his reign. That’s what happens if you don’t have a trustworthy community, your relationships are seen with suspicion leaving no room for sincere trust. Eventually your calling with be stunted (if it even has a chance to unfold). It’s important to look at problems with trust as self-sabotaging rather than self-protecting.

Where does someone with trust problems start?

Trust in the Lord.

It sounds simple and perhaps cliché to you, but you have to see, admit, and surrender your fear to the Lord. It’s important that this comes first. Otherwise our other relationships will replace a role that He is meant to have. This is the cause of many problems with trusting others.

Second, start surrounding yourself with trustworthy people. If you don’t know if people are trustworthy, look for the signs listed above.

God desires us to find people with whom we can live in community—sharpening, comforting, confessing… sharing life. Let’s be that people! No more isolation. Let’s let the pain caused by others heal. Let’s try again.

Here’s the picture. You can guess the connection. 🙂

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Being a Friend… even when it’s messy

I recently went to a retreat with women from my church. There were lots of tears shed, chocolate shared, and connections made. We all learned that we need the pieces of each other’s stories to live the fullest life that God desires us to live…. It’s God’s design. I have recently been asking God to teach me what it means to be a good friend. Facebook, Instagram, kids gymnastics, school activities, packed schedules… so many things make it easy for real friendships to become drowned out. BUT, we all long for good friendships, don’t we? …Even if our issues or introversion cause us to push them away.

So how do we do it? How do we build Godly friendships? I found some answers in the story of David and Doug. Ok, it’s actually “Doeg,” but “Doug” is my American translation. …and the story isn’t actually about Doug and David specifically, but their roles reveal something really valuable. So here’s the story (1 Samuel 22) in a nutshell:

Doug is Saul’s chief shepherd. He follows Saul, not out of relationship or honor, but rather out of fear. In fact, his name means “careful” and “anxious.” Doug is the kind of friend that has to be manipulated and enticed in order to show his loyalty. Doug sees the priests gave David the consecrated bread from the temple and he tells Saul. Why does he tattle? Telling our of the wrong motive (aka tattling) is often times about gaining status, power, or favor. (1) Doug is willing to do what it takes to gain attention from Saul. After Saul confronts and condemns the priest of feeding (literally) the “rebellion.” He tells his soldiers to kill the priest and the other men in his family. The soldiers refuse to kill God’s priests. Doug is then told by Saul to do it. He turns around and kills all but one who manages to escape. The fleeing priest who survived the masacre finds David.

David comforts him.

And here is where David teaches me a thing or two about friendship. Listen to what David says:

  1. “Stay with me. Don’t be afraid.” The priest was probably feeling more alone than ever. David responded with compassion and tenderness. Being a friend means we are making sure we stay open with each other. We don’t ignore or detach from the “hard stuff.” We implore others to not run from the support friendship can provide. Intimacy can be scary, but on the other side of that fear is a treasure that can only come from being open and broken with each other So often we are looking for answers and quick fixes to our circumstances while ignoring the fact that the struggle is where we are often refined and strengthened. I believe this is multiplied when we process through in a community of friends. As we come out of isolation, the emotional connection with friends can lessens the effects of life’s trauma. (2)
  2. “The man who is trying to kill you wants to kill me too.” David may not have known what it feels like to have your entire family slaughtered, but he could identify with running away, with feeling like your destiny is far from vision, and with feeling like you are one step away from death. David didn’t pretend to know what the priest had just experienced, nor did he try to fix his problem or act like it was no big deal. David showed sincere empathy, and reached him with compassion. This was an eye-to-eye, “I’m in this fight, too” moment. He connected and pulled him higher. I’ve learned that my compassion will be substantially limited if I’m unwilling connect with empathy. Any compassion I show without chosing to connect with their pain, lacks depth and runs the risk of looking like pity.
  3. “You are safe with me.” A good friend will surround you in your time of need. We usually can’t stop the problems in other’s lives, but we can add perspective, and lighten the load in areas that need it. Genuine friendship will combine this with #1 and 2. Without creating a safe place and emotional connection, surrounding the needs of a friend can still lack intimacy. However, when combined, they are a powerful act of friendship.

 

What do you think it means to be a good friend? What do you struggle with? Ask the Lord to show you!

If you long to be a better friend, consider praying this with me:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for being the perfect Friend to me no matter what I am going through or how I respond.  Open my eyes to see the Friend you are, and the friend that you desire me to be to those around me. I want to love well. I want to build deep community.  Show me how to be who you want me to be.  Build my empathy and compassion for my friends so that I can love well.  Free me from fear so that I can draw closer to those around me. Help me to be a vessel of unity to the Body of Christ.  In Jesus Name. Amen!

 

  1. http://www.parents.com/kids/development/social/why-kids-tattle/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201006/stop-the-world-i-want-feel-safe