A Friendly Competition (sort of)

A Friendly Competition (sort of)

I’ve gotten a little obsessed with creating lip balm (you can see my recipe HERE).  Once I figured out how much fun it is to make and how easy, I went a little crazy.  Every time I have a free half hour I make a few more tubes of it.  I can’t stop…..I may need a lip balm intervention.

Because there was a genuine risk of us of getting overrun with all of my lip balm concoctions piling up in corners of my house, I decided to send them to my friends.  Everyone loves a homemade gift, right?  It’s been super-fun mailing them off to their new homes and hoping they are enjoyed by the recipients!  I have so many flavors at this point that I just close my eyes, grab two and put them in an envelope.  😉

If you’re wondering how to get some of my awesome lip balms for yourself, all you have to do is sign up to join my Young Living team, get your Premium Starter Kit and that’s it!  Easy peasy!

If you've been wanting to get some oessential oils, now's the time! I'll send you great gifts and you can help me win a friendly competition!


Did you notice the other goodies in the picture above???  The $20 VISA gift card and my favorite helpful reference book?!  I will mail those with the balm!  Woohoo!!!  That’s just the beginning….I also add you to my amazing Facebook support group and you can subscribe to my FREE text service where I send you weekly tips and help you feel inspired to use them!  I never want anyone to order a kit then put it in a drawer and not USE their amazing oils!

Here’s a quick overview of what’s in your kit, but you can go HERE to read about it all in more detail.

Thieves Vitality – your healthy lifestyle friend! It helps clean the air, boosts immunity, it’s simply amazing!
DiGize Vitality – supports a healthy digestive system, alleviates nausea and upset tummies, great for irregularity, relief from occasional heartburn.
Peppermint Vitality – keeps
your head happy, supports healthy digestive system, promotes proper nasal and respiratory function…it’s fantabulous!!!
Lemon Vitality – maintains every levels, promotes good digestion, detoxing the body. SO many uses!
Copiaba Vitality – supports body’s response to injury/irritation, is a driving oil (pushes other oils to work better!), is soothing from the inside out.
Purification – eliminates bad odors, it’s air-cleaning, great for laundry, feels amazing rubbed on the outside of the throat!
Frankincense – incredible for skin, immune system support, promotes feelings of calmness and balance, eases minor tension/anxiety, clears my mind (it was given to baby Jesus ya know!)
RC – contains 3 different kinds of eucalyptus, which are known to promote a healthy respiratory system, builds comforting environment
PanAway – so helpful! Helps with occasional head discomfort, everyday joint and muscle aches, and that…ahem….time of the month yuckiness.
Lavender – this is the “Swiss Army knife of essential oils”! Gives the house a springtime feeling, great for relaxation, is very calming, promotes healthy skin, it’s kinda incredible!
StressAway – exactly how it sounds. Ahhhh….. It’s all SO GOOD! Leave your email slow and I’ll help hook you up. You won’t regret it!
A diffuser – you don’t want to start your oil journey without a diffuser…they are such a boost to your home!
Samples, Sharables, and Bottles….oh my!

This kit is so well rounded that you should have everything you need to start.  Once you get going you will want more and I am ready to help you any time!!!  I love, love talking with my team members.

AND….for fun I have a little competition going with another oily friend of mine to see who can get the most new team members this month and so I am upping the ante.  I really hate to lose to this gal because she is a rock star.  So IF I beat her by getting the most new members, I will draw from my new July members and send the winner a package of the new Thieves Infused Cough Drops.  This is a product they just introduced at last month’s convention and I already know I don’t want to go through the winter without it!  I have ordered a couple of extra bags so we don’t run out!  If you think you might deal with coughs or sore throats this winter you need to have these on hand!

This means if you join NOW then you will be entered to win the cough drops and I will beat my friend which gives me supreme bragging rights.  Help a sister out, will ya?

Help me win my competition with my friend and you wim too! Not only will you get your essential oils kitm, but you'll be entered to win a special prize!!!

This competition is all for fun, of course, but when you get your oils YOU are the real winner.  You’ll be setting yourself up for a new start with natural health and a chemical-free lifestyle!  And the other families that are in my Facebook group who are available for you to meet are incredible people….they amaze me every day!  And as far as I can tell, none of them are obsessed with making lip balm so you won’t be surrounded by the weirdness.  That will only come from me.

Friends, you are such a blessing to me every day and the reason I tell you about Young Living products because I want to bless you back.  They have changed my life and given me ways to deal with everything from coughs to mood swings to my introverted need to run and hide in a crowd.  I want you to experience the level of strength and support that I have!!!


Sign up HERE and you’re on your way to a better life!


If you have any questions, hop over to my Facebook page and lay it on me.  I am thrilled to help in any way I can!


I am not a doctor; the information I share here is only my experience from taking care of my own family.  If you have any health problems please consult your physician.  I recommend finding one that will support alternative solutions. 
Some Easy Reads for Your Spring Weekend

Some Easy Reads for Your Spring Weekend


As you head into your spring weekend, I have a few things you might want to peruse for some light reading.  Books are amazing, books are my favorite thing, I’d spend a weekend with a book as often as possible.  But sometimes I don’t have a whole weekend to spend in a hammock with a whole book, so these will serve as a momentary substitute until you have more time.  Some of these are articles I wrote and most are treasures written by people I follow and I want to share them with you…

  1. 8 Mother-Daughter Tips from an Older Mom – This list of 8 things I would share with moms of young girls is one you may want to bookmark.  Read it again when you’re struggling.  After 26 years of experience with raising daughters, many victories and many failures, I am happy to share this sweet list with you.
  2. No Screen-Time Until… – My friend Becky at Your Modern Family shares how her family handles screen time in her home and she has a cute printable for the kids to reference.  It’s super cute!  We are very tight about how much screen time the kids get, only at night after dinner with their ipods and the wii is once a week for 2 hours, one movie a week on Friday night.  But occasionally they will ask on a quiet Saturday if they can do something electronic and I can see this list being a great source for when to let them.
  3. When Motherhood Reveals Your Blemishes – This from The Better Mom isn’t about skin care, like I first suspected, but about having your weaknesses and fear exposed.  It’s a quick, easy read of encouragement and hope.
  4. When They Say ‘Be Yourself” They Don’t Mean Me – This is an older post of mine that I shared on Facebook last week to give people a laugh.  Sometimes we just need a time of getting outside our head and laughing at what could have so easily have happened to us.  Enjoy!
  5. Momma Are You Listening? – Be careful about this one…it’s ouchie!  Wendy over at Hip Homeschool Moms shares the sad truth about how we pay more attention to our phones than we do our kids.  I have a rule not to be on my phone at all when I am out with my family.  It is really hard (sad, but true) but I know it’s the right thing to do.
  6. Lastly, if you are looking for a whole book to spend the weekend with, all curled up on a lawn chair, be sure to pick up my book, “Mama Needs a D0-Over“.  Get it on Kindle and don’t wait to get started!

I hope you have a glorious weekend of refreshing and relaxing.  Be blessed!

6 Must Have New Books

6 Must Have New Books

This post contains affiliate links.

Are you a reader?  I love a crisp afternoon in my hammock with a good book!  Crisp is my favorite temperature.  If you like warm, then you can put your hammock closer to the equator.  Either way, it’s really about the book!

I have 2 book piles in my bedroom right next to each other.  One is for books I am waiting to read and the other is books I recently finished reading.  I like to keep the recently finished books nearby so I can refer back to them or loan them out.  Books are meant to be loved and shared!

Rabbit trail: That’s one thing I don’t like about the Kindle or digital audiobooks.  They’re super convenient, especially with all of the traveling I do, but they are not very sharable.  But if I didn’t have audiobooks I would not get nearly as much “reading” done, so it’s a tradeoff.

Most of the books in my waiting-to-read pile are either something that came highly recommended or books my friends wrote.  I have a lot of brilliant friends who write incredible books.  So I thought I’d share some of them as a recommendation from me to you to add to your own waiting-to-read pile!  I have read all of the books on this list and loved them, plus I do actually know fer realz these authors (well, a few of them have 2 authors and I only know one author from each of those books).  Like, I have met these gals in person and most I’ve talked with on the phone like teenagers do.  This isn’t like my relationship with Lysa Terkeurst where I think she’s my friend but she doesn’t know I exist.  These are my peeps.

Another cool thing is these are all recently released, so they’re fresh off the printing press.  You could be the first in your circles to read them and share.  Your friends will think you’re so cool to know the latest and greatest.  They would make wonderful gift ideas too!  Baby showers, birthdays, Mother’s Day, any old day you want to bless someone!



  1. Planted with Hope  by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore.  This sweet book is second in The Pinecraft Pie Shop series and it’s a darling story of friendship and community.  Get the first book too….reading them is like a nice, little vacation.
  2. Pressing Pause by Ruth Schwenk and Karen Ehman.  I just got this book and flipped through it and love the simplicity of it.  If you’re thinking you don’t have time to read a whole book, pick this up and just do a chapter at a time.  Each chapter is just 2-3 pages and very encouraging!
  3. The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson.  This short, simple read will be just the reminder you need to keep going.  Even if you’re not a homeschooler you can get a boost of strength from the book.  It’s like having coffee with a trusted friend.
  4. Triggers by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake.  I’ve mentioned this book to you before, and it’s worth adding to your list….especially if you struggle with angry responses.  I read this before it came out and was absolutely inspired by how many women this book was going to help!
  5. Raising Uncommon Kids by Sami Cone.  This is a great book focusing on how we model behavior for our kids….grounded in Scripture and very practical.  I loved it!
  6. Mama Needs a Do-Over by ME!  OK, so I don’t have this one in any of my piles, but I want to remind you that it’s available at most booksellers.  We all need a way to hit the reset button every once in a while.  I know you’ll enjoy it!

And because I truly believe all of these books are amazing and worth adding to your library….I asked each of these friends to give me one of their books to add to a bundle so I can give them to YOU!   And they’re all so kind and generous they agreed without hesitation.  I’ll even toss in my favorite essential oil starter guide for fun.  That makes this bundle valued at over $70!!!

Enter below to win over $70 worth of great reading material!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you win!

What Are Your Anger Triggers? (a new book review!)

What Are Your Anger Triggers? (a new book review!)

This post contains affiliate links

Anger.  It’s the number one topic moms ask me about.  How to control it, how to stop being so angry, how to be a happier mom.

So when my friend Amber told me she was writing a book about anger, I was thrilled!  It’s called “Triggers.” She sent me a copy to review and it is soooo good!  I love the way it’s divided into days so you can use it as a daily boost of encouragement.  We can all use a reminder of how God is using our challenges to work on our hearts.

Order the book Triggers for hope and encouragement!

And what a sweet message of hope and truth this book has!  I hope you will go today and get yourself a copy!

Order the book Triggers for a boost of hope and encouragement!

I would encourage you to read through it daily as it is written….one chapter for each day.  Gift it to your friends who need this beautiful message.  Read through it together!

Go HERE to order your copy of Triggers, or you can order it on Amazon by clicking the picture below…..

I highly recommend it!

The Summit is Like a Big Wad of Toilet Paper

The Summit is Like a Big Wad of Toilet Paper

The Summit….it’s like a big wad of toilet paper.

I mean that in the best kind of way!

Haven’t you been in a public restroom stall and you reach beneath the gray plastic holder hanging on the wall that’s supposed to contain a roll of toilet paper the diameter of an old 33LP (kids, that’s what we used to listen to music on before CDs or ipods were invented) only to discover that there is NO paper?!  There’s someone in the next stall so you tap-tap-tap on the wall and ask timidly, “Um, do you mind giving me some toilet paper?  There’s none over here.”

You hear the rattling of the roll rotating in the plastic holder and from under the divider comes her hand with 2 squares of tissue.  NOOOO!  I NEED MORE!!!!  But you just take it and do the best you can.

This is how so much of our interaction with others goes.  We are right there, next to each other, sharing space and time.  But our relationship is unsatisfactory.  “Hi, how are you?” “Fine, how are you?” “Fine.”  It’s two-squares, not sharing, not caring emptiness.

But then there’s that occasional time when, miraculously, from under the stall wall comes a giant wad of toilet paper so plentiful that you can probably leave enough extra for the next unfortunate soul who comes in.  Thanks to this stranger you have everything you need….she really understood and gave you all she could.

That’s what the Summit is like.  The women there give it all, love, joy, hurt, concern, sympathy, truth, grace.  The masks come off, we share our hearts, we are honest and open, we see each other and for the first time in a long time we feel understood.

Personally, I am terrible at chit chat.  I go to these big events or church or a party and I want to get in a corner with someone and dig into life and its messiness.  I want to laugh hard and cry the ugly cry and pray together and really, I mean really, care about each other.  But people don’t do that.  They hide.  We stay in our comfort zones and think we are safe.  But the truth is, it’s an illusion.  Let’s be real!  Let’s give grace!  I’ll share my toilet paper with you when you need it and make sure you have enough to give to someone else!

Ain’t nobody got time to drip dry.

OK, maybe this analogy is going a bit too far.

But I want you to really get a sense of what happens at the Summit so you will go next year and experience it for yourself!  We worship, we pray together, we let the walls down, we share our pain, we find healing, we get ready to go home changed.  Women last weekend testified that they had been able, for the first time, to let go of bitterness, confess secret sin, fall back in love with their husbands, feel equipped to mother their children, on and on each story humbled me over and over.

There’s a lot of laughing too.  I mean a lot!  In fact, my friends and I did a skit called, “Mrs. Homeschool Universe” and we took it to the extreme.  I can’t tell you the whole thing, but here we are finding out what the winner gets and when we heard that part of our prize was a whole week of uninterrupted showers we pretty much started to cry.

Those other 3 gals in the skit are the funniest people!  I had to keep from cracking up at their every word.

And they each are sharing on their blogs about their Summit experiences from last weekend.  Don’t miss their posts!  I’ll bet none of them even mention toilet paper, so they will be much more interesting.

Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler shared her “Top 10 Experiences of the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit
Heather at Joyful Socks Mom gives her “Why Finding My Tribe at Winter Summit Makes All the Difference” (Heather’s site is down right now, so check back!)
Connie at Smockity Frocks is sharing about “Winter Summit 2016 ~ Homeschool Moms’ Retreat

I also got to have two of my daughters with me, which was a double blessing!  They came to help serve the moms and I was just so happy to spend some of this time with them!

Aren’t they gorgeous?  Yes, I am blessed.  (and they both have blogs, J. Grace Pennington and The Epic Place)

Next year the Summit will be in Oklahoma Jan 20-21 and in Texas Feb 3-4.  Go register NOW!  You’ll get the best prices AND you can just put it on the calendar and start inviting your friends.  Like one gal told us all during a time of sharing, “I will never miss the Summit again if I can help it.”  She already registered for next year.  What’s stopping YOU?!

And be sure to book your room!  This year the hotel filled up and some of the gals had to stay at a different hotel.  The price is great, the rooms are all suites with plenty of space for at least 3 ladies and that keeps the cost low.

If you have a Summit story to share, hop over to my Facebook page and spread the news!

Do NOT Miss This!

Do NOT Miss This!

The one thing I look most forward to all year is coming up in a few weeks!  The Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit is everything I need to refill my tank, my worn out mom tank.

I am talking about hundreds of other women in the same place you are….tired, needing encouragement, many in struggling marriages and with hopelessness.  Even though I am a total introvert, I love this event and wouldn’t miss it unless God dropped a 2 ton steel beam in my driveway so I couldn’t get out.  And if it helps, there are lots of prizes all weekend.

The first time I went a few years ago in Oklahoma I was not sure what I was getting into.  I had been invited and decided to check it out.  It was a long drive, 8 hours, but I felt it was something I should do.  I can’t tell you why now….it was instinct.  And the first night I was like, “What IS this thing?!”  There were women from all walks of life, some dressed up, some dressed down, some in heels and others in denim jumpers with sneakers.  There was a sense of excitement and peace at the same time.

Then one by one onstage women in costume marched across being described by the announcer, there was Debbie Drowning and Peggy Perfect and Sara Sporty and Helen Hanging-On.  They were funny, but tapped into deep issues we all face as moms.  After that there was worship and I was hooked.  Women being real, speakers encouraging us, praise and laughter?!?!  SIGN ME UP!

It was that same year I grabbed the founder and told her I had to be a part of this.  I wanted to bring it to Texas and do whatever I could to help.  And here we are now about to host the third Summit in Texas!!!  Hallelujah, isn’t God amazing?!?!

This year we are doing a few new things, including a blogger dinner and time of fellowship.  Connie from Smockity Frocks, Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and I will all be there.  We want to meet you and spend time ministering to each other.  You can sign up for the dinner when you register. (the blogger dinner is only in Texas, but I will also be at the Oklahoma event!)

And at the Texas Summit we will also be doing a panel answering your questions.  Are you struggling with something?  Do you wonder how other moms do it all?  Have you reached the end of your rope?  Well, bring on the questions and we will do our best to answer them and let you know you’re not alone.  You can head over to my Facebook page and leave a question there.  We will answer some of your questions here too, so if you can’t come to the Summit, please go ahead and ask anything.

I hope you will consider attending the Summit.  I’d love to see you at either one, but the Texas Summit is near to my heart and I am hoping to bring a bunch of you with me!  And don’t tell me it’s too far because I drive 8 hours each year to go to the one in Oklahoma and I would fly anywhere in the USA to be there.

If you are worried because you don’t know anyone else going then I have a couple of solutions for you.  First, bring a friend (or 2 or 3)!  This is a great girlfriend trip.  Share a room and ride together and have a grand adventure!  Or, if that doesn’t work out you can consider me your friend to hang around with.  Even though I will be moving around a lot, I will make sure you meet some of the other amazing women there and help plug you in.

I have a $10 off code you can use, so be sure you plug that in when you register!  It’s PENNINGTON10

Here is my recap of the 2014 Summit.  You really don’t want to miss this.

Come join us!  January 22-23 in Oklahoma and February 5-6 in TEXAS!!!


Have You Finished Your Shopping Yet?

Have You Finished Your Shopping Yet?

The race is on to get Christmas shopping finished up in time to actually enjoy the festivities.  I am down to a few gifts in my Amazon cart…OK 26.  Yes, I have 26 items sitting there while I decide if I want to buy them.  I know I don’t want ALL of them, so I keep sifting through and culling more until I have that perfect stocking for each person.

Last night I sorted through what I already have for my stocking gifts once again, evaluating and making lists of what I need to finish up.  With so many stockings to fill, I have to keep it organized.  I have 5 large elfa mesh baskets in my closet designated for stockings.  These baskets are intended to be used as drawers, but I just set them on the shelf and they are perfect.  I labeled them last week while my friend Becky was here.  I used chalkboard tags from my etsy shop and Chalk Ink markers to put the names on the baskets using wire.  It’s 2 people per basket and I toss the stocking items into the baskets as I buy them.

That makes it easier to keep up with, but I still have to look through it all repeatedly and keep a list on my phone of who I still need a few things for.  I can’t seem to hold that info in my brain anymore.

As I was I looking through it all again (which means using the step ladder to pull each basket out to see what’s in there) I think I can officially say that I am down to needing just a few small things.

Which leads me back to my Amazon list.  That’s the way to go…..no parking lots to drive around in circles looking for a spot to park or inside the store to wait for the world’s slowest cashier, wondering if you should change lines, but you never do, you just stand there.

Yesterday I went into Walmart to pick up a few groceries.  I am a big fan of the self-checkout, no matter how much I am buying.  I like to bag the items myself and watch the prices carefully.  But I was buying gift cards and I wasn’t sure if you could do those in the self-checkout, so I begrudgingly went to a cashier to pay for my things.  It was like torture.  She was slow and careless and uninterested in her job.  I watched her try to scan one of the gift cards over and over and it wasn’t working.  If I am ever captured and someone wants to extract valuable information from me, all they will have to do is threaten to make me go through the checkout at Walmart and I will spill everything I know.

In order to avoid ever doing it again, I thought I would ask the checker if I could buy gift cards in the self-checkout, you know, ‘cuz silly me thought she would know the answer.  But when I asked she literally froze and just stared at me.  No response, no blinking, just staring.  It was like a comedy routine complete with a raspy voiced customer in line behind me yelling, “Hurry up already!”

I couldn’t help but giggle, which really made the scene complete.  I’m laughing, she’s staring blankly and the woman in line behind me is pounding on the conveyer belt telling us to move faster.  The checker finally mumbled something unintelligible and I didn’t press her to clarify.  I just made a metal note to get my gift cards somewhere else.  I will drive to Siberia next time if that is what is necessary to avoid that episode again.  And you can’t drive to Siberia.  At least not from Texas.

I think I will just go ahead and order my last few items from Amazon and be done with it.  There’s really no need to drag this out any longer.  If I get any more crazy ideas to give gift cards I can just give the person money instead because basically a gift card takes money you can spend anywhere and turns it into money you can only spend in one place.

Then I will be finished, although I always have that feeling that I am missing something.  Inevitably, no matter how hard I try, I bring all of the stocking stuff out on Christmas Eve to discover there’s at least one child who has next to nothing and I send James to the grocery store to get whatever he can find.  This is how, many years ago, we ended up giving one of the boys a plastic, fur covered cat that had some kind of battery operated breathing mechanism and when you petted it, its stomach moved up and down like it was taking long, deep breaths.  It was the weirdest thing you ever saw and in a bizarre twist became that child’s favorite Christmas gift of all time.

Thankfully, since we  are only doing stockings for the kids this year, I don’t have to wrap anything.  But if I did I would follow my friend Sara’s tips because she is the gift wrap BOSS!  I will be adding big bows to a few things that don’t quite fit in the stockings (Shhhhh!!!  Do not tell James because that is against the “stocking rules”), but that’s it when it comes to wrapping for me.  2015 will go down as the year I didn’t throw my back out trying to wrap the gifts.

So, how’s your week looking?  Are you finished with your Christmas shopping?  I’d love to hear about you and what you do the last few days before Christmas.  Hop over to Facebook and join in the conversation!

Have a festive week!


Sometimes I Fall Asleep at Target?

Sometimes I Fall Asleep at Target?

Last weekend my friend Becky from Organizing Made Fun came for a visit.  I just LOVE getting to see friends who are like-minded and we can have great conversations and challenge each other.  When I say we are like-minded, I don’t mean we agree on everything.  I mean we agree that the Bible is our guide for life and we can have fruitful conversations that will encourage us both to seek God and not the world.

There’s too much of that these days…. people seeking the world.  Man, oh man, it’s like the planet has shifted on its axis and we all got shook crazy.  I mean, the bashing and hating and being SO willing to criticize other people (almost always without the benefit of hearing their side of a situation) is pure cuckoo.

I can’t even watch the news.  It’s just glorified gossip and slander.

But now it’s Christmas time, so there’s a teeny reprise from the ugliness.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could be this nice all year ’round?  Although here in Texas it’s just too hot in the summer to be nice.  The cooler temps help.  A lot.

I am wrapping up my shopping this week and I will be so, so glad to have that finished.  In the past I shop all year for sales and I am finished before Thanksgiving.  But this year I did ZIP-NADA and now I am paying for it.  Literally.  The sales are OK, but when you’re forced to get it now and you’re too tired to go digging for a better deal, it’ll cost ya.

I was so tired yesterday that I fell asleep in a rocking chair in the baby section of Target.  I sat down in a very cozy seat for a sec to look over my list.  With this many stockings to fill, I have a hard time shopping for everyone at once, so I have to divide it into groups of 2 people and just think about those when I walk around.  After I’ve found what I can for them, I go back to my list and head all around the store again with a couple of others in mind.  In between rounds I check and see what I need next.  It’s a complicated and lengthy, but effective system.

In Target there are some very comfy chairs for, I assume, new moms since they’re where they sell diapers and car seats.  These chairs are so snuggly that I like to go sit there and check my phone.  So yesterday I laid my head back for a sec and wham…. next thing I knew I snorted and jerked awake.  It was probably only a few seconds, but long enough for me to have what felt like a sweet dream about Chris Hemsworth.


Speaking of Chris, his new movie coming out about a whale attacking him and him getting lost at sea, etc.  Yeah, I have no desire to see that.  Chris is just too pretty to be killed by a whale.

When I woke up in Target I decided to stand up before someone noticed me sleeping and stole my purse or worse…. took a video of me snoring.  Can’t you see it being shared all around by the haters?  I’ll just end the suspense and tell you upfront, it’s not pretty.

Tomorrow begins the task of me taking the kids out to get their Christmas shopping done.  This is the dreaded portion of the season.  They have better taste than their wallets allow and I am constantly tempted to offer to pay for some of their purchases, which my husband is not a fan of.  I know, I know.  They should stick to their budget and no one really cares what the kids buy them and it is a better lesson for them to get what they can afford than me jumping in and giving them money.  But they’re so adorable with those puppy dog eyes trying to find the perfect thing for their big sister.  I can’t stand it.

Our level of activity right now is much more than I like and certainly more than my sleep patterns prefer.  I’m up really early most mornings with errands to run and out every night to church events, parties or get-togethers.  I think I will be home 2 out of the next 9 evenings.

No wonder I am falling asleep at the store.  When else am I gonna get any rest?!

Have a festive week!

Fun Weekend Ideas!

Fun Weekend Ideas!

I’ve got some great stuff to share with you today as you prepare for the weekend!  I do a lot of writing for other sites and I forget to share those articles with you because my brain only works at half speed these days.  I think you’ll like these two….they are projects that our family is currently working on.

The two articles I am sharing are about the weekend, how to make the most of our time both and home and at church.  Weekends are such a precious opportunity to step away from the busyness of the work week and it’s so easy to either overload them with activity or spend the entire time staring at the TV and forgetting that there’s a world of rest & relaxation outside our 4 walls.

First, over on The Soul Spa I wrote 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Saturday.  These are sweet, simple ways to embrace time with your family and connect with God.  It’s something we forget to do most weekends, so taking a look at this list may help find some purposeful ways to add the magic to this special day.

10 ways to make the most of Saturday - TheSoulSpa.net

Second, I wrote a post over on FaithGateway about a challenge we created as a family.  We were looking for ways to get to know some of the people at church that we haven’t met, but it can be intimidating.  Every Sunday we file past people that are supposed to be our church family but we don’t even know some of their names.

I came up with this idea for our family and we all absolutely LOVE it!  Even my younger boys have gotten into it and the results have been pretty amazing!  Head over to FaithGateway to read more about our Family Church Challenge!

A game to play with your family that will help you get to know new people at your church! #faithgateway

Don’t forget to check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Women and Holiday Gift Guide for Men!

Have a great weekend and be sure to make the most of this precious time together!

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Do You Need a Do-Over?

Do You Need a Do-Over?

This is a great book for moms who need a boost of encouragement to find their joy again!

Well this is the week….my book, Mama Needs a Do-Over, comes out in stores and I am more than a little nervous.

Isn’t it funny how when our vision becomes reality we tend to see only the possible things that can go wrong or be negative?  Or is that just me?  Maybe when you have a dream come true you just think about how wonderful your life is.  I lean the other way….to the dark side.

Darth Vader has nothing on me when it comes to seeing the negative and being kind of a downer to the people around him.  I know why God didn’t give me a light saber.  Or a black helmet.

OK, I see that I have gotten a little off path with this post which is supposed to be a joy-filled sharing of the book release.

This book has been a year and a half of work and through the process my life did some pretty big flips and flops.  Mostly flops.  I know for a fact that God isn’t going to let me get too comfy and He keeps me on the edge of my seat most of the time.  I have never been a person with a big cushion to lean on.  We don’t have a savings account or family we can depend on or even an air-conditioner that works faithfully (you would think that those first two would be what I panic over the most, but really you don’t even want to know what kind of evil overtakes me if I get over-heated).  Every day is a walk of faith, trusting Him to see us through as we learn more and more about His character.

And this book has been no exception.  It was as if He whispered to me, “You’re not going to write this book, I am,” and He proceeded to remove every confidence and thing I really trusted.  Bit by bit He tore my life down to one thing, Him.

And so I wrote.  And I poured out my heart and cried then laughed (before we get too deep…the book is actually funny ‘cuz I can’t write any other way) then pounded my fists against the keyboard and prayed.  He kept coming through for me.  One chapter at a time.

And now it’s out of my hands and into His again.

Recently I was watching the movie Facing the Giants and in the very end a small kicker (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a faith-filled football movie) says to the coach, “I can’t do it….I can’t kick that far!” in the final seconds of the game.  And the coach tells him, “Son, it’s your job to do your best and kick as hard as you can and then let God do the rest.”

And that’s how I feel today.  I am kicking my book out there and letting God do the rest.  May it bless you!  May it speak His words to your heart.  May you buy 3 extras to give to your friends as gifts.  😉


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