It’s Really All About the Shoes

It’s Really All About the Shoes

It’s the time of year when I have to check the weather app before getting dressed every morning.  It might be 50° it might b0 90°, who knows?!  You can’t put away your sandals and lightweight tops because even though it’s too cold to wear them today, you might need them tomorrow.

Every October I celebrate the season changing by wearing my red boots every day. It’s a fin challenge to make that work and now that it’s over, I am enjoying my other shoes again.  While I don’t wear Louis Vuitton, I do love a pretty shoe.  Truth is, even if I could afford $1,000 for a pair of shoes I wouldn’t wear them.  I have foot issues.

I have Plantar Fasciitis and bunions and yes, I realize this makes me sound like an old lady.  I remember my grandmother complaining about the corns on her feet.  Now this is me.  I may as well get myself a giant sedan and start driving 10 miles per hour through town.

Anyway, I love shoes.  I spend my spare time searching high and low for some I can wear that are prettier than Crocs or Birkenstocks.  I do own both, but you have to admit they are purely functional.  The Birks keep my feet healthy so I wear them around the house, but when I go out I require cuteness.

I have talked about my Otz shoes before because they have a trendy, earthy look like Toms, but they have footbed support.  In fact, I like them so much that they made it onto my Holiday Gift Guide for Women.  I am not sure why they haven’t become more popular, but I get constant compliments on mine and they are so easy on my feet that I wore them to Disney and Universal Studios without any problems.

Loving these little summer dresses!

Interestingly, my red boots are also comfy for my feet as long as I don’t do too much walking in them.  For general running errands or going out with my friends they are just fine.  When my feet are not hurting, I can be more relaxed with my shoe choices, but I can’t ever wear shoes with no arch support, as in flats.  That eliminates about 93% of the shoes out there.  I see this as a good thing.  It makes shopping a lot easier.

I can wear wedges occasionally.  I have several pair and I wear them anytime I can.  These slate ones are my new fives. I found them at a thrift store, never been worn, in my size, for $20.  SCORE!


They are Dansko and if they were new they’d cost $150, so this was a steal!  They are surprisingly comfy and I also own a brown pair of Dansko Boots that I adore! (but did not get such a great deal on)

I’m looking forward to winter shoe weather because I love changing it up and even though it’s cool now, I did wear a pair of sandals earlier this week… my toes were a little chilly.  But it was totally worth it.


I am into loose and easy clothes these days. Sadly, I have gained back some of my weight that I lost, but I am still determined and working on it.  Life, as you know, gets in the way of our goals sometimes, but I am not giving up.  You’ve got to just keep looking forward!

So as the weather cools down I am playing with my shoes and layers and mixing and matching.  I am definitely an experimenter with my clothes and I have passed that love along to my girls who always look adorable!  Well, really my whole family is pretty snappy lookin’.

Family at church

Here’s to cooler weather and new shoes!  I’ve got both my sandals and my sweaters ready, just in case.

Have a great weekend.


Holiday Gift Guide for Women

Holiday Gift Guide for Women

This post contains affiliate links.


While the ladies on your gift list are easier to buy for than the men, we still need some fresh ideas.  So I thought I’d share with you some things that are favorites around our house.  These are all products that we own and love!

Fashion —

1. OTZ Shoes – These are my number one favorite shoe right now and I own several colors.  They have the trendy look of Toms with a foot bed that offers support.  I wore them all over Disney and Universal Studios and my feet never hurt!
2. Wooden Watch – This watch is on both my men’s and women’s gift list because we absolutely love ours!


3. Plaid Scarf – Help her stay with the trend of plaid this season.  My girls and I love the ones they have at Target right now.
4. Stamped Stacking Ring – I love stacking my rings and having words on them that inspire me.  The 2 rings I have say “abundance” and “valor”.  I was gonna get my kids’ names, but I can’t wear that many rings at once.
5. Rocksbox Subscription – I joined Rocksbox a few months ago and it’s wonderful!  They send me 3 new pieces of jewelry each month then I just send them back (I can keep it if I decide to buy it which I did with one of the necklaces they sent me).  Use my code “penningtonpointxoxo” when you join!

Home —

6. Plaid blanket – OK, so I have bought a few too many things at Target lately.  In addition to the scarf I got a fall colored throw that updated my living room.
7. Marquee Letter – My friend Heidi Swapp created a line at Michael’s of great letters that you can customize to your décor.  I painted mine to look like the old metal letters.


8. Bluetooth Speakers – I added a Bluetooth speaker to my kitchen when I remodeled it so we can play music while we are cooking and cleaning.
9. Instagram Book – If your friend is into Instagram, what about giving her a book of some of her best pictures that she can keep?  There’s a app called that can make it for you easy peasy.
10. Anything from Painted Fox Treasures – These items are unique and in every price range!  I own several of their things, but this Live Work Create bag is one of my favorites!  I get a ton of compliments when I use it.

Personal —

11.Mama Needs a Do-Over – I can’t make a gift list without adding my book to it…. the gals in your life will love it!

12. Selfie Stick – It’s the gift everyone needs, but you can’t take it to Disneyworld.
13.Handbag Light – This little gadget has helped me in a lip balm emergency many times.  It’s in the bottom of your purse or tote and when you put your hand near it lights up and helps you see.  Yep, gadget gifts are fun!
14. Yearly Planner – My friend Celia at The Printed Planner makes the best planners and I use mine every day.  It helps me keep up with my business, my kids, my prayers, my fitness…. your gift recipient will love it!
15. Wireless Earbuds – I use these every day on my morning walk.  The wired Earbuds would pull so I got myself a pair of wireless and now it’s so much easier.

Health —

16. Progessence Plus & Yang Ylang – These 2 essential oil products are my best suggestion for women…. they help support all things “girl.”
17. The Premium Starter Kit – Help your friend get started supporting her family’s health and wellness with this amazing kit that has 11 basic oils and a diffuser!

18. Everyday Grain-Free Baking by Kelly Smith – My good friend Kelly wrote this great book and it’s a favorite of our family’s!
19. Chilly Pad  – My friend Sara told me about these and I love mine!  It stays cool for hours and perfect for flea markets, exercising, any day in the summer, etc.
20. NingXia Red – Treat your friend to this dream start to her day.  It comes in a gorgeous bottle and she will feel loved!

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That’s it!  I hope you got some fun ideas!  Be sure to also check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Men!

Come on Over to Facebook to continue the conversation!

The Day the House Won

The Day the House Won

Do you like to rearrange rooms in your house?  It’s kind of an annual thing around here.  We get an itch to move the kids into different bedrooms and clean everything while getting rid of junk.  The problem here is that my kids do this totally rude thing of growing up and developing new interests and needing space for their new equipment or work, so we have to find ways to accommodate their growth.

In this case, in addition to growing needs, a room became available.  Our oldest daughter, after spending the summer in Dallas, decided to stay there for a little longer.  So she came home for a couple of weeks and we spent time getting her room packed up.  I also got to do some fun shopping with her because the temps are significantly colder where she will be and she needed to warm up her wardrobe.

OK, that’s not completely true.  I would have taken her shopping anyway.

I would have taken her shopping even if the temps were the same.  I wanted to help her set up for success and my way of doing that is though clothing and closet organizers.  We had a great time together!

On Saturday morning she left with her packed-to-the-gills car and the other kids and I got started cleaning the room out and prepping it for the new tenants.  It’s a 2 room combo so my 2 daughters still at home decided to move into it and share the large space.  While some of the kids moved stuff from where the girls were before, 2 boys and I scrubbed and arranged and cleaned while it was emptyish.

Messy house funny

I can not express how good it feels to know that every inch of that space is super clean.  I expect it to last no more than 3 days.

By about 4:00 Saturday afternoon I was so tired you would have thought I had moved one of the pyramids in Egypt one enormous brick at a time.  I was literally falling over.  I told the kids I needed an hour to rest and I closed my bedroom door.  I may have even slammed it a little…. not out of frustration but from being too exhausted to take the one step necessary to close it gently.

I napped so hard that my face had marks in it and I had no idea where I was when I woke up.

Later that evening I did manage, with the help of the boys, to put away the junk that had exploded its way into my living room.  That’s how room rearranging goes.  You pick up something and don’t know where to put it so you dump it in the living room.  My house was a disaster area.  A friend asked for pictures to prove my house was mess, which I did not take for fear of seeing them later and having nightmares.  Just imagine an episode of hoarders and you will have a pretty good idea of what my house looked like.

messy house funny

I am going to have an intervention on myself pretty soon.  I keep WAY too much STUFF!

We did manage to get the living space of our home pretty well picked up, ordered pizza and all went to bed too tired to even think about the next day.  Thankfully I had prepped our Sunday clothes earlier in the week.  If I hadn’t, we would probably have had to go with a toga theme for church.

messy house funny

Our pastor started a new series this weekend about loving one another, which I am super excited about.  Love and forgiveness sounds so easy in theory, but in practice…. not always.  If I hadn’t been so tired I might have gone up and told him how much I am looking forward to the next few weeks of his sermons.  Maybe next weekend.  Wait, no.  We are moving the boys’ rooms next weekend.  I’ll just have to send him an ecard.

messy house funny

This week I will be starting my big October project of finishing the first draft of my next book.  I have been working on it, but I am planning a big push to finish it and get the editing process going.  That’s part of why I want to get the kids all settled into their new spaces….. they need some attention from Mom before I go into my writing cave.

messy house funny

Lastly, my daughter and I went to see a movie called “Captive” while we were out shopping.  It was pretty good for the 18 and up crowd (keep in mind we are SUPER conservative about what we let our under 18 kids see).  The content was definitely adult in nature, but never went so far as to be disturbing.  I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.  And that’s just because I thought it could have used a little more of a point, but I like to be spoon fed in a movie.  I’m lazy like that.

Have a great week!

Sometimes I Wanna Be Amish, but I Don’t Want to Make Quilts

Sometimes I Wanna Be Amish, but I Don’t Want to Make Quilts

All I can say about the past 2 weeks of my life is wow, wow, wow.

Between the book release then a trip to Orlando and a conference last weekend… is entirely possible that I am going to die of overexposure to fun and goodness.  Is that possible?  Like, I am actually craving housework and salad.

On the day the book came out, I drove around to a bunch of bookstores and left little notes in some of the books.  It was such fun to see my book in the stores.


The next day I flew to Orlando with 4 of my kids for 5 days of fun at Universal Studios.  The thing I struggle with the most when life gets so busy is sticking with my health plans.  I had such a great restart to my diet a month ago and planned to spend my entire time at Universal Studios Orlando eating healthy.  I had a suitcase full of healthy snacks and was armed for the battle.  In the parks I planned to eat bunless burgers with lots of veggies, stay away from sugar, etc.  But by the third night after days of running around and keeping up with the kids, I fell into bed at 11PM with some Oreos and half of a leftover giant pretzel.  Epic fail.

But you know what?  It’s not permanent.  I can just turn it around again.  This is my carousel ride of life.  Take good care of myself, down again, do a better job next time, fall off, eventually I will be more on the ups than the downs and that’s OK with me.  I am trying.

Last weekend our pastor preached about a time that is coming when there will be no more pain or diet problems or sin dragging us down.  We will be free of all of that and right now we can believe that to help get us through the hard times.  Oh boy I can’t wait for that day!

1 Peter 3:6-7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

I am back to work this week with book writing and my Young Living oils team and a normal diet that consist of less Oreos and more lettuce.  I am also thrilled to be back to my little road for my morning walks instead of hotels and theme park workouts.

Speaking of theme parks, in case I didn’t say it, we had a fantastic time at Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure.  My kids that went with me all agreed that it will go down in our memory as one of our best vacations ever.  I really had no idea how wonderful the whole place was and will definitely go back!  Just give me a few months to recover.


After arriving home from Orlando we had one day to prepare for the Forge conference where we had a vendor booth and ladies’ luncheon happening.  The luncheon went so well (thanks to my BFF Sara) that I am going to pray about doing it again next year.  It was a lot of work, but such a sweet time of love and fellowship!


As much as I enjoyed getting all dressed up for the past couple of weeks and being out amongst the English, my wanna-be-Amish side is kicking in and I am ready for some home time.  I won’t be doing any canning or quilting, but I will be mopping some floors and hanging laundry on the line.  I am looking for simplicity and time with just my family.

We are also cleaning out bedroom for one of my great “shifts.”  It happens every year or two.  The kid’s needs change and we have to move bedrooms around.  It’s also a good time to rid ourselves of the junk that seems to accumulate.  We will attack it one room at a time until everyone is settled into new digs.

I am glad to be mostly home again and just enjoying some normalcy.  Grocery trips and Bible studies and homeschool and house cleaning are the name of the game.  I don’t travel again for a month and I plan to embrace every second of this time!

I hope you are falling into your routine of back to school.  Doesn’t it feel good to be back on schedule?!

Have a great week!

Continue the conversation on Facebook….


76 Trombones and a Universal Weekend

76 Trombones and a Universal Weekend

Yesterday I somehow got the song, “76 Trombones” stuck in my head and now I am going to have to find myself a support group for people who are tortured by Broadway.  Add to it the fact that I only know the first 2 lines and after that I go into a mumbling sort of hum that makes my brain try to reach back into 4th grade when I may or may not have actually known the words.

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the way my brain works.  All day everyday.  A song pops into my head for no particular reason, I can’t stop humming it until I am singing it at the top of my lungs around the house except with the wrong words.

This will be SO.MUCH.FUN for the 65 new friends plus their families that get to spend the weekend with me over Labor Day.  Some of my kids and I are heading to Orlando next week where we get to build memories and enjoy meeting some super-cool people.

We’ll be attending the Family Forward Universal Orlando Adventure and it will be a blast!  I know we will have a great time not because of the inevitable rain leftover from Hurricane Erika or the plethora of other Broadway melodies swimming around in my head, but because it is sponsored by some companies that will bring the beauty out of any moment!

This brilliant event is intended to bring bloggers together WITH their families and focuses on not only fun, but working as a team and doing community service.  I can’t wait to see all we will learn together about the Children’s Miracle Network and how to really make the most of our families’ service to others.

Second, we will be staying at…..wait for it….the gorgeous Loews Royal Pacific Resort where I will not only be enjoying the beautiful views, but I may just make the visit complete for other fellow exercisers in the fitness center as I uncontrollably hum songs from The Music Man while on the treadmill.  You’re welcome Loews guests.

My kids will be so proud.

And ashamed.

Which is possibly going to be my favorite part of the whole trip.

We are excited about visiting Universal Studios and seeing what they’ve got going on.  I have been doing my research (aka Pinterest) and learning about Beer Butter and the need for ponchos and how to manage the ride lines.  Of course I have already planned what essential oils to have onhand and how to keep my big thighs from causing a heap o’trouble (which let’s face it, happens when you’re a big girl doing a lot of walking in a humid environment).

And with 4 of the kids going along, we have planned the whole budget for the trip and each of us knows the entire agenda from the moment we leave for the airport until we pull back in the driveway 6 days later.  Sometimes I like to surprise the kids with things when we travel, but this time I thought they would enjoy it more if they got to make most of their own decisions and have control over their spending.  For the few meals that are not provided with the event, I gave them each a budget.  They can spend it any way they want.  And they worked last weekend rebuilding our back deck to earn money for any extras or souvenirs.

My goal for this time we are spending together is to let them make their own decisions, learn, meet new people and oh yes… a few promotions for my book, Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around, which is being released the day before we go!  Be sure to order your copy!

And if you have any great Universal Studios tips head over to my Facebook page and continue the conversation.

Lastly, please accept my apology for sticking “76 Trombones” in your brain.  Hopefully the adorable Ronnie Howard image from the movie below makes up for the annoying wordless song.

Ain't he cute?!

A Little Building Up and a Little Tearing Down

A Little Building Up and a Little Tearing Down

The weekend was a frenzy of…well…nothing.  I have been continuing to catch up on rest and just hang out with m’kids.  I barely did anything meaningful and it was the best weekend I can remember in a long time.

On Friday I took one of my girls shopping.  Her wardrobe had some gaps and I had been hoping for some time to spend with her to catch up on her life.  It seems like they grow up and get all busy and doing their own thing and occasionally Mom wants a whole day to hear about their plans and dreams.  It’s one of my favorite ways to build our relationship, just spending a whole day together.  So we shopped all day and found some really cute stuff for her to wear.

I also like to see what the new trends are so we hit lots of shops and she tried on tons of different outfits to see what looked best on her.  It was exciting to see all of the little dresses in the stores.  If you’re looking for a knee length dress for the summer….go get it now.  They’re everywhere!

While we were out we went to see a movie called, “Do You Believe?”  We knew nothing about it, so we took a chance and I have to say….it was pretty good.  It’s a Christian film and we both really liked the storylines and it had some really famous people in it, which was fun.  I like seeing famous people.  I don’t know why.  I’m a sucker for it.  If you get the chance….go see the movie.

On Saturday my boys and I spent the morning tearing down some cabinets in the kitchen.  It wasn’t an enormous job, and the boys really enjoyed aggressively ripping down the moldings and hitting things with hammers.  It’s funny to see their individualness come out in these projects.  One boy would be very tidy about how he took care of the wood scraps he was pulling off while another literally didn’t even notice what he did with the pieces after he ripped them down.  One of them loved just going after it with full force and another liked the detail work….carefully pulling out nails that got left behind and cleaning up the 2″ layer of dust on the tops of the cabinets.

Tell me honestly, do you frequently dust the very top of your kitchen cabinets?  If you say yes, then you will go into my housekeeper hall of fame.

After we finished the demolition and cleaned up our mess, I sat and stared, again, at what was left.  I am challenged to find a creative way to get the look I want without spending much money.  I know I can get close.  But I have to wait on the inspiration to hit me.  It doesn’t always happen as quickly as I want.  Which might become an issue since all of the dishes that used to live in those cabinets are now sitting on my kitchen island.  I have a very limited tolerance for construction messes.

Today I am going to return the paint I originally bought and try a different kind (I can return it because I bought a pre-mixed color).  I found a shop nearby that sells a new brand of paint that I want to try.  So let’s all cross our fingers and a few toes that I like the new paint.  It’s a small company, but their YouTube videos look impressive so I am gonna go for it.  I’ll let you know!

After we get all of the grime scrubbed off of the old cabinets and the dust cleaned up, which we are working on this week, we will start painting.  Some of the older kids are going to help me for a small fee.  I don’t mind paying for this kind of work.  It’s getting my kitchen freshly painted AND I get to spend more time with them while we work.  If it costs me a little moola, it’s totally worth it.

Have a great week!

What’s More Important than Balloons?

What’s More Important than Balloons?

Before I talk about important things like the unusual number of balloons floating around my house or how my hands are cracking from washing excessive washing, I want to stop and have a moment of silence for the hour we will lose this weekend.

moment of silence

Time changes are my nemesis.  Superman has Kryptonite, I have Daylight Savings Time.

Poor adjustment to time changes is one reason I would not make a good world traveler.  That and I basically only like to eat southern cooking or TexMex.

Now, back to balloons.  For some reason the people around me thought it must be the way to celebrate turning 50.  I got balloons from my kids that they drew fun pictures on, balloons from several friends and last night my besties took me to dinner in the city and what waited for me at the restaurant….a dozen helium balloons.  Plus there were another dozen in the party van that we got to fight with all the way to the restaurant.  I feel balloon nightmares in my future.

One friend left a weighted down bouquet of helium-filled mylar balloons on my front porch on my birthday, which I did not realize were there when I got home after dark and tangled myself in them.  I was carrying a few shopping bags, my purse and a water bottle as I made my way to the front door.  I felt something hit me in the face at the same moment strings started wrapping around my ankles and in seconds I was being taken hostage by this mystery jungle, slapping me left then right and taking me down.

Because I am so good in a crisis, my instinct was to save the bottle of water at any cost.  So I dropped all of the other packages and my purse (which held my phone and other breakable objects) and clutched the water to my chest like my life depended on it.  Brilliant.

Today my sickies are still feeling pretty cruddy.  For the past 4 days I prepare a pot of soup each morning, making it easy to feed anyone who asks for food.  Anytime I have even remote contact with each person, I wash my hands.  If I could boil them I would.  I have also become obsessed with giving every dish in the house a good scrubbing.  You see, our dishwasher AND water softener are both on the blink and our dishes all have a white film over them.  I discovered on Tuesday that if I scrub them with an SOS pad I can get the white film off so I have set my mind to de-filming every dish in the house.

And if you remember, SOS pads quickly rust, so I have to use a whole pad up as soon as I start it.  I don’t want to waste them, so I make a pile of dishes that need de-filming and set about scouring the whole pile as I wash the regular dishes at the same time.  This happens at least 3 times a day.

What does all of this mean to you?

Probably nothing, except that if you ever have a white film issue you will know where to turn for help.


My hands are not, however, enjoying the process so I have been keeping them coated in lavender lotion and sometimes I rub on a little coconut oil with a drop of frankincense in it.

I wonder if there’s an oil for having trouble adjusting to time changes.

Have a great weekend!


Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

It’s been birthday week here.  The day after my birthday was one of my boys’ birthday and that means we pretty much do nothing but entertain ourselves for 4-5 days.  We can’t just stop after 2 birthdays in a row.  We’ll just roooolllll it into the weekend.

I had a nice birthday.  James and the kids really went all out to make it special for me.  What a blessing they are!  They got me some presents and made me a little book that’s filled with their thoughts about me (it’s called “What I Love About Mom” and you fill in the blanks).  I pretty much bawled while reading it.  They took turns filling in answers and really blew me away with their sweetness.  Several of them wrote that they think I’m wise……which makes me consider making a bunch of copies and framing them and hanging them around the house.  You know.  For the other 364 days when they forget they said that.

After the gifts and I read my little book, my oldest daughter handed me this gorgeous, hand painted, half-gallon sized jar.  One of my other daughters painted it and I just thought, “Oh what a cute jar…I love it!”  Then she told me it had notes of encouragement from friends inside.

She had contacted people and asked them to send me a note of encouragement.  That jar was PACKED FULL of the nicest notes a girl could even imagine.  I sat and read them, humbled by not only what each note said, but that my darling girl would go to so much trouble to tackle this project.  I couldn’t believe how crammed full that jar was.  Talk about encouraging!!!

If you’re looking for a special gift for someone, this is it….it will carry me through when I feel low.  I set it by my chair and whenever I want I can just pull a note out and feel the love.

A great idea to encourage someone for a special event or birthday!  #blessingsjar

(the little chalkboard art was a gift from one of my sweet boys and the flowers were from a friend)

You can’t really tell in the photo, but the jar is huge.  I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate and I felt like all of my friends that contributed a note or letter were right there with me.

Thank you so much if you were a part of this beautiful gift.

Now that we are past the birthdays and my husband is busy with tax season, it’s time for my annual project to begin.  I am going to paint the kitchen cabinets and do a small remodel project in there, just moving a few things around.  I have been keeping a list of what is not working for me in the kitchen and I am ready to do some repairs and sprucing up.  This will be my focus for the month of March.  It helps me forget that my husband can’t pay any attention to me and gives the boys a little money since I will pay them to help.

I’ll be spending the next week or so gathering supplies that will bring my ideas to life.  I’ll keep you updated….it’s so fun to perk up a draggy room!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a terrific weekend filled with joy and even if you don’t get a huge jar filled with notes, know that you are loved beyond measure by God and me and LOTS and LOTS of other people!

A Beautiful Mess

A Beautiful Mess

Many, many of you have asked for updates on the situation with our daughter.  I have been hesitant to talk any more about it for several reasons.

1. There really is not much to tell since there have not been any significant changes.
2. Like I said in my original post, I only want to share my own story and not speak for anyone else.  (I have received a few emails of criticism for that, which puzzles me because I was only trying to respect the others in this situation.  But I certainly do NOT think this is all about me….in fact I think very little of it is about me at all, but a mother’s heart can break over her child no matter how old the child is and if you don’t understand that then you are blessed not to have felt this pain).
3. I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog.

BUT….I am not hesitant to share how incredible God is and that His hand has been so obvious through all of our sorrow and tears.  Despite the overwhelming agony of loss, the unspeakable joy that has cropped up all around me has to be shared!


In the beginning of this trial I asked Him to make me an empty vessel through which He could pour out His beauty and grace.  And He has used this situation to grant that prayer.  But let me warn you, before you pray that… ready for your world to be shaken up big time!  You can’t be empty if you are hanging onto idols in your life with a vice grip.  Trust me, I am the queen of that.  My knuckles are still sore from trying.

So, while I still hurt deeply, I am also experiencing a depth of faith that I didn’t understand before.   I know a greater joy through many blessings including a deeper, richer relationship with our other adult children who have stood by and supported the hard decisions that we have had to make.  I have learned to lean on God when things around me look bleak.  There is story after story I could tell you about how He has shown Himself to all of us in amazing ways.  Here are a few examples:

One afternoon I was crying in my bathroom and one of the boys heard me.  He knocked on the door and asked if he could pray with me.  He put his arms around me and cried with me and we prayed.  Suddenly, we both instantly felt a surge of strength and the burden lift.  Really…it was an actual physical lifting and a surprise to us both. We pulled back and looked at each other in amazement.  Afterwards my son offered me some incredible Biblical advice that was wise beyond his years. It gave me huge comfort!  God is using my pain to help turn my son into a man and draw closer to Him…!

During my time at the Summit several older women approached me and asked how I was doing.  They knew about our situation and wanted to encourage me.  These wise women poured the love of God into me and I could so clearly see that He gave me these friends a year before this happened because He knew how much I would need them now.  To have godly women who have been in my shoes tell me that I am on the right path and not to lose hope…..priceless!

One more story….on Friday night at the Oklahoma Summit the team members (me included) were standing in the front of the ballroom ready to pray for the women there.  I had prayed with a couple of ladies and was standing there waiting when a women came up to me….I was ready to lift her up, but she said that she came to pray for me!  She offered the sweetest prayer and words of encouragement to me!  I wept on her shoulder.  It felt like God sent an angel.

I could go on and on….almost every day since this all began He has used someone (many of YOU!) to lift me up and show Himself.  And every single time I am reminded of His love and I want to shout it from the rooftops!  GOD IS GOOD!!!!

Then I want to pour it all right back out to you.

When you are struggling with anything….ANYTHING….He is there to comfort you.  His Word is a balm that I crave more and more as I walk this path.  Don’t underestimate the power of the revealed Will of God.  Some things are so hard to see….but there is SO much that is right there in front of you.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says His ways are not just for us, but for our children! It is His will that we tell the truth (Ex 20:16), that His mercy does not depend on anything I do (Romans 9:14-24), He does not tempt us (James 1:13), that there is only one way to be saved (Mark 16:16), and much more!

I share those with you so that you know that when you can’t figure out what His will is for you, you always know what He reveals to us in His Word.  It’s a great place to start!  Then He will unfold the rest as you need it.


The bottom line is…..I don’t trust myself.  I make mistakes, I mess things up, I can look back on any part of this ordeal and see things I could have done differently and probably should have.  Yes, often I hear from God through the Holy Spirit and I do my best to make sure it’s not my own thoughts then step out in faith.  It’s all I can really do if I want peace, put my trust in God….I know that He will work it all for my good and for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).  I try my best and then leave the rest in His hands.

Thanks so much to all of you for being so willing to let God use you to bless our family!  I pray that it is coming back to you 100-fold.  And I pray that when you face trials that feel like you can’t survive that you find comfort and peace in the Word of God and His mercy and grace.

Now, back to our regular, lighter posts……


One Down, One to GO!

One Down, One to GO!

I am in a post-Summit stupor.

Last weekend I was in San Marcos, TX for the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit and it was incredible!  God blessed each and every person there in individual ways to encouraged us all in our mothering and in our relationship with Him.

I can’t tell you how blessed I am to be a small part of this ministry.  It gets to the core of what I feel called to do… minister to hurting moms and women that are running the race of wife, mom, friend and child of the one true King.  I get to spend the weekend hugging and praying and loving on these ladies and make new friends and spend precious time with old ones.

On Thursday morning my three daughters and I left the house to drive 3 hours to start setting up.  Since James was gone for the day on business, that left the 5 boys alone.  I wasn’t completely comfortable with it, but we did what we could to prepare them.  I gave them school assignments, we prepped their food and had some movies for them to watch.  Frankly, I just hoped they wouldn’t burn the place down.

Once there, the girls and I ran around for 2 days helping the team set up for the conference and it was a doozy of a job!  At the last minute some key people had a crisis and couldn’t be there.  The few that were left filled in where we could and actually pulled it off despite flying by the seat of our pants.

I ended up on stage a lot giving announcements or introducing the next speaker, so I decided to take selfies while I was at it.


Who doesn’t love a good selfie from the stage?!

There were many tears and lots of laughter and everywhere you went you could see women praying together and pouring into each other.  I am just so glad God allows me to be a part of it.

On Saturday night, we have my favorite part of the weekend….Girls’ Night Out.

First it’s a pajama party, which I prepared for by getting myself some footie pajamas.  In fact, just down the hall from our event was a beautiful Quinceanera going on.  So my friend Sheri convinced me to tiptoe down and get my picture taken with the belle of the ball…..her dress was like a fairy tale!  And mine too…depending on what tale you’re reading.


After the silliness (which I can’t reveal the details of because it’s a surprise for this next weekend’s attendees in Oklahoma) we sat down for some deep Titus 2 time.  Older women teaching younger women to love their husbands and children, be self-controlled and pure, etc.  I love, LOVE this part of the Summit

txsummit05Left to right is Lyndsay Lambert, Susan Chrisman, Shirley Quine and Roxanne Parks.  It was a powerhouse of wisdom!

And now I have had three days to recover and I am off to the Oklahoma Summit….there’s still time to get in on the goodness and come!

Also, the boys survived and the house was fully intact and even pretty clean when we got home on Sunday night.

It doesn’t get much better than that!