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Hunger and Fear

img_20161102_100521663Has the fear of want ever overcome the urge to eat? When things are tight and the bare necessities don’t present themselves past the day? It is scary to imagine what the next 4 years will bring, but let’s talk about this; don’t be afraid. Eat what is set before you.

With a new presidency looming, we can expect financial bubbles, dips, new structures, change of every kind, and lots of fear. But let us not be afraid.

I understand having some food, but refusing to eat it. What if we don’t get paid on time and can’t buy more? What if? Believe me, I have intimate knowledge with that feeling. Let’s not be afraid.

God has promised us good things. God has allowed us to ask for our daily bread. It is not a promise that we won’t ever be hungry; but it is a promise that God provides all our needs. So, let us eat. Let us not be afraid.

God has allowed a candidate to be our next president. We will not be terrified. We will not be paralyzed with fear. We will eat of our daily provision. We will trust God for tomorrow. And we will hope, pray, and believe in God’s purpose for the next 4 years.

*Note, I have taken a long hiatus in my writing for personal reasons, and just found this unpublished piece. However, I feel it still applies, a bit late for the 2016 elections, but maybe for the 2020, or in general. At any time, we are called not to fear. We can look back and see that God was faithful, He is faithful, and we can be confident that He will always be faithful.

Simple Joys

Organizing too much can make things complicated. Purge. Make it simple.

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Here is my very simple, organized entry closet

An entryway should be very functional. Pretty, but plain and simple.

Do you like konmari? It’s OK if you don’t. She’s right about a few things, though. Keep those things that spark joy.

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Wine glasses are neither functional nor simple. But maybe they spark joy. I’ll keep them.

I hardly ever have a drink, yet these glasses make the cut. They spark joy. I simply look at them and feel fancy while mopping up milk and rocking my mom hair. Simple.

Services I No Longer Pay For

Services I No Longer Pay For

We now have mostly wood floors and no longer need to clean carpets. Win. We also have working lawn equipment. That’s good! We no longer enjoy the oil-field income, so every little bit helps.

(mid) Western Woman

Dry cleaning and a few other chores one can do just as well at home; how is the quality? Sometimes, one can decide that good enough is good enough; some services one may opt to skip completely; and for the rest… save it for a professional.

  1. Hair care; I cut my family’s hair, including my own. I decided that I would be ok with the occasional “oops!” for the return of saved time and money. (I used to color my hair too, but no longer want the chemicals, nor do I have the time.) I actually get compliments on my hair a lot, which tells me that I must be doing something right. https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-your-own-hair/ https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cut-your-own-hair-short/
  2. Carwashes; we pay for it only in freezing weather (which is most of the time in Minnesota!) We wash our own cars as long as the hose works.
  3. Food Service; Yes, I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep…

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Laugh

img_20161126_204551216I needed a laugh today. All week, actually. So when my aunt jokingly suggested I wear a prom dress to the grocery store, that is exactly what I did.

I took off my coat, smiled at each person I passed, and sailed through the store like it was a beauty pageant. People are so shy. They all pretended it was perfectly normal and kept walking. I think that was the funniest part!

My handsome little escort put warm fuzzies in my heart. Another bonus.

Please laugh with or at me, and then tell me something silly you do to get your giggle going on rough days!

Saying “No”

Saying “No”

O-oh tidings of overwork and stress. Like it or not, the Christmas race had begun. When did a peaceful Christmas season completely disappear? Let’s take it back. For our families, for ourselves, and for the real meaning of Christmas.

Here are some words that won’t kill you:

1. I’m currently in the middle of several projects.

2. I’m unavailable that day.

3. Please ask someone else to take a turn and step up.

4. Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I don’t want to add anything else to my plate.

Here are some gift truths that department stores would rather you didn’t know:

1. You don’t owe anyone a gift. That’s right, nobody. Give to show your love, if gifts are the correct love language for that person.

2. If you choose to gift, only do so within your means.

3. It is perfectly fine to regift something if you think the recipient will like it.

4. Don’t give clutter just to give. Do they want/need that item?

5. One underused trick that needs to come back: Giving a service. (babysitting, help with upcoming taxes, snow removal, organizing, whatever you have to offer.) Your forte may be your friend’s weakness. Know your audience. A lot of people would be so thrilled for such an offer.

Tidings of comfort and joy. If the circumstances don’t reflect the song, question the situation. You will thank yourself. #takingbackChristmas

Overwhelmed

IMG_20161026_150844996.jpgWacky Wednesday is a time to let down your hair because the perfect moment will never happen. Weekdays are crazy. Weekends are chaos on steroids. Here are a few hacks I have found that help me survive. Welcome.

1. Sleep is great if you can get it. A cup of herbal tea, warm milk, wine, or even melatonin are great if you can get to sleep a little earlier. Good luck.

2. Exhausted and it’s only 9 A.M? Take a brisk shower. Cheat your body into feeling like it had two extra hours of sleep.

3. Coffee works until it doesn’t. Drink water. Do your best.

4. Cut your to-do last in half. Twice.

5. Outsource. Simplify. Pray.

6. Above all, remember that God WILL give you more than you can handle. Inhale grace. Exhale stress. Turn to Him. He WILL help you. Let Him.

Stop being overwhelmed and do something crazy today. Happy Wednesday!

I Have Another Baby

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I Have Another Baby

And he has my heart. He is this little bundle that melts my heart not only for him but the older littles all over again.

Hard times. We’ve all been there… Or will be! Hard, hard, hard times.

I had a really rough pregnancy. It was mostly emotional. I had a lot to deal with in the last year, but I won’t go into all that. Some of it is confidential, and as for the rest… I know you understand, because we all deal with things. It was hard. My midwife suggested I consider antidepressants at least to get through the last bit, however I was too stressed to get to the doctor for a prescription.

We will all go through the fire. If you haven’t yet, rest assured that you will!  The difference with childbirth is the estimated due date of when the fire will come. Expected or blindsided, fire is still hot.

How I did it:

The birth was beautiful. And hard. My emotional state was not conducive to sleep leading up to it, so my main problem was tension and fatigue during labor. So I prayed for a while, until I was too tired to pray. My mind would seem to shut down periodically as I tried to reserve strength. The birth team consisted of three very skilled Christian professionals, my mom, and my husband. I could feel their prayers, and those of people not present, when I was too tired to pray.

But the main thing, yes, the great hero of the night was the Holy Spirit in the room, comforting me. I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t escape. I just had to BE. Continually going through my head was Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Sometimes you don’t need to fight. Sometimes you just need to be held in the arms of the Father. The Holy Spirit fights for you. So be encouraged, Dear Ones, because you are never alone, and joy comes in the morning.

Whole Wheat Substitute

Whole Wheat Substitute

Ever look for a whole wheat option for a recipe? I don’t know why there are not more whole wheat recipes out there.

Solution: Substitute whole wheat flour, (or buckwheat flour, coconut flour, what have you…) and increase the fat content just a titch. Maybe another splash of water, too.

Stop looking for “whole wheat cookie/cake/bread recipes”.

Done.

Happy baking!

Micro-Mini-Small Business? Don’t Take Initiative

Micro-Mini-Small Business? Don’t Take Initiative

Here you go. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/11-year-old-girl-banned-from-selling-cupcakes-by-control-freak-government-bureaucrats

Whatever you do, don’t take initiative. The Feds are waiting with red tape, creating laws to fine the profit out of our endeavors. How else are they supposed to pay off over $17 trillion national debt? http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Barter while we can?

Cheers…

Seeking a Simpler Life

Seeking a Simpler Life

Oh, for the idyllic, family-centered life.

This is the last post I will be linking to facebook, because we are breaking up! (myself and facebook, that is) It’s time. I have heard myself talk about being too busy one too many times, and this is something I can eliminate without detracting from my family, or myself, in any way.  When you’re too busy, something has to go.

Some things to consider letting go:

  • TV and movies (at least not every day. Once a week would be perfect for me–if I had the time!)
  • Fitness? No! Getting out of shape will make you slower in all areas, be it physical, mental, emotional, etc. Personally, I am not able to get to the gym these days. Shovelling snow, dancing with the children, doing a few crunches and stretches… It all adds up.
  • Sleep? Even bigger NO. Losing sleep to get stuff done is counter-productive. If it does not make you sick, prolonged loss of sleep will detract from your overall health.
  • Simple meals-  One big pot of soup to warm up and eat all week long may be boring, but it is totally ok.
  • Showering every day… Sorry to be so rude. If you are not covered in motor oil, sheetrock dust, or the baby’s spit-up, there is no need to shower every day. I shower 2x/week. There, I said it. Unless I get all sweaty working out, 2 weekly showers are more enough. Any time I had to shower more than that, I was detoxing, which results in body odor. Pinpoint toxins in the body, remove those, and notice the difference in less body odor! Hair and skin produces less oil when it is washed less frequently. If my hair looks limp, I sometimes touch up with dry shampoosee my post on how to make dry shampoo https://westernwoman.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/things-i-no-longer-buy/ .  But my main reason for fewer showers is water conservation.
  • Dirty dishes- Everyone uses their own cup all day. Soup and salad gets served in the same dish (Yes, children, deal with it.) Serving platters. What?
  • Laundry- If it looks clean and it smells clean, it is clean. Don’t automatically throw everything in the wash the first time. Who has time to be constantly doing laundry?
  • Limit Outings- Our outings are minimal–basically, shopping, picking up raw milk, library, visiting family, and church. These activities are bundled into 2 outings/week. Shopping happens once, monthly. I have highest respect for soccer moms, but it is not for me. My family and I do very well at home with our school projects, crafts, chickens, etc.
  • Schedule- Most importantly, a written schedule, with the little things to remember to fit into the day (call Great Aunt Helga-Marie, change the chickens’ bedding, etc.) is the way I keep my sanity! I write it down and pray over it. But… as we all know, The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps (Prov. 16:9)

I have given up things like doing my makeup, teaching Zumba, midweek activities, and other extras. It is hard to see what could possibly be trimmed even more! But, God always surprises me when I ask those questions. Remember to ask, “How can I get organized, be less busy, take care of myself, focus on family…?”

Stop, breathe, assess. Life was meant to be full, but not so busy.

Be blessed, be at peace.

Cheers!