What am I up to?

A funny thing happened to me the other day. It was the beginning of Lent (which I do not typically observe) and I saw that a friend of mine was taking a break from Facebook for Lent.

The thought came to mind, Could I even do that?? And then the realization hit me. If I was asking myself that question, I really needed to do that.

And it wasn’t like it was a convenient time or anything either. I had just applied to be a contributor for a blog site and I know that among other things, they look at how active we are on social media. In addition to this, I was also starting to take Plexus products and wanting to share my experiences (both positive and negative). But I felt like the spiritual implications of the decision to take a break would far outweigh any negative impact of my decision.

So I’ve been off Facebook for 12 days now and I’m not just surviving. I’m actually liking it! Don’t worry. I’ll go back to it because it really is the very best way to keep in touch with everyone and helps me network for this blog, among other things.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying a slower pace.

There have been several times I’ve thought, I wish I could share this on Facebook right now! So instead, I’m going to share here what I’ve been up to. Don’t worry, I’m not that self-important and I know this may not matter to some of you, but it is fun to share what’s going on.

40 Bags in 40 Days

In 2014, I found out about something called “The 40 Bags in 40 Days” challenge and was intrigued. Basically, the challenge is to get rid of a bag of stuff a day for 40 days. Our lives are so cluttered and the point is to rid ourselves of excess weight in our lives. I LOVED doing it and got rid of more than 40 bags of stuff. Last year we found ourselves parenting five children and I was too overwhelmed to do it. But this year I was determined to try again. So far I’m ahead of the game. I may skip a day here or there, but other days make up for it. I make myself a tally to motivate myself. I did before and after pics the first year but it’s not really necessary this year. My home isn’t THAT much of a wreck this year.

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Blog Related Stuff

Recently, as I mentioned briefly above, I applied to be a regular contributor to a Mom’s Blog. Although I didn’t get a full-time contributor position, I’ve been offered to submit guest posts for two blogs, which is an exciting prospect for me. Stay tuned!

What I’m reading…

I’m a veeerrrryyy slllooooowww reader. I always have been. It’s very difficult for me to finish a book. But I’ve been determined to change that this year. I’m reading, Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery for the first time with Pickle. I’m loving it. I’ve always loved the movies, but now I’m seeing it through new eyes as I rock my adopted son and see his reactions to what she experiences and feels.

I’m re-reading the Ramona the Pest series, by Beverly Lewis with Nutkin. We’re currently on Ramona and her Father. I laugh every time I read it and I can’t help but think that he has some of the same thoughts and misunderstandings as Ramona does.

In addition to reading a different chapter book to each son, I’m reading “What Led Me to You,” by my friend, Carrie Dahlin. Get it. Read it. It’s available on Amazon here. It’s a beautiful account of what it’s like to foster and adopt, especially while finding the will of God in all of it. You can also visit her blog here.

My Valentine’s Day Surprise

Shane and I agreed (at least I thought we did,) to not get anything for Valentine’s Day because we were going to a concert the following weekend.

So imagine my shock, surprise, amazement and elation (and slight annoyance that he totally outdid my $1.00 box of chocolates because I couldn’t do nothing,) when I opened the text message showing me a picture of the beautiful mandolin he bought me.

He did this to me 15 years ago, too, also on Valentine’s Day, and bought me a guitar. You didn’t know I play the guitar, you say? Yeah, that’s because I don’t. But I am determined to teach myself. And now I have a mandolin, too. No pressure. The beauty is that YouTube has come a long way and there are basically free lessons online. At least for the basics. It has the same string arrangement as the violin so I won’t have to relearn that, which is pretty cool. I’m really looking forward to playing during our family devotions. My kids are pretty forgiving.

Here’s my new baby! I haven’t named her yet.

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What I’m listening to…

Well, because of our said musical addition, I’m listening to a lot of Ricky Skaggs and the Isaacs, because you just can’t get much better mandolin playing than that. I’m particularly liking the album, “The Living Years,” by the Isaacs. I’m particularly fond of, Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive. So much fun!

And then there’s the Collingsworths! I can’t express to you how much the music of the Collingsworth Family has ministered me on this adoption journey. I’ll never forget the day we found out that our eldest son, who had not yet moved in with us, was far more scarred than anyone knew. He was basically expelled from school that day, a first grader. The caseworker called us begging us to still take him. I remember thinking, Is that even an option?  Of course, to us, it wasn’t. However, it did seem like an insurmountable mountain ahead of us. And then I heard, Tell the Mountain. And I wept in the laundry room. And I knew that it would be OK.

Fast forward to this month, and I’ve been listening to their newest album…basically on a loop. I don’t ever get tired of it. Many of you know my health and infertility story. Gotta Get to Jesus is one of the most powerful songs I’ve heard in years. Shane took me to see them live last weekend and Kim shared that the demo for this song almost went unnoticed and the song barely made it onto the album. I’m so very glad it did. I cried from just about the minute they came to the stage to the moment I hugged Kim, got my picture taken with her and got back into the car. They encourage, challenge and show a lovely holiness in their music that is so refreshing.

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The True Meaning of Lent

Ultimately, this break hasn’t put a halt on my life, but it has freed up some time to meditate on His Word, and not just to read it. Considering that the primary reason for Lent is to focus on the 40 days leading to the crucifixion of Jesus, this has been a very precious time. Jesus suffered for us. He knows how we feel. He experienced pain, loneliness, hunger, thirst, persecution, rejection, temptation, you name it. All for you and me. And then, THEN! In glorious victory, He conquered sin, Hell and the grave for us! And He is now in Heaven preparing a home for those of us who have availed ourselves of His precious gift. What a glorious hope we have! It makes every trial, every sacrifice, every struggle pale in comparison.

I would encourage you, dear Mamas, to take time in these days leading up to Resurrection Sunday to focus on just what exactly it is that Jesus did do for you. I know that I know it. But to take time to really meditate on it and find ways in my life to show Him just how thankful I am for His gift takes more time, effort and focus. And I’m grateful that He led me to do just that.


Blessings and much love, 



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