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For more Fun & Fellowship, visit my other blog, MommieKate.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


You didn't really think I could manage two blogs, did you? All my new posts will be at MommieKate.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Learning to Lighten Up

For the past two months my life has been consumed with doctor appointments. Everything is fine.  No, everything is WONDERFUL because I do NOT have breast cancer.  (I wanted to lead in with that right off the bat so you wouldn't be worried.)  During this time of driving an hour back and forth to the hospital (four separate mammograms, an ultrasound, a MRI, a MRI assisted biopsy, and ultimately a lumpectomy) and waiting on test results from all these procedures I've learned a lot about myself and my faith.

When the doctors first stated that they suspected that I had cancer, I knew that with out any shadow of a doubt that I would be okay (okay as in NOT die). Don't ask me how I knew, I just knew.  I guess that's what faith is.  I had Psalms 118:17 deep down inside of me screaming "I will not die but live and declare the glory of the Lord."

I distinctly remember standing at the kitchen counter.  The nurse called. She told me that I needed to come back for a "second look."  She explained that the hospital's machines were more powerful.  She told me there was a "suspicious spot." I got off the phone.  I posted the appointment on the refrigerator.  I prayed - not a long prayer.  It wasn't even a faith-filled prayer but it was an honest prayer. I said, "Lord, I just don't want to go through this." After awhile, the verse Matthew 28:20 came to me, "I am always with you."  Thank you, Lord but I really wanted to hear John 19:30 "it is finished." With that I knew that this would be something I would just have to walk through. Long or (hopefully) short, I was about to embark on a journey.

These were the things that went through my head in rapid-fire succession:

  • I don't have time for this. I have Christmas shopping. I have MOPS meetings. I looked at my calendar (yes, for real) and justified the "I just don't have time for this" mentality.  In my world if I don't write it down - it does not exist.  Period. I have chores. I have homeschooling. Then BAM. Second thought...
  • I'm homeschooling.  How in the heck am I going to homeschool, clean the house, cook supper AND have cancer?  I mean, really, breast cancer means LOTS of doctor appointments.  Lots of medical bills. Bills we don't have the money for right now. My hospital is an hour away.  Breast cancer means tests, surgery, chemotherapy. BAM again. Third thought...
  • Chemotherapy.  Wait, that makes you sick.  I don't have time to be sick (yes the time thing again...I know, NO ONE has time to be sick...). Chemo makes you sick.  Chemo makes out.  BAM. Fourth thought...
  • What if my hair falls out?  I've worked so hard to grow it out from years of a super-short pixie. It finally looks half-way decent.  I don't want it to fall out. I took a deep breath and thought, well if it falls out, it falls out.  I'll wear cute scarfs. What if my husband thinks I'm ugly? My husband...BAM. Fifth thought...
  • My husband.  What is he going to do? Is he going to be okay? This is going to be so hard on him. This is going to be especially hard on him.  It hasn't been that long since we watched his mother wither and vanish before our eyes from cancer.  Can we even speak that word? (Another note: in my world if we don't speak it, it doesn't exist.) Will he be able to bear hearing that dreaded, fearful word? I whispered it, "cancer." Nothing happened.
Every test just resulted in yet another test.  The doctor apologized, "cancer is usually so clear, black and white. Either it is or it isn't but your case is different." Well that's of no comfort, I tell you. I just kept telling myself it would be okay- even if I had...swallow hard and whisper...cancer. I told myself it was just a word.  I would not fear a word used by doctors to describe a particular set of physical symptoms.  It was just a word. I repeated it in my mind and said it out loud, "it's just a word." I know a greater Word. His Word. THE WORD.  His word says by His stripes I am healed (1Peter 2:24). His word says He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalms 103:3).  His Word says I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). His Word says it all works out for my good (Romans 8:28).

Test after test after test. My patience was growing thin. Christmas, then New Year's, more tests.  I was still recovering from a surgery in November and felt my body getting weary from the traveling, the waiting, and the wanting it to be over so we could get on with our regular life. Finally the doctor recommended that I have a lumpectomy to remove a pre-cancerous radial sclerosis. My husband and I were actually glad- now we had a plan. We had a solution. Hopefully, we thought, we would have an end to this.

I had surgery last Thursday and after a very long weekend the nurse called. She said the pathology report showed no signs of malignancy.  Praise the Lord! She said they had removed the lump and surrounding tissue. I will have a post-op exam next week where I expect the doctor to say that this is indeed all over.

As I write this (ice pack on right breast, ibuprofen within reach) I have to admit that I just don't know how people survive life without faith. It may sound corny, but it truly is "so sweet to trust in Jesus." Life gets messy and sometimes we go though tough times.  My husband and I both had such a reassurance that no matter what we went though, it would all be okay.  We would adjust. We would overcome (Revelation 12:11).  We would triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14). We knew because God says so.

I've also learned that I'm WAY too tied up in defining my life by the tasks that I do.  I am not my schedule.  I am not my chores. I am not my dozen or so lists. While all my little organization tricks are great, they are just tools that I use. I spent the past two months just being with my family. Some of the chores were left undone, some of the items didn't get checked off the list, we ate a lot of take-out, and you know what? The world did not fall apart. I let people help me and you know what else? It didn't mean I was less of a wife or mother. Now these things may be common sense to you. For me it has been a huge revelation.

When you define yourself by what you do, 
you judge yourself by what doesn't get done.

Now, I'm not going to use this as an excuse to get all sloppy and lazy...we can't have total chaos afterall!

I am going to lighten up and 
keep trusting my wonderful Lord.

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
    • Refrain:
      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Super Easy Life Hacks For A Great New Year ~ 2012 Edition

    Need to simplify? Organize? Are you overwhelmed? Hate resolutions? Me too! Here are some ways that I create order out of chaos:

    1. Messy house? No time for a "deep clean?" Spend just five minutes morning or evening (both- if you're ambitious) picking up the clutter.  Keeping the common areas free of clutter goes a long way in making your home appear clean and presentable.  Nobody really cares about the dust bunnies behind the TV anyway.
    2. Write EVERYTHING down -  on a post-it note, on your smart phone, or on a refrigerator memo board. Keep all your notes in a central location.  This way you don't have to rely on your memory on days when you're brain is overloaded. 
    3. Turn the TV off and turn the uplifting music on.  Even if you're not paying attention to it, what you hear filters in to your heart and mind.  Brighten your spirit and you brighten your day.
    4. Drink LOTS and LOTS of water.  Water is an inexpensive way to detox and beautify your body.  Adequate hydration eliminates waste, lessens allergies, stimulates proper body weight, and moisturizes your hair and skin. Talk about multi-tasking!
    5. Learn to SAY "NO" with confidence and without feeling guilty. Know your limits and enforce your boundaries to keep sane.  You don't have to do EVERYthing. Give yourself permission to prioritize according to your family's needs.

    To see last year's tips, click here. I wish you a very, very Happy New Year.  May God bless you with peace, health, and prosperity.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Nature Fun (MK Import)

    With cooler weather, we are playing outdoors more.  We are camping and taking nature walks.  To enhance our learning in these recreational activities I purchased these nifty laminated brochures at our local bookstore.  I'm sure these will last many, many years. When my son gets older, I hope we can journal all the things we identify.

    You know, this is one of my favorite things about homeschooling.  Our education is not limited to a classroom and copy work.  Learning is fun and we do it all day long, everywhere where we go!  How awesome is that?   Is it really school when we have this much fun?  I am so grateful and blessed to be able to stay home with my son to teach him and watch his discoveries.

    What is your favorite part about homeschooling?  How often do your take your classroom outdoors? Share your journey with me and join the fun.

     Hip Homeschool Hop Button 

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    A Moment in Meditation

    Love is patient and kind.
    NLT 1 Cor 13:4

    How do I really love those around me? In the hectic often frustrating details of everyday life it is easy to let things get the best of me. Do I respond to my family with the love of Christ- in patience and with kindness- or am I irritable and short with them? Lord, please help me to treat them as the treasures that they are and to better show Your patience and Your kindness to those around me. Amen

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Our New Curriculum (MK Import)

    Back to school time is so exciting! I love shopping for school supplies.  Ah the feel of new pens, new folders, and the smell of crayons.  Heaven.  Yeah- I'm nerdy like that.  This year we are doing a Preschool Review through the end of the year.  We will start Kindergarten in January.  My son just turned four.  I figured rather than have two years of one and one year of the other, I could do a year and a half of each.  This way we can go slowly.  You know - let it sink in.  We have short days and take frequent breaks.  We took some time off this summer.  I doubt I will do that again because he just "lost" too much.

    For finishing the year, we will continue to use a combination of Letter of the Week and Joyful Heart. These two programs have provided a great learning experience- for both of us!  I've posted before on how much I like both of them. He's having a great time.  I'm not to thrilled with all the prep, though.

    Sure I know its a part of the job- I just wished I would have invested in printer ink stocks.  Man are we going through the cartridges!  In the last year alone, I've spent over  $400 in just ink and paper.  That just stinks, People.  Stinks!

    Well, that got me thinking (and crying).  If I'm going to spend that much I may as well invest in a more "turn key" curriculum for Kindergarten.  After much research I decided on Little Hearts For His Glory by Heart of Dakota Publishing.

    I was amazed at how many books came with the package.  It was VERY reasonably priced too!  I just squealed opening the box when it came in.  This curriculum is awesome!  Very little prep work involved.  Thanks to the teacher's guide I don't even have to write out lesson plans.  How cool is that?!

    I'm confident that this will be a great Kindergarten experience.  I will enjoy being able to "school" during the day and spend my evenings relaxing with my family more.
     Less work + more fun = happy mom!

    Have fun visiting more Hip Homeschools at the
      Hip Homeschool Hop Button

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    A Moment in Meditation

    Christ Himself has made peace between [us] by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. NLT Ephesians 2:14

    Am I working toward peace or away from it? Do my words and my actions reflect my desire to love others? How do I react during conflict? Am I creating unity or separation? Lord, help me to live in peace by acting peaceably.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Messy Blessing

    Sometimes, in the hectic day to day tasks, in between the repetitive screams of "Mamma mamma mamma" and the "Honey, where is my ___," and the laundry, and the cooking, and the spilled juice I get caught up in the events of the day.  I forget the true purpose of each day.  I get frustrated. I get down. And then I remember...

    For the rest of this post, please click here where you'll be redirected to my other blog, MommieKate.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Video Resources (MK Import)

    I have (finally) boarded the YouTube train.  I know, I know... a little late.  Really, I thought it was all about bootleg music videos and weirdo exhibitionists. You know, the DARK side (play sinister music here). Yes, all that's out there and more- but now I have found it to be a wonderful resource for preschool videos, books, music, and mini-lessons.  The subscription button is now my friend (that's my tool for weeding out the yucky stuff).  I'm passing along some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

    And one more just for fun!

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    A Moment in Meditation

    I'm so excited about starting a new series on scripture meditations. For each mini-post, I'll highlight a Bible verse.  These are the verses that I contemplate throughout the day.  Scripture meditation is a powerful way to practically apply the Word to your daily life and super-charge your faith.  I'll begin with a scripture that was stationed on my sidebar for awhile.  It makes me re-think my to-do list.

    I glorified You on earth by completing down to the last detail what You assigned me to do. MSG John17:4

    I am busy, but with what? My own agenda or with His? What's on my to-do list?  Is it just busy work or is it really worthwhile? Lord, let me yield to Your will for me. Thank you for giving me the grace and strength to complete the plans and tasks that you have for me.