More Effective than New Year Resolution

January is typically a time for casting vision for the new year, a time full of possibilities and renewed vigor for certain goals.  And then…February.  If you’re anything like me, all the excitement and motivation has worn off a short month later, and I’m left feeling discouraged and not-enough.  I’ve had many failed good intentions (exercising more, eating healthy, and being on time are usually my top three) so this year I’ve decided I’m not going to go through the motions of putting pressure on myself in these particular areas only to feel like a failure weeks in.  This year I’ve decided to do something different. Continue reading

When Change is Hard

Change can be beautiful.  The glowing red and orange leaves of autumn are proof of the beauty that comes with transition.

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Change can also be hard.  Winter comes after the vibrant fall display, and trees go from being wrapped in fiery glory to bare and void of color.

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I was reflecting on this during my jog yesterday, admiring God’s stunning display as I ran through the trees, and I felt Him speaking to my heart and acknowledging the struggles I’ve been having lately.  I am smack-dab in the middle of a season of transition and while I’m excited about the new season coming my way, right now I’m facing the letting go.

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Hope Found in Egypt

I have been anticipating writing this post for a while. Eager to tell about my recent trip to Egypt (we weren’t allowed to say anything ahead of time for safety reasons), feelings of excitement and hesitation have been churning beneath the surface.  I’ve been hesitant to write because I’m still wondering how I can possibly give such a life-changing experience justice in a simple blog post.  I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can’t-but I still have things to share, so here it goes…

Last month I had the incredible privilege of traveling to Egypt as part of a missions trip with our church.  This was my first time going on a missions trip, and it took a couple of weeks to let the experience settle in my heart and mind.  We saw the city of Cairo with all its rich history, personality and bustle, but we spent the majority of our time outside of the city of El Minya in poverty-stricken villages where the pace was slower and the people welcoming and friendly.

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Do You Know Him?

So, do you know Him?  I thought I did.  For years I answered yes to this question, convincing others and convincing myself.

I grew up in church, hearing about Jesus every week.  He was my savior, of course he was!  I had answered the altar call, said the prayer, been baptized, lived a moral life.  I believed.

But one day many years ago when I felt helpless in my circumstances, wondering if this was all there was to life, I began to question my own faith.  Do I really KNOW Him?  Or do I just know ABOUT Him?

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Priorities

Priorities are a funny thing.  Some priorities don’t change-like time with my family. But for me, others can change with the seasons, weekly, sometimes even daily. I have to constantly remind myself what my priorities are or else my time slips away on the things that aren’t.

This summer has flown by, and up until a few weeks ago I was feeling torn.  Blogging had become a new priority in my life, and I knew I should be posting regularly (I did my research-blogging is all about frequency and brevity!)  I knew this, but I struggled to find time to blog while also teaching summer art camps and spending time with my kids.
When feeling torn, I have learned to turn to God-He sees things more clearly than I do. He reminded me that some priorities change with the seasons. This brief season of summer involves my boys being home, wanting to spend time with me, and I want to be careful not to squander this gift.  I know it is fleeting, and in a few years I may be longing for these days where they actually WANT to hang around their mom.

So even though I have felt like I need to apologize for not posting regularly, I’ve decided I’m not going to apologize. Instead I’m going to embrace this season and squeeze every last drop out of this summer with my boys.  I will pick up my blogging where I left off in a couple of weeks when they are back in school, and I hope to see you here again at that time.  For now, I’m off to the pool to play with my kids!

Free to Bloom

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I was pruning my roses this morning when I noticed something amazing-a new branch, full of buds that had shot up just in the last couple of weeks.

So why would I think a rose bush growing (gasp) roses is an amazing feat?  You see, a couple of weeks ago I was pruning these same rose bushes when I discovered something disturbing hidden in the foliage.

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A Bird (Not) In the Branches

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of a man plans his way, but the lord establishes his steps.

Tap tap…thump…tap. I’ve been sick for three days and all my aching body wants is some rest.   Apparently the bird outside my window does not realize this. He is flying from window to window outside my bedroom, tapping and sometimes even loudly thumping like he is desperate to get inside. I don’t know why; I’m not sure the bird knows why either. Maybe he sees something he likes in here, or maybe he’s curious about what is on the other side of that shiny glass?

What is he looking for?
What is he looking for?

I have no idea, but as I was putting the covers over my head and trying to muffle the noise, I felt like God was giggling at me.

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