Tuesday, January 28, 2014


As I have continued thinking about what is truly important, I keep hearing a word in my mind.  It is as though a voice keeps whispering to me...less.  I've thought about it, and I think it is an accurate representation of my mind and my heart right now.  I want less.  What?  Don't I live in America, the land of MORE, MORE, MORE?  Have I lost it?  Quite possibly, the answer is yes.

You see, I want less.

I want less stuff because I am sick and tired of the mess around me.  When you have too much stuff, you spend all of your time cleaning it up, trying to find a place for it, dusting it, organizing it, laundering it,  etc.  So yes, I want less of that...less mess, less time spent cleaning, organizing, ironing, laundering, or honestly just stepping over all of the stuff that clutters my home.

I want less worry.  I don't want my days consumed with worry and what-ifs.  I want to live in the moment, making the most out of every minute God gives me.  To do that, I need less worry and more trust in Him.  I really struggle with this, and unfortunately I am seeing it really come out in one of the kids also.  I'm trying, and I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.  That worry monster is a beast, I tell ya.

I want less debt.  I don't like owing people money.  It hangs over my head, always taunting me and making me feel as though I need to justify every penny I spend lest others think I am being frivolous.  I just don't like it.  Honestly, I don't want less debt, I want NO debt!

I want less comparison.  I want to feel confident in who I am, and I want to stop comparing myself to others.  I want to stop comparing myself to women on TV, in magazines, and at the mall.  I want to stop comparing my car to the ones others drive, and my clothes to the ones I see others wear.  I want to stop comparing my kids and their accomplishments with other children around me...are they where they should be in school, am I a bad mother because we don't do all of the extra-curricular stuff out there, am I robbing them of something because we homeschool and spend our days at home together?  I don't want all of that to become my measuring stick, and I surely don't want all of that to be the measure by which Natalie or Levi compare themselves.  It starts with me.  So yes, I want less comparison and more contentment.

What I have decided is that less is really more Less stuff, and in turn less time spent managing that stuff, means more time to spend on the important things, like hanging out with my children reading a good book or playing games.   Less worry means more dependance on God, and He has promised to provide all that I need.  Less debt means more money freed up for generosity and giving and helping those around me, along with less stress wondering how we will make it through the end of the month.  Less comparison means more contentment, more rest, more freedom to be me.

The bottom line is that less of me leads to more of HIM.  That is all the reason I need to seek a life of less.


** Check back soon for more happenings at the homestead.  I promise to share some pictures around the farm soon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What's Really Important

Last week I sat down several times to write a lengthy update on what we have been up to around here.  I hate that it has been so long since I have updated here on the blog, and I am hoping to do better in 2014.  I tried several times to write up the post, complete with probably 30 pictures to share, but each time I ended up walking away from the computer frustrated because I could not get the pictures to upload correctly.

Now, as I sit to try to write again, I am convinced that my words be completely different from the original plan.  So much seems to be happening all around me, some good and some not so good.  I find myself whispering prayers for so much these days.  Moment by moment, God is stirring my heart to focus more and and more on what is really important.  Not what is urgent, not what is immediate, but what is important.

Precious friends are preparing for their 12 year old daughter to undergo surgery tomorrow for a brain mass.  My heart aches for what they must be feeling right now.  How I wish I could make it all go away, and make everything right in their world again.  But I cannot.  I must focus my thoughts and energies into what I can do...praying for them, encouraging them, and giving thanks to God for each and every blessing.  Every smile, every giggle, every breath is a reason for thanksgiving.

Just weeks ago, a home less than a mile from us exploded.  Literally, when looking at the site, it was reduced to a pile of rubble, unrecognizable as a home.  Sadly, the woman inside lost her life in the explosion.  Devastating for the family.  As the blast rattled our home, I uttered a prayer for whoever was going to be affected by it, and also a prayer of thanks that we were safe.   Last week, our neighbors next door lost their home in a fire.  It is a total loss.  And as I stood watching the emergency responders come to battle the blaze, I whispered prayers for safety.  Their safety and ours.

It feels like every day I hear of friends and neighbors who are struggling.  Some are facing physical struggles, financial challenges, family battles, while others are in an all-out spiritual war with Satan and his evil ways.  I often wonder if things are truly getting worse, or if it is simply because I am older and more aware of the struggle around me. 

We face our own challenges here at on the homestead, and in our family.  We do the best we can, take one day at a time, and are learning to cling to Jesus, the giver of hope.  We've had our own fire this year, and thankfully, the loss was minimal.  We have financial challenges just like most people.  We even battle Satan, fighting for our family and our children.  No one is immune to these things, but each handles them differently.

In 2014, I am choosing to focus on what is important.  Having the latest and greatest *insert item here - clothes, cars, electronic gadgets, etc*?  Not important.  Giving thanks?  Yes, please.  Keeping a perfectly clean home?  Nice but not necessary.  Filling my children with love and scripture?  Absolutely.  Finishing the to-do list by dinner every day?  Not gonna happen.  Making prayer as much a part of my day as breathing?  A goal to work towards.

So today, I'm praying for the battles around me.  I am praying for health and safety, both for my family and others.  And I am giving thanks for the blessing of today.  I am choosing JOY!