It’s been a busy season of travel and speaking. Honestly, I’m still stunned that the Lord uses a woman who hasn’t caught up with her laundry in 25 years and whose closets could be the poster child for any Mari Kondo wanna be, but He does. He has chosen to use my most ordinary acts for Kingdom purpose and it still boggles my mind. . * Why should that surprise us? Throughout scripture, He seeks out the ordinary, uneducated, least likely people to make His name known - all for His glory. * It’s such an honor to link arms with women and laugh and cry and share our stories. I can’t even believe I get to do this but sweet friends, God had me stay put right at home for decades. There’s no right or wrong way to point others to His love and each person’s journey is different. I thought it might be an encouragement for some of you who are knee deep in the ordinary. Maybe it’s a full time job you don’t enjoy or your life consists of diapers and meal making and sleepless nights. * My (His) ministry magnified itself right there in those ordinary, seemingly insignificant moments for 20 years. * The rest of this “on stage” stuff didn’t really start until my 40’s. Again, I have no idea where He might be calling you. Many of you desire to do huge things for Jesus. You are world changers and legacy leavers but that may mean we start carving our most important legacy by working faithfully, living generously, washing the dishes and making those meals and opening our doors to our neighbors. * It’s starts in the little things so Grace on, Guilt off. You are doing an amazing thing right where you are with exactly where Gods got for you for this season. ❤️❤️ * So much love for you. Hope we can meet in real life soon And you can see how I’m the biggest hand talker ever. An usher at my church always tries to tie my hands behind my back. Who knows what might happen. 😂😍 * #momlife #proverbs31woman #discipleship. #justopenthedoor #biblicalhospitality
But then on a rare Monday evening, the dishwasher opens and that child starts emptying it without being asked. * The skies open, the heavens part and one happy mom starts singing the Hallelujah chorus in her loud playground voice. * It’s the little things, friends. It will happen. Keep on, keeping on. 🙌🏻❤️ * #motheringmoments #littlethingsmatter #momlife
Our football son stood in the kitchen late Sunday evening and stated he was starting a Keto diet in the morning, as in ten hours from said declaration. * I stammered and tried explaining this takes planning and prep and you don’t just dive into this spontaneously especially when this decadent four ingredient chocolate soufflé is on his momma’s repertoire. * He didn’t care. When that guy sets his mind to something, there’s no stopping him. It’s pretty impressive. So now my kitchen smells like bacon, eggs and veggies all day long which wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t come with a side of bread and pasta for the rest of us. ;) * Here’s to the delicate balance of healthy eating with a side of chocolate. Add this recipe to your repertoire. It’s a great Go-to #easydessert. * Beautyandbedlam.com. #easyrecipes #tenminutedessert #hospitality
Buy a girl a brand new dress and she’ll feel like a princess for a day. * Teach her how to #thrift and she’ll feel equipped and empowered to turn everyone’s trash into her own personal treasures that she will love, enjoy and tell you exactly how much she paid for the rest of her life. 😂😍 * Just Jen’s Tuesday morning take on frugality. ;) As we reached our shopping budget for our daughter’s college apartment, but there were many things left she wanted, I reminded her that anyone can shop for a house with a credit card and lots of spending money, but she’ll appreciate creating and cozy-ing up her new home so much more with the thrill of the hunt and a little sweat equity. Start them young. ❤️ * P.S. Photo of Melbourne thrift store that was 0.2 miles from the airport. I had 30 minutes before I had to be there, so you bet I stopped on my way out. ;) * #thriftstorefinds #goodwillhunting #thriftlife #debtfreecommunity
Currently in my leggings and oversized t-shirt feeling like a million bucks. I gotcha, girl.😉 * Here’s to a fabulous Friday, sweet friends. 🙌🏻❤️
I’ve been having days lately when my thoughts and feelings have been doing their best to wreak havoc and steal joy. * I know those doubts and feelings are lies, but they still work their way in, don’t they? * We need to fight for truth so I start my morning by “taking every thought captive,” then focusing on “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.” * Light and dark can’t coexist so as we pursue Him, He renews our mind. * Actively seeking out the simple moments of beauty is so life giving to me and then I remember my one word perspective change - I don’t “have” to, I “get” to. Gratitude for the everyday moments changes everything. * P.S. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my #trashtotreasure finds? Remember when I found this #hobnail vase for $2.99? Makes me so happy.🙌🏻❤️ * What’s one ordinary moment you’re grateful for today? * #itsthelittlethings #goodwillfinds #gettomoments
And in this moment, dirty dishes delight my soul because He reminds me there’s always beauty amidst the bedlam of our everyday. * My weekend was filled with cleaning and chores, friends, family and lots of good food. * How did you spend your Labor Day?
Yep, I think I can. I think I can. 😉 * It’s about that time of year when I do my carb detox, but I have to mentally talk myself into it. That means starting weeks in advance and weaning off my French fries and bread. ;) * I can do this...again. Anyone else want to do it with me? I always need accountability. * #17dd #whole30 #carbdetox #healthylivingtips
Many years ago, I wrote these reminders in the midst of my “in over my head” mothering moments. Every season matters. It all matters. * Every little choice. * When the days are long and I’m exhausted on all levels, I remind myself that “I am more than a meal maker, more than a nose blower and booty wiper. More than a taxi driver. * I am a Dream Maker…. I am a Life Changer… I am a Legacy Leaver… * That’s you, sweet mommas (whether a physical or spiritual momma.) * You are a DREAM MAKER, a LIFE CHANGER, a LEGACY LEAVER! You have been uniquely chosen by God to mother your children through every season of their lives – the good and bad. You may not always feel like the best mother, but you are the best mother for your child!! * Keep on, keeping on. You’ve got this! ❤️🙌🏻 * (And that girl in the middle? She’s been moved into her first college apartment now and she’s loving it. She’s thriving. Her mother on the other hand is surviving and counting the days until she comes home next weekend. ;)) * #mentoring #mentoringmatters #mothering #mops #wildandfreemama #proverbs31
I’ve mixed granola, yogurt and fruit hundreds of mornings, but today I stopped my rushing and slowed down to savor the beauty all around me. * Most of it was hidden in my most ordinary acts. * Pause for one second. (Yep, I’m waiting...) Look around. Fight to see it. * Seek out where the sacred and simple intersect. Can you catch a glimpse? That tiny bit of magic in the mundane? * You know I’m all about Elevating the Ordinary and shifting perspectives. Choosing to start my day this way changes everything. * Let’s play #ispybeautyandbedlam. * #elevatetheeveryday #itsthelittlethings #itsthelittlethingsthatmatter #gettomoments
Nodding my head in agreement, I initially chuckled when I read this. It had been one of those days, but you know what? This doesn’t have to be a parents’ life forever and ever, amen. * True, there are no perfect parenting hacks and there are seasons when it’s just plain hard. At times they don’t listen. They make choices when you wonder “what are they thinking ...” and the list goes on. * But then there are those precious moments when you wonder how in the world you got so fortunate to be their mom, the honor overwhelms you, and you realize that you’re living the life you’ve prayed for every single day. ❤️❤️🙌🏻🙌🏻 * #momlife #funnymoms #mothering
You book lovers are in for some fun. It’s a late summer book bundle GIVEAWAY of books by @incourage writers – and one person is going to win this whole stack, worth appx. $300! AMAZING! Here’s how to enter: 1. Like this post. 2. Follow each of the authors’ accounts (we’ve listed the title of their book(s) as well so you know what titles are included in this mega-stack!): . @incourage (A Moment to Breathe, Summer (in) the Psalms 40-Day Journal) . @holleygerth (Hope Your Heart Needs) . @thebonniegray (Whispers of Rest) . @kristenstrong (Back Roads to Belonging / Girl Meets Change) . @michelecushatt (I Am) . @reneeswope (A Confident Heart Devotional) . @dawncamp (With Love, Mom) . @marycarver (Choose Joy) . @jenschmidt_beautyandbedlam (Just Open the Door) . @kaitlyn_bouch (Even If Not) . @alizalatta (Come Find Me, Sage Parker) . @jenniferdukeslee (It’s All Under Control) . @annaerendell (Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul / A Moment of Christmas) . @michelleamireyes (The Art of Taleh: The Gospel of John Revisited) . @lucretiaberry (What LIES Between Us Journal and Guide) . @dorinagilmore (Glory Chasers) 3. Comment on this post with the book you would most like to read (or your favorite from this stack.) For an extra entry, tag a friend (in a separate comment) whom you think would also like to win. Good luck, and happy reading! -- *Giveaway ends on 8/22/19 at 11:59pm Central time. Winner will be announced on this post. *Contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram or Facebook. *Residents outside the U.S. are able to enter but may need to pay shipping if selected as winner. * * #giveaways #bookgiveaway #christianauthor #shereadstruth #proverbs31
Finally a quick Sunday after church, in the 90 degree heat with dogs running into you edition of the #frugalfashionista. * For those new to my blog or feed, I used to do a weekly #frugalfashion post which included at least 75% of the outfit with #secondhand #thriftstorefinds. It’s been awhile. Hopefully this fall I’ll be more consistent because I still wear it all. I just hate the photo part. ;) * So here goes: 🔷Jacket (yard sale) $2. 🔷Lace tank: @triadgoodwill $3.75 🔷Boots @goodwillintl $5 zoom in on those. Aren’t they fun? 🔷Black jeans @tjmaxx $15 🔷Earrings: $2 Rue21 clearance. Have you found any #frugal treasures lately? * #debtfreeliving #debtfreecommunity #financetips
We still own a land line. We need it for internet because we live in the hicks. Yep, country folk here. ;) * Basically that number is reserved for telemarketers and my father in law. We’ve repeatedly tried to tell him. We know it’s him because he still talks into the answering machine announcing himself. We find this out four months later because then he always call our cell. 🤣 * My apologies to the three people who looked up our number in the old church directory from eight years ago. We never did get in the new one. I procrastinated on that too. * If you need me, dm me on here or text me, but if you call or email me, who knows when you’ll hear back. ;) (Okay, Okay, I’ll try.) * Anyone else feel me on this one? * * * PS. I screenshotted this from someone else months ago & now I don’t know who to thank for the chuckle. Ugh. Sorry.
I just spent this week in tight quarters with the people I love most in the world. (Slide for many pics.) * We drove 16 hours straight through the night with five of us smooshed in a Camry. (Take heart, not everyone flies as a family much to our kids chagrin.) * It brought back such memories of when they were small except we did it in our minivan then - RIP. (Having five littles sleep for most of the drive and wake up when we were almost there was like magic). The only difference now? That “no sleep on the car ride” takes me days to recover but the trade off is all those littles now drive. 🙌🏻 * The many years of investing in deep family relationships and #raisingsiblingsasbestfriends makes these rare days all the more special. * They choose each other and this momma’s heart can’t get enough of it. These days don’t happen much anymore. * Our love for each other is real, but don’t assume from life’s big smiles that it’s perfect. It’s a year of transitions. Most marked with joy, but many marked with challenge and heart break. We’ve been grieving some very difficult news, yet rallying together. That’s what family does. We choose each other through it all and now I count down the days until December when we can all be smooshed together again. ❤️ * (P.S. We went back to our Wisconsin stomping grounds. Ate lots of good food. Had family reunions. Went #thrifting ;) Had a blast at #Packers training camp. No, unfortunately our son wasn’t drafted since many asked. :( Visited our son and daughter-in-love in downtown Chicago and much more.) * * #momlife #mothering #thisisus #raisingboys #raisingteens #familyreunion