Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cracking the Closet Door...

Day 2 of getting to know me a little bit better has come.

I try to hide this part of me...but what I'm going to show you is basically a major hub of my life.  So, even if the door is closed, chances are if you are at my house for more than ten minutes, you will see into the heart of my home.  My power station...

My downstairs closet.

It holds EVERYTHING!  Go ahead...play I Spy here.

Can you find...

A crock pot?  How about 4?
At least 20 Pyrex dishes?
Painting supplies?
A dirt devil?
A vacuum?
My preschool supply box for the kids I babysit?
A tool kit?
Old family photos?
A power drill?
About 7 Thirty One bags that I use for grocery shopping?
Extra table cloths?

Yeah, you name it, it's in this closet.  I sort through it about four times a year.  I even have had friends clean it for me.  But no matter how hard I try, I can not keep this place clean!  It drives me crazy, because as mentioned before, this is the HUB of my home.  This closet is where everything important is stored.

Believe it or not, I am selective about what goes in here.  And truthfully,  I'm pretty awesome at purging or throwing things out.  (Except for crock pots and Pyrex dishes...because they are awesome and I use all of them...sometimes all at once!)
So, who has advice for me?  How can I tackle this closet?  How can I improve my usage and storage.  I need this place to be functional so that I can be my best.
Also...do YOU have a place like this?  Please, tell me I'm not all alone here!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Little Birdies

Today, we are celebrating my 150th Blog Post!  Yay!  Thank you for journeying with me!  

To celebrate I am taking on a five day blog project.  Each day I'm going to take a picture of something in my house, and tell you the story behind it.  I share a lot about my life, but there is still so much to tell you.  :)

Today's item is a little one that is probably overlooked by everyone else that comes in to my home.  Honestly, I don't even know if David even notices it.  But I do. It sits right about my kitchen sink...and always has in the three houses we've lived in since were were married.  

Mr. Bluebird.  He was a gift from our dear friend Erin when David and I wed.  He's simple, beautiful, and classic.  And, because of the wedded bliss promised from a legend about bluebirds---he's always been a symbol of my love for my husband and our life together.  

My marriage is  a priority for me, and this little fella reminds me of that daily! 

So a couple of follow up questions---if you have been to my home, have you ever noticed this little birdie?  And, what do YOU have in YOUR home that reminds you of your priorities?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where's Sarah

I am a mess.
I will never deny that.
That's why yesterday's blog about Jesus' love was so important.  Because, Jesus loves me even when I mess up.
And, as it turns out, so do my friends. :)
Let me tell you a little bit about this morning.

I babysit S & T.  S is two years old, soon to be three, and T is 6 months old.  They are the cutest little guys, and on Thursdays they are my only kids that I watch.  So, on Thursdays, we get to do things we would not normally be able to do, like go out to breakfast.

The night before, my friend Natasha, had texted me and we made plans to meet at the cozy little breakfast place in town.  It's her favorite restaurant, and it has become one of my favorites because of her.  The boys were coming later today, so we had planned on leaving my house at 8:30.  It was going to be a perfect morning.

UNTIL---she shows up at my house.  My car was in the driveway, but no one was answering her knock at the door.  There was no noise or movement coming from the inside and she started to worry.  Assuming I had walked to the diner with the boys Natasha leaves to go check the diner.  That's when Justin, the boys' dad, arrives to drop them off.  He finds the same thing...a quiet house with no Sarah.

As Natasha realizes I'm not at the diner, and Justin realizes I'm not answering the door, the text messages and phone calls begin. They met each other on my front porch and tried to think of where I could be or what may be happening.   Phone calls to my cell phone, the house phone, my closest friends, my mother, my grandmother---they blew up those phone lines in my area.

Automatically, their minds drifted to the worst.  Obviously, I was dead somewhere, and someone was going to have to find me.

Except, I wasn't dead.  Just dead tired.  And deaf in my left ear.  And the owner of a cell  phone that had a drained battery.  Yup.  I was upstairs in my room, peacefully sleeping, on my right side, with my deaf ear up.

 I had no idea I was even missing.

I slept through all the phone calls, all the people in my house, everything...
I was in dreamland.  To make it better, I was dreaming about finding T's missing binkies---which I'm always on the search for!

The world had never been happier for me to wake up.  I had never been more humiliated.  I really hate messing up.  Especially when it comes to messing up for people I really love and cherish.

I can't believe God blesses me with friends who love me even when I sleep like a rock when I'm supposed to be up and productive.  I can't believe they were not irritated at me, but rather, just so thankful I'm alive.

So, it turns out that maybe, just maybe there are people in our lives who reflect Jesus' unconditional love.  Like my friends.  They rock.  Even when I don't!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Last weekend I attended the MOPS International leadership conference, which has affectionately been named "MomCon."  While I was there, I heard from amazing speakers, bought life changing books, and felt a rekindling from God that I so desperately needed.  But, as I reflect over my weekend, the most powerful moment was in the car ride, on the way home.  The entire ride home was such a blessing to me...each woman sharing their reflections and their take-home points.  We poured out our hearts about sin, struggles, encouragement and hopes for the future of our ministry.  But, THE MOMENT came for me out of one simple sentence from my friend Jenny.

I do not know what we were talking about or how it came up, but Jenny simply said, "Oh I love Jesus so much."

Now, back when I in high school, while most girls were scribbling their boyfriends' names on the front cover of their notebooks, I was writing my Lord's name down.  In fact, I remember one time in tenth grade health, the student teacher looked down at my nerdy front row desk with my notebook covered in hearts and the name of Jesus and asked me who "Jesse" was.  I was horrified, because an upperclassman named Jesse was in my class, and I quietly responded, "It says Jesus, not Jesse."  Oh, I was so in love with Jesus.  I would write his name, daydream about him, risk public humiliation for him.

When I heard Jenny proclaim her love for Jesus, it startled me.  When was the last time I had proclaimed out-loud with the passion that she had  that I desperately loved my Savior?

Fast forward a couple days later, to a typical Monday night at our house.  We were eating dinner, and my Papa Pete was spending time with us while my Gram was at Bingo.  Papa loves to talk about the past and his horses and the work he did logging the woods when he was young.  He was telling me that once he had built a loving and caring relationship with his horses, they were so easy to keep in line.  He said, "It was like their love for me made them want to please me."

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Somehow along the way I went from a girl passionately obsessed with Jesus, the man, his character and his love, to a woman who was stuck in the rut of obedience. Obedience does not earn love.  In a slow, quiet change, I went from experiencing Jesus  and his love to trying to earn it.  I had forgotten that, unlike the people in this world, Jesus will love me no matter what I do. I traded in simply loving and being loved for the feeling that I had to earn God's love. What a bum deal! I had quit allowing myself to be swept away by God's love and just letting me proclaim for the world how much I love Jesus.  And the thing is, I forgot that when you are completely smitten with your Savior, obedience just pours from you...not because you feel like you have to obey God, but simply because your love makes you want to obey him.

I'm going to be really honest here and say that I'm not sure what my next step is.  Should I just grab the nearest notebook and doodle Jesus' name like a school girl?  Maybe?  Perhaps I should just sit quietly and meditate on the love of Christ.  It probably wouldn't hurt.  I truthfully am so caught up in "being good enough to be loved," that I'm not sure how to "just be loved."

The next steps for me, just like most things in my life, will require bravery, trust, and faith.  I desperately long for Jesus to sweep me away in His love and I want to lose myself in the wonder of it all.  And, I'm pretty sure, just by the way I feel right now, that's all Jesus needs me to do...is to want to love Him more.  I don't have to do anything else.  "Doing" is how I got in this mess in the first place.

I'm interested in  hearing from you---what do you do to increase your intimacy with Christ?  Do you feel loved no matter what?  Or, like me, have you been felt trapped in the "earning God's love trap?"  Please, feel free to share and we can discuss, encourage, and pray for one another.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Callings, plans, and prayers

It was about a year ago that I had a great idea placed in my lap from my dear writing group friends.  "Hey, why don't we all try to write  50 thousand words and form a  novel for National Novel Writing Month?"  I threw myself in completely and wrote with a passion that I had never felt before.  Each day, I would ignore house work, drink ridiculous amounts of coffee, and write until my vision blurred and my fingers bled.  I was a writer.  Even more than that...I was an author.

Within months, I had a publisher, and shortly after that I had a book.  It was so fast, so miraculous, and to be quite honest, even though the days felt hard, it was easy...really easy.

So, here I sit with less than a month before "NaNoWriMo" starts, and I'm committing to writing again.  I am not delusional enough to believe this time will be easy.  I know I'm working this year and my schedule is tighter.  I know I'm more intimidated this year (especially as I've learned more about the publishing process).  And truthfully, I'm just simply more"in the know" this year.  There is truth in the old adage "ignorance is bliss."

Last year, NaNoWriMo was blissful for me.  This year, I'm fully anticipating a battle.  But, I'm a strong person and a brave writer.  I have a message welling up inside me that I need to share.

But, the question I want to ask you is are you supposed to be joining me?  One of my favorite quotes is from Crystal Evans, "Some readers will only hear, understand and accept certain things when they read it in your words, from your perspective, written in your voice.  We were each created by God to do our part.  And if we fail to do it because we don't think it's valuable enough, great loss will be suffered.  Someone, somewhere, needs you---in all of your uniqueness---to step up to the plate of your calling."

Powerful stuff.  Things to pray over.  I'm asking God to clearly lead you to your voice, you mission---because he may just have a story stored up in your heart.

Please, leave a comment if you are considering writing for the month of November.  I want to pray with and for you.  And, if you are not feeling that calling, will you please partner with me in prayer?