I paid the bills today. This process of being open and honest as I walk this journey is painful. I want to be strong all the time, and I know God is worthy of all my faith and trust, but I’m weak. I prefer to look at the growth and transformation in me, and it’s a beautiful life in God that I have, but I’m still weak. The area I struggle most to trust God with is our finances. That’s probably true for a lot of you. Here’s the thing, though. It’s been a year now since we had Doug’s work income, but the household bills have been covered each month. Continue reading

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Attempting Honesty

This is attempt number four in the last couple weeks at a blog entry. It’s never been so hard to put words together. I’m writing in my journal more, but not the kind of thing that I want to blog about. There are a couple impressions and areas I feel God is expounding to me that I thought you might like to hear, but I I’ve tried to bring them from journal to article, and all I get is evidence of how disconnected my brain is. Today, I decided I’d share something from my journal and leave it at that. I want to be honest and raw, and this is the only way I can think to do it. It feels self-indulgent, but I’ve been told more times than I can remember that I need to share these things and that it will help others. I hope somehow it does.

“So many emotions. Thankfully, the one that keeps threading through them all is gratitude. God, how do you do it? How do you bring the dross to the top, scoop it off, and let me cry out my confusion and regret, leaving me feeling your love? I know you’ll never leave me, but I can’t help begging you to stay.”

God is helping me move. My heart has been numb, my arms limp at my sides, and my feet uninterested in any activity. We start the day together. He’s surprised me again with how he works in kindness and grace in my spirit. I start every day blessed.

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I’m learning a lot about myself, life, and God as I walk this new path. I want to be fully aware of what God is bringing about in me and soak in every moment. I don’t want to miss anything that God is doing.

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that somewhere in the last fifteen or so years I’ve become a team player. Continue reading

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There is a gone-ness. We shared everything. We were one. It seems we must have shared a heart and lungs and countless other essential things, because everyday, ordinary parts of myself don’t seem to work right these days. I know he didn’t take all of my heart with him, because I can still feel the love I have for my kids and friends; indeed, I’m more aware of that love than ever before. And yet, it doesn’t feel quite right. There is a certain feeling of something, someone, some vital piece in the beating of my heart, just…gone. Continue reading

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It’s All Good

I talk a lot these days about mindset changes. I know it’s a buzzword in the world today, but I can’t help what the world will say about something God wants to do. What a man thinks in his heart, so is he; so we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  (Proverbs 23:7; Romans 12:2) I cannot adequately express how transformed my life is since God renewed my mind. I traded in my victim mindset for one of a conqueror. Continue reading

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I’m coming awake. Some days I don’t want to, but I’m coming awake. One thing God is waking me to is my true heart’s desires. A couple months ago, I had ideas about the direction my life would take, but I’m realizing my heart is no longer there. Without Doug, so many of those dreams and plans have no shape. What I used to be passionate about as a team, feels empty when looked at solo. Continue reading

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Are We Toddlers?


“I wouldn’t let him finish eating dirt”

Have you seen the collections of “Why my kid is crying” pics? Continue reading

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Sharpening the Axe

Sharpen the Axe“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend four hours sharpening the axe” Abraham Lincoln never said these words, but they’re great words to live by.

Another step completed! The Fill the Freezer project is my tree, and this whole phase of planning every detail before we board the plane is my four hours of axe sharpening. My assistants and I took a few minutes to assign each of them their prep work per day. I thought it was going to take longer to discuss and I expected that there would be a lot more work per person per day. I was surprised when we got to the end and I was thinking, that’s it? That’s everything?

All of the mind-numbing planning that I’ve done up to this point cleared the way and this was the smoothest job yet. There is still a lot of work for each of us. We’ll be working for two solid weeks without any days off, but hard work that runs smoothly is somehow more enjoyable. It’s what allows you to whistle while you work!

This axe is getting so sharp it’s almost gleaming!

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Call Me Streamline!

Another goal met! It’s a small one, but one I don’t typically find easy to do because it throws me off my groove. Because I didn’t want to co-mingle the fundraiser money with our personal finances, I opened a new account just for Fill the Freezer. As small a step as that is, it’s still exciting to me. I actually took the time to do it! That’s a bigger victory than most people realize.

How Time appears to me: distant and in a blur

How Time appears to me: distant and in a blur

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I have no comprehension of Time. I have no idea exactly what or who Time is. It’s a total mystery to me. Other than that, I’m just like any normal human worm baby.

Specific weaknesses that could bushwhack this project? One, I don’t know how to delegate. Two, I can’t multitask under pressure. Solution? My Master Skills at Streamlining, Organizing, and Making Lists! I discovered this superpower while battling the everyday trials of raising the most awesome kids in the world.

I’ve already shared with you my discovery that I am a project girl. My superpowered experience taught me that the secret to any major project is streamlining. There are a couple definitions for streamlining, and they both fit how I go about my life.

1. To make something more efficient, especially by simplifying or modernizing it.
2. To design or build something with a smooth shape so that it moves with minimum resistance.

How Time appears to me when someone asks me when something is going to occur: STICKS & MATH!

How Time appears to me when someone asks me when something is going to occur: STICKS & MATH!

In my world, Time is the enemy of simplification and minimum resistance. It’s like this; I’m minding my own business, throwing things together, creating delicious, nutritious magic. Then someone comes along and asks how long until dinner. The answer could be five minutes or an hour; there’s no way to tell. Suddenly everything I’m doing to present this fine 7-course meal is thrown into a tizzy and they don’t know whether to comfort me, back away slowly, or call an ambulance. See what I mean? Everything is fine until you add Time to the equation.

What it takes to bring about streamlining of a large project is a bumpy road because it’s all about tricking Time into not sabotaging your big event. I thought organizing and tallying all of the recipe ingredients was tough, but the job that is taking the most brain power is the daily planning.

How Time appears when planning a project

How Time appears when planning a project

In order to simplify this segment, I’m first plotting out each day’s prepping and cooking. The plan is to complete the prep for each recipe at least one day before it’s scheduled to be done. I’m hoping this preparation will overcome my lack of ability to delegate.

By having my assistants do the prep work before the day I complete the recipe, I can get to cooking first thing in the morning when I have the most energy. (No, Mom and Dad, I won’t be clattering around in the kitchen at 4:30 in the morning. I’ll wait until 5!) I’ll get my stuff done and the kids can begin their prep work for the next day’s recipes. At least, that’s the plan.

Which brings me to… I’m not a great multi-tasker. I mean, I can plan and organize like a fiend, but when I get into the middle of actually doing a big event like my daughter’s Sweet 16 party or our weeklong family reunion, my mind fractures and can’t seem to keep track of anything. That’s when my lists are key. If it’s not written down, I can’t delegate it and I suddenly lose all comprehension of when it’s supposed to get done. The confusion reaches epic proportions, affecting the space time continuum and distorting all reason and reality. I’m not lying. I’ve looked into the vortex and it is frightening.

How Time appears to me when in a project: The Attack Of Time!

How Time appears to me when in a project: The Attack Of Time!

Once I’m in the middle of things having to happen, there is no blur, there is no math, there is no Time for planning. There is simply, The Attack Of Time.
My name is Steamline, and Time is my kryptonite.

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The Fill the Freezer Checklist is Shrinking!

Do we ever get tired of hearing about our team’s every win or triumph? Nope! Well, I’m going to pretend that my little triumphs are as inspiring as a team win. It sure feels that way to me!

Achievement Unlocked!

Achievement Unlocked!

As I’m working on the different steps for the Fill the Freezer project, I realize that I’m doing this as I do most things; everything is intertwined and overlapping. It’s working for me so I’m not going to fight it. It takes a little longer to mark something off the list because it’s not linear, but no single job is looming over me, so that’s nice.

That being said, I got to mark off one more step in the process! In the the Excel spreadsheet I’ve designed, each recipe has its section, and within each section is recorded that recipe’s ingredients in one of five columns: produce, canned goods, refrigerator/freezer, etc. You can imagine that with twenty recipes that is a lot of recording.

The steps that overlapped this one were writing down a bunch of those recipes (I thought I had a lot more of them in the computer, but they were still in my head,) and having to tally all of the meat amounts for my mom because she’s stocking up in preparation for our cook-a-thon. On another page of the same spreadsheet I will tally all of those ingredient amounts so we have a total for each–much as you would for your own weekly grocery list…but for 200+ servings, rather than twenty or so.

Well, I finally finished recording the ingredient amounts for each recipe onto the spreadsheet. I still have to tally all of them, and I still have a few recipes to record before I can move on to the next step of planning exactly how I’m going to undertake all of these meals. I’ve done lots of bulk and freezer cooking, but I’ve never tackled anything this big before. I am loving this process!

Have you been able to check something off of your list lately? Celebrate it, no matter how big or small!

Achievement Award


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