Grandma’s house! 

Before heading back to the PNW, we decided to stop and visit Grandma in Wisconsin. We also got to see my sister in law and my sweet nieces and nephew! We had a wonderful time. 

Grandma made us a home made bacon and egg breakfast the first morning. It was a very welcomed breakfast after so many days on the road! 

We visited throughout the day, and grandma made a WONDERFUL fried chicken and mashed taters dinner! 

It had been about three years since I had seen my sister in law, and I was just thrilled to get to have a visit with her! 

We met 20 years ago on a missions trip to Romania. She met my brother on a visit to see me following our trip to Romania, and a few years later, they were married. If there ever were kindred spirits, that’s what we share. 

Our kids love spending time together. Cousins share a neat friendship. I was so glad the kids got to visit and see each other! 

And the bonus was haircuts for all the girls! 😉 We were all due for a trim! 

Grandma’s house is definitely a favorite for the grandkids! 

Now we are headed back to the PNW, knowing our Father in heaven is leading us and going before us. In the days to come, we have many changes we will be going through. I am thankful for our close knit family, and how we really do have grace and love for one another each and every day.  

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀 

Creation Museum 

After a wonderful Easter at the Ark Encounter, we went to the Creation Museum the following day. We had a wonderful day! Prince Charming and the two older girls decided to go zip lining! 

They had a fabulous time! Meanwhile, I took the little ones and went to check out the animals there. We saw a ZONKEY! 

We saw a ZORSE! 

We also saw a camel! 

We were all encouraged to see the Biblical truth of creation presented in such a wonderful way! 

I am so thankful for the freedom to homeschool. The opportunity to grow and be challenged in our faith together as a family is one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling. We are able to center our vacations around God’s leading in our lives. We are not bound by man’s rules and expectations. This road trip has been a perfect example of that. The Holy Spirit prompted Prince Charming to “just go see” and we did! We didn’t expect to spend Easter at the Ark Encounter, and see the Creation Museum. God has been leading us every step of the way! 

If you haven’t allowed God to lead you each day, I encourage you to start allowing Him to take the lead in your life! It won’t be without struggles, but it will be a life worth living. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀 

Easter 2017 

Our Easter this year was one to remember for many years to come. We decided to take more time and head up to visit the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum! It just so happened with the timing of things, we visited the Ark Encounter on Easter Sunday. It was such a neat experience. The spiritual significance to it was a comfort to my soul. The magnitude of truth displayed at the Ark Encounter for all to see challenged me on a personal level to display my faith in a similar way. God does BIG things with our lives if we simply trust in Him and obey. 

I was blessed as a mom to watch my children’s reactions at the Ark Encounter. They took in every part of it and were inspired. 

It is hard to put into words just how renewing it was to my faith to see the Ark Encounter. This picture is more descriptive of the feelings that were inside me. 

God deserves all our praise. He has a plan for our future. He provides for us! He is working out all the details of our lives as believers for an eternity spent together with Him! I am in awe. Prince Charming have grown so much in our faith since the beginning of our relationship. I am so thankful to be walking together side by side raising our children in fear of the Lord. Exhibits like the Ark Encounter are a wonderful encouragement to us as parents. 

We were reminded of God’s intimate working in our lives with the timing of this visit being on Easter. I am so humbled by the amazing love of God. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀 

What we saw in Texas

We went to Texas after Prince Charming felt the Holy Spirit prompting us to “just go see.” We loved Texas. I didn’t particularly get the feeling I would love the heat for the long term. I did feel the the other things I loved in Texas outweighed the negatives of the heat. The following is what I loved about Texas. 

1. When you hear about Southern hospitality, it’s a REAL THING! I have never been in the South. I was completely BLOWN AWAY by the Southern hospitality. And I mean BLOWN AWAY! The hotel manager brought our kids Easter treats. They got free pizza when we went to a store to pick up a couple things. They were given suckers at another store when one of the kiddos stubbed her toe. The realtor was AMAZING! She was a perfect stranger. I found her on Zillow. I called her on our way down. I asked her if there were any houses that met our criteria. She was so friendly, so kind, and exceptionally professional. She encouraged us to “go home and pray.” I would move there just for the hospitality alone. 
2. Christian music plays in public venues. It was such a delight to walk into places and hear the uplifting music play over the speakers.

3. The city we were looking at relocating to operates with debt free principles. Our country as a whole operates under the weight of unbelievable amounts of debt. It was nice to see a city take the wise approach to financial stewardship. 

4. Plenty of churches. You don’t have to worry about finding a church home. There is one nearly on every corner. 

5. Land is reasonably priced. The places we looked at were much more affordable than the PNW. 

6. Gardening seems like it would be farely easy to do there! Since I am not experienced yet, I can’t say for 100% sure….but with the heat, I would expect the gardening to be much easier than what I’m used to with a very short growing season.  

7. Texas homeschooling laws allow 100% freedom! We have good homeschooling laws in the PNW, but Texas has even better ones. 

8. No state income tax. There are very few states left in the nation that do not have income tax. 

9. The medical care in the part of Texas we were in is some of the best care in the nation. 

10. The music education is top notch! They have some incredibly talented music teachers with impressive resumes. For us, music lessons are a must. So having top notch teachers was really enticing. 

All in all we loved Texas. We did come to the conclusion that we are not able to relocate there at this time because of reasons out of our control…..but we are so happy we went and look forward to going back! 

This relocation process has been quite the incredible experience. This mama is definitely looking forward to when we are settled again! I have been convicted about the issue of contentment big time in this moving experience. I have had to ask forgiveness for my past discontentment. I am purposing to overcome this weakness with God’s help. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀

Just Go See

It has been quite the intense weekend. And if you’ve been keeping up, we thought we knew the direction we were headed. Buying land, building, and starting a new business up North. 

All of those plans have seemed to have unraveled in a hurry. Like a big hurry. I could ramble on about all the details, but I will spare my readers. The main idea is we have worked hard to go in the direction we’ve been going. I’ll share a few of my thoughts. Making a fresh start in life in a completely new community is difficult. Add low inventory of homes on the market and it is even more difficult. Add the conviction to not go into debt, yet more difficult. Our idea was then to rent until we could build on land. Well, that brought about a new set of difficulties. No one wants to rent to a family of 8. I get it. Kids are hard on houses. As much as I think I watch my kids, life still happens…and they are still kids. Add a dog into the mix, and landlords despise pets as well. So after several rejections because we have a large family, it just didn’t feel good. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. It didn’t help we were driving by the Planned Parenthood center where the protestors were making either their opposition or support of the place known. More tears came as the thought of losing our precious baby boy surfaced-knowing so many dispose of their babies at the same age Isaac was, alive with beating hearts- in those centers. And to add further grief, it was the anniversary of my dads death. I am feeling so desperate of his advice right now. And the tears just sting! I miss him! I’m sad we aren’t still pregnant with our baby. 

We are simply following the Lord’s leading, even though it’s not what we originally thought would happen. I’ve been sharing my frustrations with my best friend in Romania because I know she understands me. She gives wonderful encouragement, and these are the verses she gave me. Exodus 14:13-14 

So as Saturday progressed, we looked at another house for sale since we had traveled North to try and continue the progress of plans. The house was in a neighborhood, and it was actually good size. I told Prince Charming it would work. He said, “what about your garden?” I told him I could let it go. 

Then the Lord began to speak to him about Texas. He said he just felt him saying “Just go see.” So we left to go back home and get packed. We left and are now on a road trip to Texas. 

Relocation isn’t what I thought it would be. It has tested us in so many ways. In America, the system is designed to live under the burden of debt, payments, and contracts. It isn’t easy taking the opposite path. 

We are at peace though. Freedom in the Lord doesn’t compare to any other thing on earth. I’m hoping to blog as we go. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today. 😀

Walking by faith 

This journey of moving has been all about walking by faith. We knew God was leading us somewhere. We didn’t know where. Texas was a possibility, North Carolina made the list, and Wisconsin was considered. We prayed and prayed. So many circumstances we experienced over the last year proved to be God guiding and leading us to this new place. We’ve tried to find just the right house, yet that wasn’t proving to be fruitful.  So we are embarking on a new adventure I never expected. Buying land and building our home, all debt free. 

When you walk by faith, staying true to the convictions God has revealed to you, you will be tested….sometimes over and over. There are many emotions with the thought of leaving our current life and moving to make a brand new fresh start. I am still grieving over the loss of our baby boy only two short months ago. But yet. God leads. He is good. He knows the future and holds us in hands. We can trust in Him fully and continue this walk by faith. 

We are currently working toward buying 8.1 acres. It is a beautiful piece of farmland. It is level and dry. The view is beautiful. Prince Charming and I were walking the driveway again the other day and I said, “Babe, I need to know from your heart why we are doing this?” And he ever so comforting said, “Because we need a completely new and fresh start.” I knew that because we’ve talked about it all along, but I needed to hear it again. 

This property came about unexpectedly. It has a rich heritage. We had to move and act fast. I think that was the hard part for me. With real estate decisions, I prefer to take time to research, plan and inquire about perspective properties. But here we are. I am more and more excited as the days go by. One of the things I want to do first off is plant a rose garden. I can’t wait to see how God continues to lead. 

I encourage you ladies if you are a wife to have confidence and trust in your husband. God has placed him as the leader of your home. Allow God to minister through him to you as his wife. Pray for him. Allow your heart to be vulnerable and honest with him. Work hard to be in unity and have grace for your husband. These are some of the thoughts that as a wife I’ve been having as we go through this major life change. I wanted to share and hope it encourages you. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀 

Keeping my world small 

In a day and age where news and information spread literally faster than a wildfire, I have chosen a different path. I enjoy a little social media on Instagram with approved followers and I receive much encouragement from the ones I follow. Other than that, I keep my world small. I don’t seek out hundreds of friends on Facebook for advice, I actually rarely log into my Facebook account. I don’t use Twitter. 

My focus is on our Lord, my husband, children and the responsibilities that go with running a business….and real life relationships. I love when the phone rings, it means an actual live conversation with someone! I don’t send it to voicemail. I love when the neighbors stop in their cars as they pass by when we are walking the mile long driveway to chat for a half hour. I treasure the times when people are willing to come out to the middle of nowhere to visit in person. On the rare occasion our family of 8 is invited somewhere, we make our best effort to say yes. 

I share our major life events on Facebook; I do want our light to shine. I love people. There is just so much garbage out there in the Internet world/social media world, etc… I don’t want to be distracted/influenced by all that. I purpose to keep my world small, focusing on what the Lord has given me. 

As we continue to prepare for our big move, I am taking some time to think and pray over the future. We want to be a blessing and encouragement to our new “small world” community. 

These years of home keeping, raising children, homeschooling, passing down life skills to each of our kids, discipling them in biblical principles, all the things that go along with running a family business, and the numerous other things life throws at us….those things require a great deal of focus in and of themselves. 

I know God could always turn our world upside down and put us in a front and center venue, but for this season I am thankful where we are and where we are going. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 😀 

Sale pending

We got our house on the market, and it was an unbelievable amount of work. From pressure washing the patio in the snow to leaving town for the painters to paint, it was crazy busy. We got it done, and the house was on the market and sale pending within 4 days(3 if you want to get technical. 😉) That means we have exactly six weeks to find a new home, and move. 

The place we are moving to is the opposite end of our beautiful state, six hours North to be exact. We have made several trips praying and hoping certain properties/homes would be “the one.” So far, none have panned out. We are back to square one. Am I worried? Not at all. Am I focused and pretty much relentless in looking for properties/homes that might be a possibility? A RESOUNDING, YES! 

We know this is the path God wants for us, and we are literally walking by faith every step of the way. We are moving into an area which is a much higher priced market than what we are moving from. We have heard suggestion upon suggestion to go into debt to make up for the “difference” for a similar property/home. We are remaining steadfast in our conviction to remain debt free, and we trust God already has the right place lined up for the right time for us to move.

I am looking forward to being through this transition period, but at the same time treasuring each day as they are numbered in our current home. I don’t even know how to sum up the 6.5 years of our family life in this house. So.much.has.transpired. 

The most important thing I will take from living here (aside from the babies and love shared) is the journey of my faith in Jesus. I was a broken woman when Prince Charming and I got married. The quiet of being in the middle of nowhere has helped me to hear His sweet and quiet and precious voice. The mornings spent in prayer and reading my Bible while sitting on the deck taking in the beautiful view. It has been a precious place to heal, grow and become rooted in the Gospel. 

Putting our house on the market and following God’s leading 

We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell. What a job! I have sold houses before. But I have never sold a house I was living in. Let alone with my husband and six kids! This is going to be a tough season. On top of it, we are waiting on the Lord step by step for the house God will lead us to once this one is sold. 

We purposed when we got married we would work tirelessly until we got out of debt. And boy did we. We also committed that once we got out of debt, we would never go back unless it was to save our life or one of our kid’s lives. So, until this house is sold, we do not know where we stand in buying our next house. And that’s ok. We are living by faith. We are praying for God’s will to be done. That’s all we want. 

In the mean time, we have taken down all the pictures in preparation for painting. We have fixed a multitude of little things that were on the to do list. Yay!!! It’s all coming together. A week from now, we will be knee deep in trying to keep a house immaculately clean while homeschooling and raising our six little blessings. We can do this! 😀 

 Prince Charming and I take decisions like moving very seriously. God has made it so very clear this is His will for us at this time, and we are excited to follow His leading, even though we don’t know the specifics of it all. He does. He loves us. He is going to do great things in us as a couple and in our kids. He has big plans for our family. We simply want to obey and follow. We are His disciples. In the Bible, God demonstrated how He leads people. There are many examples of the act of moving being one of those ways that He leads. My heart is full as we embark on this journey of change. It isn’t without it’s struggles. Trust me on that. The spiritual warfare is unbelievable. How do I overcome and still have a full heart? The lyrics to the song “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” explains it best. If you don’t know this song or haven’t heard it, find a rendition of it and memorize it. 

All the way my Savior leads me,

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His tender mercy,

Who through life has been my Guide?

Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,

Here by faith in Him to dwell!

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well;

For I know, whate’er befall me,

Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,

Cheers each winding path I tread,

Gives me grace for every trial,

Feeds me with the living Bread.

Though my weary steps may falter

And my soul athirst may be,

Gushing from the Rock before me,

Lo! A spring of joy I see;

Gushing from the Rock before me,

Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,

Oh, the fullness of His love!

Perfect rest to me is promised

In my Father’s house above.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,

Wings its flight to realms of day

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way;

This my song through endless ages:

Jesus led me all the way.

I have been writing about how God is awakening me in a new way. It is nothing of my own doing whatsoever. After having two miscarriages in a row, and holding my precious baby boy that had only been growing in my womb for 12 weeks, I should be a mess, depressed, not wanting to get out of bed. But I am alive and honestly well! I am so thankful for life! Baby Isaac will forever be remembered and treasured as one of the sweetest babies I have ever laid eyes on. God chose ME to be his mama. His not so average mama. I had the gift of seeing his preciously formed body. His tiny little hands and feet. The Holy Spirit surrounds me continually with His comfort. It is because of Him that I can say, “Lord use me to help other women to love you, their husbands and their children.” 

I encourage you to follow His leading in your own life. Don’t ignore that still small voice that is guiding your mind and heart. Let your desires be His desires. Pray for His will to be done in your life. Be a woman of humility. Be welcoming to the hearts of others. Embrace the divine appointments that you encounter. 

I will close with the most recent way God continues to lead me. My favorite Psalm in the Bible is Psalm 91. It is so precious to my heart. I read it often, and reread it. It is comforting. It guides my thoughts in the right way. It is foundational encouragement to my heart. Yesterday I opened up my email. I had a new email from Doorposts. They have a wonderful ministry. The title of the email was “Study Psalm 91/Bible Study Instagram.” It was like water to a thirsty soul seeing that email! On March 1, there will be a Busy Mamas Bible Study using the platform of IG, on my favorite chapter in Psalm! We will study for 30 days. If you are interested in joining in-follow Pam @doorpostslady! You can also follow me @anotsoaveragemama. Let’s study together and be encouraged! 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today! 

Just say no to comparison…..say yes to discipleship 

Comparison, envy, jealousy, covetousness, etc…it is a trap. Especially  in Christian circles. Social media is a big breeding ground for it. But that does not have to be a way of life. I want to encourage you today as a woman to “JUST SAY NO TO COMPARISON.” I am not going into detail about the why’s and how’s of how destructive it is to one’s life, JUST SAY NO TO IT. 

If you are scrolling through your social media app of choice and you find yourself having jealous feelings, envy and the desire to throw yourself a pity party…unfollow, turn it off, delete it if need be. Don’t let yourself go there. It will ROB YOU OF YOUR JOY AND CHRISTIAN LOVE. 

Discipleship on the other hand is a precious matter and so very important. I haven’t been able to attend church in a couple months with the snow storms we had, then I was suffering from morning sickness, and then the healing from the blood loss from the miscarriage. What has been happening in those two months though despite all I’ve been through, is discipleship! I feel like my faith has grown leaps and bounds. The Lord has been stirring within me a desire to help other women in discipleship. I believe there is a real lack of support for women to embrace biblical Christianity. I have been praying for God to open doors for me to be able to disciple women. 

I want to give you 3 tips that have helped me immensely as I have grown as a disciple. 

1. Read the Bible. DO NOT, and I REPEAT, do not substitute ANYTHING else for it. Read it daily. Meditate on what you read before you go to sleep at night. Let it renew your mind. 

2. Use DISCERNMENT. Since Bible reading is number one, and you will be focusing on the pure truths of God by reading it, you will then be able to practice DISCERNMENT. This is so very important to discipleship. Being able to discern evil from good, what is false from what is truth, and recognizing it RIGHT AWAY, and turning from evil is key! 

3. Pray. Don’t neglect how important it is to pray. Prayer is what moves the hand of God. PLEASE do not go through life without hope in this area. Go into your closet much like you would record a you tube video of yourself where no one can hear you, and PRAY OUT LOUD. 

Discipleship has not come easy for me. I live in the middle of nowhere, have a large family, have been pregnant or nursing for six years, reached out and hosted dozens of people to try and establish connections, and a sense of community has been difficult to develop. We have no family close to where we live. I have felt at times there is something wrong with me that no matter how hard I tried, others simply weren’t interested in having a relationship with me like I was with them. 

My divorce is a part of my past, and at one point in a Sunday school class, someone said they felt a person who was divorced and remarried were living the life of an adulterer. The comment hurt me so deeply. I felt like I was swimming upstream to try and grow in my faith. But I kept pressing on with those three key points…and continue to. We cannot give up. That is what our enemy is out to get us to do. I won’t give up. 

Other things that have helped me immensely are podcasts, books, other Christian bloggers, and some really wonderful women I have met through Instagram. 

Don’t fall into the mold of comparing your life to all of those you see on social media. You have a special purpose that WILL NOT look like anyone else’s! Be ever so diligent in listening to God through reading His word and hearing the Holy Spirit. He absolutely will meet you where you are. As you start to realize much of discipleship comes through obedience and love, be QUICK to throw away the things that don’t line up with God’s word in your life. I think I have had three different sessions over the last six years as I have said goodbye to the “old self” and purposed to obey Jesus. In those sessions, I have thrown stuff away or tossed them on the burn pile.  

Fill your life and home with reminders that point you to Jesus. Hang Bible verses on the wall that have special meaning to you. Very recently I listened to a sermon by Dr. Jobe Martin. He spoke about keeping a shelf of items from the miracles that have taken place in your life. When God does a miracle, something special or very specific, keep an item from that event and place it on a shelf that only holds items of those testimonies. It is a beautiful way to teach your children and to remember regularly how God has intimately been involved in your life. 

I love to share with women, to hear from them, to spur one another on toward love and good deeds! I pray this post is an encouragement to you. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today!