12 weeks!Β 

We made it to the 12 week mark of this pregnancy! This was the point I miscarried with my last pregnancy in January, and I will be anxious to be in the 2nd trimester this time. My belly is growing, and this week I felt the first little flutters of the baby! Such a special feeling! I puked for the first time yesterday! I waited a little too long before eating breakfast, and boy did I pay for it. Other than my first pregnancy, in which I puked the entire first trimester….I have only puked once per pregnancy after. So I am hoping that was it for this one! Lol! 

I have been diligent to keep my iron levels up, and my go to supplement is this one: 

It is a high quality iron supplement that actually works amazingly well with the body. It was one of the best recommendations my midwife has given me. 

I am thinking the baby is a girl, but only time will tell! πŸ˜€ We have been tossing around a few baby names which is always fun for the whole family. 

We move into our new house in two weeks and we are so excited! 

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

Undeserved provisionΒ 

Early on in our marriage, Prince Charming and I watched a DVD seminar on biblical living and finances. It played a huge role in the changes we made early on in our life together. We have experienced hard times and times of blessing, but in both, the reality is everything we have is God’s. We are managers of what He has so graciously given. We don’t deserve or have rights to anything…only what God has willed for us. I don’t have a written journal of all the situations and circumstances that we have experienced in this area, but I wanted to start. 

Just to be clear I wanted to give the guidelines we financially adhere to first. 

1. Tithe. It is biblical for Christians to tithe. I know there is debate about the percentages that God distinguished in his Word in the Old Testament and the New Testament and how much a tithe should be. As believers, we have to read the Bible individually, and as a couples…and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance on the tithe. It should be done cheerfully, and from a sincere and humble heart to the Lord for what He has provided. I believe the beginning point is a tenth. 

2. Give. I am not talking about the tithe for this. This is after and above that. It is specifically guided by the Holy Spirit. For us, God guides it regularly but we never know in advance or plan for it. I will provide one example as an encouragement only. I have prayed about whether or not to even share an example. The reason being is this giving is intentionally private in most cases. One day at a sit-down restaurant the Lord prompted us to give the waitress a $100 tip. We didn’t know why or anything about her circumstances. We just felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We returned about six months later, and the restaurant had shut down. We didn’t know the day we left the tip her job there would be ending in six months, but God did. Our faith is always blessed when we are open to giving as the Lord directs. 

3. No debt. We purposed before we got married to get out of debt. After about 5 years, we became debt free. 

The following are three examples of God’s blessing of recent undeserved provision we experienced as a family.

  1. Health insurance. When we sold our business our health insurance ended abruptly. We had 7 days to figure out new insurance with the fact we were expecting a baby. I won’t go into all the details, but God miraculously led us to be able to find insurance on the last day possible with 10 hours to spare to get the application faxed in. We realize health insurance may seem trivial, and in some ways I guess it might be. I am thankful for the blessing of God’s provision in this area, and that we had no lapse in coverage and were approved. 
  2. Our van. I won’t write all the details of how our van came to be in this post since I’ve mentioned it in previous posts….God blessed us with our van and it is undeserved provision. 
  3. Dining table for 12. We have been on the lookout for a dining table for 4 years. We knew we would outgrow our table after we found out we were expecting baby #5. We have just been pulling up chairs and squishing in for family dinners all the while searching. New tables are unbelievably expensive, and those prices were not feasible for us. So, we have just waited and looked. Today we found a used table that will seat 12 and it comes with the chairs! The price was less than a quarter of the new ones. It is just a real blessing for us. The history of the table is also important to note. The owner is 87 years old, and she hosted her kids and grandkids to eat around it every single Sunday. What a heritage! I’m looking forward to sitting around it with our own family in our new home. Again, another example of undeserved provision. We are so thankful. 

Our prayer in all of this is to honor our Lord with all that we are and with all that has been given to us. We know at any moment anything we have could be gone should the Lord will it. Things can be tough with a large family in the area of finances and resources. Our society is generally hostile to large families. Our tax system is not supportive to families. However, I know God provides for His children. Whether in times of plenty or in times of need, His provision is constant. You can trust Him for it. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today. πŸ˜€

Roles in marriage Part 2

In Part 1 I shared some of the struggles I believe are happening to the mix up of roles in marriage. I believe much of it is related to the culture, and I would like to share some hopefully helpful suggestions for wives to restore biblical roles which in turn will benefit the whole family. 

1. Make the Lord the focus of your heart, marriage and family. When God is at the center, you have the right foundation. Determine to make all of your decisions in light of His word. 

2. Read the Bible. It is impossible for a wife to follow and live according to God’s word without reading it. Read it daily. 

3. Pray. There is power in prayer! Please, please don’t neglect this important activity in your life, marriage and family. Prayer moves the hand of God in ways you will be amazed by! 

4. Respect, love, and support your husband. Your husband needs you more than you know. You have a significant amount of influence in his life. Determine to be a blessing to him. Encourage him, flirt with him, and forgive him when he fails. Work with him in the areas of weakness to overcome and become stronger. 

5. Be a devoted mother. Seek God and talk with your husband about setting aside each and every activity that hinders you from being a devoted mother to your children.   

6. Keep life simple, and set boundaries. The temptation in today’s society is to be signed up, to show up and take up all sorts of activities that make life unbelievably complicated. Again, with the help of the Holy Spirit and your husband, purpose to make life simpler. This will allow you more time to be fully “present” with your husband and children. 

7. Seek out biblical discipleship. Whether it be at your local church, your own mother or a trusted godly friend, don’t go it alone. Seek the wisdom of other biblical women in your life. 

8. Keep church attendance a priority. The church is where we meet with the family of God. It will be a huge blessing to you and your family. 

9. Be diligent in making your home a place of God’s love. Home is an important place for the family, and when your home is a place of God’s love, life transformational work transpires in he hearts that live there. 

10. Be a woman of character, integrity and honesty. 

I know there are some complex situations in families today. However, I believe if you put into practice these suggestions, you will see beautiful blessings in your life, marriage and family for years to come. 

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

Roles in marriage Part 1

Far too often roles in marriage get mixed up. When God created the institution of marriage He was very specific about roles.  The intent was for the wife to be a helpmate to her husband. God provided Adam with Eve so that he wouldn’t be alone. The two became “one flesh.” I believe there is much confusion today having to do with the roles of marriage because the Bible is no longer where people look to for guidance. The consequences are devastating because what is happening is an erosion of the family. 

We have lived a pretty sheltered life in the middle of nowhere for the last six years. I will always treasure the time we had there, and how strong of a foundation we were able to build on God’s word. I have noticed how chaotic things are for couples in general in today’s culture. The following are a few of my observations.

Husbands are afraid to lead well. Leadership on the husband’s part takes courage. It also has to be done with grace, empathy and compassion for his wife and his family. I believe what ends up happening more often than not is the leadership is then deferred to the wife. It is left up to her to figure out how to lead and solve problems in most areas of family life. This often leads to unsatisfactory results, and resentment can begin to take root in the wife’s heart. 

Poor boundaries contribute to the mix up of roles in marriage. Between church, sports, school functions, homework, meals, working out and whatever else is added to the family’s activities list….it is no wonder things tend to get all mixed up. Getting dinner made is a miracle in and of itself, family meal times are non existence, and the family is never together as a unit. Moms and dads are frazzled by the end of every day, plant themselves in front of a screen of some sort, and virtually no emotional connections between the husband and wife take place. They wake up to the same chaos each and every day. 

There are no specific standards to live by. Day in and day out most couples are just managing to get through the day, standards of living become elusive, if even thought about at all. This makes parenting children all the more difficult. Stress from children’s behaviors add to the stress of the marital relationship. In the end, the culture is what ends up determining the family standards and all members of the family are frustrated. 

There is no time for God’s Word. Couples exchange a multitude of other activities in the place of reading the Bible. It seems impossible that reading it regularly would make any difference. If they only knew the transformational influence it can be for good in marriage and family and life altogether, it would become the first priority. 

Prayer is neglected. The saying is true. The couple who prays together, stays together. By not inviting God to be a part of a marriage on a regular basis, marriage becomes vulnerable on every level. 

The heart of the wife and mother is not with her Lord, her husband or at home. The pressure for wives and moms today to work, to volunteer, to have the perfect body, to figure out how to get her kids to behave with spending very little time with them, to clean, to cook, to have fancy nails, to be a soccer mom, attend field trips, keep her hair dyed, manage the financial strains on her own, the list GOES ON….it’s too much. Her family suffers, and she’s aware with no solution to change it. Her mind is constantly spinning. She is desperate. 

Many are struggling in their marriages and families. In no way am I an expert. I have just lived through some of the very things I have discussed in this post. There is a better way. In my next post, I will be discussing some ways to bring about the change needed to have biblical roles in marriage that will bring about beauty and blessings for years to come. 

May God be glorified in all the not so average mamas/ladies today. πŸ˜€ 

All the “new”

I have been trying to figure out what to write my next post about. It’s one of those seasons where there is so much I could write about, but yet I have a hard time putting it into written words. There is just so much going on. It has been a little over a month since we sold our house and moved out. I’m now 11 weeks pregnant! Yay! I never imagined we would be relocating to where we are, and yet I am excited because it has been nothing short of the Lord’s leading…and when you are following the Lord’s leading, it brings peace. We are in the midst of everything new. Hence, the title of the post. 

New baby on the way! We are so extremely thrilled and excited about our new baby on the way. About a week and a half ago I had an ultrasound to make sure things were going ok. I didn’t allow thoughts of fear to consume me, after having such a difficult miscarriage in January. I just trusted God, that no matter what…He is good and His plan for me and our family is good. Our ultrasound was scheduled for later in the evening(perks of living closer to the city now πŸ˜‰), and we had completed the final signing and closed on the sale of our auto repair business. So we decided to celebrate with a dinner at Outback prior to the ultrasound. This is a picture of us on our way! πŸ˜€

The ultrasound went fabulous. The baby was measuring great even on the big side, and the heartbeat was strong! The baby was even waving at me as the technician was showing me the little hands and feet. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. None of my babies have waved like that on an ultrasound scan. I left feeling so thankful to God for this new life inside me! It will be so special to be welcoming this baby around Christmas. 

New home! After all these months of searching, even traveling the country, for the home God would have us be in….we have finally found the place we will call home. We will be moving in to it in about three weeks or less. I cannot express how excited we are! We will be living in Oregon, a place we had never considered previously. The house is on 7 acres outside of town, but close enough in that we won’t be isolated. We have a wonderful vision for the place including gardens, chickens of course, some updating of the inside, etc. I really can’t wait! I will post pictures when we get there! πŸ˜€ 

New church! One of the main motivations for our move was to be in a place where we could find a local church we could grow spiritually in and truly be a part of a family of believers. We are excited because the church we have found  is so great! We thought we would be a part of a small church, but we have been surprised and led by the Lord to a huge church. I am finding the little box of a perspective I had is being completely obliterated in this process of our new life. This in no way means compromise, actually it is because of our love for the Lord, and His Word that we chose this specific church. It will be a tremendous blessing to have opportunities close to home that our family can participate in with the family of God. 

New job for Prince Charming! Selling our business wasn’t originally what I had expected would happen when we contimplated moving. As Prince Charming prayed and sought the Lord, he came to me and said it was absolutely what needed to happen. So now he will go back to working in a dealership, doing the amazing awesome work he always does to provide for his family. 

New van! We were able to replace our Nissan NV after our last one had a water leak that couldn’t be fixed. Nissan was amazing and gave us our money back. With having baby number 7 on the way, and being avid campers…we needed a vehicle that could tow and carry all of us! So we went with the same van. We were able to get the new van for less than our old one, so that was a huge blessing! 

God has been so incredibly gracious to me through this transition. I am learning more and more how God’s ways are not our ways. I am learning patience in a new way. We have been able to show our kids through this process about the importance of living by biblical principles even when it’s tough. For us in this season, it was being patient to seek the Lord one day at a time for the home he would have us be in without going into debt. We also felt a strong conviction as parents to raise our children in this time on acreage. The reasons surrounding that conviction would take another post entirely, so I will save that for another day. I am looking forward to all the “new” in our future and most specifically our new baby! 

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

Official pregnancy announcement!

I know I shared in my last post that we were expecting, but I wanted to share here the official announcement that we used to share with our family and friends. I have found there really is nothing more special than announcing a pregnancy, a new life. I have noticed though, after having two miscarriages in a row, people have responded a bit differently this time. It is almost like they might be anxious for us in announcing the news. All I know is for me, I have complete confidence life begins at conception. God knows the end from the beginning, and His Word communicates nothing but positive things about having children. They ARE a blessing, every.single.one. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Sometimes babies go to heaven before we are able to meet them face to face. It doesn’t change the fact for me, that each of my babies are a gift. They are eternal souls, created by the same God who created me, and sent His Son to die for all who would believe. So without further ado, here is our official announcement! 

It is a special thing for our entire family every time we put together a baby announcement. It brings us all together in a way that is difficult to describe in words. The thing I do know though, is, we value life, and how precious it is to celebrate….no matter how tiny!! 

We can’t wait for this little blessing to grow, and see how God will use this life for His glory! 

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

Expect the unexpectedΒ 

First, I am 7 weeks pregnant now. We haven’t made any formal announcements yet, and not because we aren’t over the moon excited for this little one!! We are a bit discombobbled(if that’s a word), and trying to get organized enough to take a cute picture to announce it. So, my faithful readers, which really are not many….will get to know first(other than the other special people in our lives that we have told). πŸ˜€ I am feeling pretty good. The nausea comes and goes as expected. I try to keep up with protein and snacks to avoid it. So far, so good. I am dealing with a bit of fatigue, but nothing out of the ordinary when pregnant. 

We are desperately seeking the Lord right now for His direction for our life. Things have not gone as we had expected, so it has been a bit difficult. 

Everything in our life is changing and not just a little bit. It is in a huge way. I’m emotional of course. I’m missing my dad like crazy. Wishing so bad I could call him for some direction and wisdom in this roller coaster we are in. He must have had them himself at one point or another. Even just hearing his voice would cheer me up. 

I’m always amazed though, how God works things out. The people that He puts in my life. I am so so grateful. We aren’t meant to do life alone. A big part of this move was to follow and serve the Lord in a new way than we have been. It was also to go to a new place for spiritual growth in love in and amongst His people. Thankfully, with technology, we are able to stay in close contact with the dear friends we left. 

In fact, I was so excited to get a phone call today from one of those dear friends. I get giddy when friends call me. It’s almost a rare thing anymore for people to actually pick up the phone and call for a real conversation. My love language is verbal, so it is a blessing to have friends to share that with. 

Homeschooling has been another blessing, as usual, in this transition. Our kids have learned so much about real estate! They are proficient in house hunting, what it means to make an offer, and they are learning first hand how to negotiate. All very important skills in life. 

We said goodbye to our Nissan NV today. It was deemed a lemon after a year long water leak that was unable to be fixed. We were AMAZED at how well Nissan took care of us. So even our vehicle is changing! We will be on the lookout for a new to us van soon. I have loved everything about the Nissan. We will see where God guides us for our next vehicle. 

I will be so ready to be settled again. We are on the adventure of a lifetime for sure, but my faith is strong. I encourage you to put your faith in Jesus, He is the way the truth and the life, and THAT is GOOD NEWS! We are truly walking by faith. 

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

Grandma’s house!Β 

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! πŸ˜‰ 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! πŸ˜€ 

Creation MuseumΒ 

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! πŸ˜€ 

Easter 2017Β 

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! πŸ˜€