Blogs I’m Loving: January 2014

I’m always looking for good blogs to read!  I don’t look for a specific blog type to read (special needs, craft, christian, photography, etc), instead I look for blogs that inspire me.  Today I am going to share seven blogs that are some of my current favorites!

1)  Sacred Mundane

Kari (rhymes with sorry) is a mom, pastor’s wife, & believer who strives each day to share the beauty of the everyday.  When I first read her blog, I was struck by these words:  There is no ordinary work.  All of life is worship.  Every breath is a prayer.

Kari just released a new e-book called I Will Look Up:  31 Mornings Seeking Him First.  It is currently FREE on Amazon so snag it while you can.  I got mine yesterday and look forward to digging in!

2)  Beauty That Moves

First and foremost, Heather’s photography is AMAZING!  I am totally fascinated by all of her posts about gardening as I have a total black thumb.  She has inspired me to try my hand at a small garden!  I always leave her blog feeling refreshed and very calm, which are two things I really need!

3)  FIMBY (Fun In My Backyard)

I started reading Renee’s blog last spring and just found myself coming back. Renee’s family lives in Canada and they homeschool their 3 kids.  I’ve enjoyed reading her philosophy on homeschooling and learning…very refreshing!  Their family will be hiking through the Appalachian Trail this year.  I can’t wait to follow their adventures!  You can read all about their plans and preparations on her blog.

4)  I Love It All

I recently found Monika through Instagram.  When I went to her blog I instantly fell in love with her projects, printables, and tutorials.  I am looking forward to all the fun things that Monika will share this year!

5)  Steady Mom

I’ve been reading Jamie’s blog for a couple of years and I just love her encouraging style of writing.  She writes about homeschooling, adoption, and intentional parenting!  You are sure to be encouraged as well!

6) Life As Mom

I can not recall how I found Jessica’s blog, but I’m thinking it was through Pinterest. Jessica blogs about a lot of different things, but what really kept me coming back to her blog was her series of posts on frugal living and freezer cooking.  I have tried many of her freezer cooking recipes and my family loves them!  We are looking forward to completing her Pantry Challenge as we prepare for our move this summer.  She is currently doing a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway that you will want to enter!

7)  Lemonade Makin’ Mama

I bought something through Sasha’s shop last year and then started reading her blog.  I love her clean approach to photography and decorating.  Every time I read her blog, I want to start decluttering.  She has an adorable etsy shop with cute prints and towels.  Her heart for Jesus shines through her writing!

There you have it!  I hope that you will check out these blogs and be encouraged and inspired by them like I have been.

What are your favorite blogs?  I’d love to check them out!

Make it great!

JuJu

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Do Not Fear!

Just had the most precious moment with Skylar as I was in the kitchen making meatballs. 

Sky: Mom, what are you afraid of?
Me: Heights & someone hurting the people that I love! (I also thought to myself that I am afraid that people will never see Skylar for the wonderful soul that she is & that sadly, there will be many people who will just not accept her.)
Sky: Well, you should conquer those fears mom!
Me: I have tried Skylar, but it still scares me!
Sky: Well mom, the Bible clearly says “Do not fear!” It also tells us that we need to trust God and that He will take care of us!
Me: (speechless)
Sky: So even though I am scared of sharks and snakes, I trust God & He takes care of me! You just have to have faith mom! He loves us!
Me: (still speechless, but now crying)

Sometimes I get discouraged because of the things that Skylar has tremendous difficulty doing & I cry out to God and ask Him for encouragement and to soothe my aching heart. I have absolutely NO doubt that God speaks to me and encourages me through sweet Skylar!

I hope that this encourages you today as well!

Make it great!

JuJu

Stop The Ride, I Want To Get Off!

Hello All!  This truly describes how I have been feeling the past couple of days.  So, this past weekend I had some ear pressure/pain and just didn’t feel all that well.  I took it kind of easy and on Sunday I didn’t even get out of my PJs.  Monday & Tuesday I kind of just trudged through my day.  I was having difficulty focusing and just wanted to sleep.  Wednesday morning I got out of bed & caught myself on the dresser.  After a few minutes I thought I was steady & walked to the laundry room to grab some clothes out of the dryer. By the time I reached the laundry room I was clinging to the washing machine trying not to fall.  It literally felt like the entire house was spinning and I was overcome with nausea.  Chris was at the gym and I was just praying that he would get home soon as I knew something wasn’t right.

I basically crawled back to my room and directed the kids to get ready as I sat on the floor trying to make the spinning stop.  When Chris got home, I told him that he needed to take me to the ER and then drop the kids off at school.  I was able to get right back into a room and the doctor was really quick in coming into see me.  They of course asked me a ton of questions & did a very thorough neurological check. This is a time when having nursing knowledge isn’t fun because I knew that he was doing a neuro check to rule out a possible neuro issue (i.e. brain tumor, etc.).  After he was done with the testing he said that he was pretty sure that I had vertigo. That was actually my gut feeling going into the ER.  He told me that he would be sending me directly over to an adjacent building to see a physical therapist. Apparently there is a treatment for some types of vertigo.  I was intrigued as I had never heard of that before.

While I was waiting to be discharged I saw the doc walk back up to the nurse’s station in front of my room.  This is a good time to explain my super keen sense of hearing.  When I say that I have good hearing, that is a major understatement.  I can seriously hear people chewing gum in another room.  Anyhow, even from a good distance where most people would not have heard anything, I heard the doc say to the nurse.

“I just called and ordered a catscan for Room 2 (me).  She has pretty clear signs of vertigo, but I really want to be sure that she doesn’t have anything else going on.” The nurse said “Like a tumor?”  to which the doc replied “Exactly.”

Ok…at this point I was concerned.  Chris was sitting in the room with me and I did not want him to be alarmed.  You see, Chris hadn’t heard any of that conversation because he hears like most normal people do.  I’m serious when I say I have “freakish hearing ability”.  The doc walked back into my room and told me that he was going to go ahead and have me get a CT done and he would come back in and give me the results before I left. (All I could think was “UMMM…you’d better!)

I got into the room, got onto the table, and closed my eyes.  I then prayed this very specific prayer:

“Lord, I know you hold everything in your hands!  You are the great physician and healer.  Lord you know my heart and know that I do NOT want to have a tumor, but Lord if this is YOUR will I will accept that.  Lord I pray that if you want me to walk this road that you will hold me up, use this situation for your glory, & that you will give Chris absolute peace & comfort.  Lord, I do not fear death for you overcame death.  I do long to see my girls grow up & I want to make sure that they will be ok. Lord I pray that whatever the outcome, you will use me and that I will be open to whatever direction you have for my life.  That my answer will be Yes Lord, no matter what the question is.”

And about the time I was done praying, the test was over.  It was that fast.  When I got back to my room I was not anxious at all.  I truly believe that the Lord calmed my spirit.  About 15 minutes later the doctor stopped by and said that everything looked good.  I of course was so relieved.

Some of you might think that my mind jumped ahead to the worst case scenario, but honestly our family has been through so much that my mind just tends to do that.  My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and a little over 2 years ago my father-in-law passed away from brain cancer.  I walked that rocky road with my sister and that dark road I walked with my husband and his family is not one that I would wish on anyone.  You see my thoughts were not on myself, as I know without a shadow of a doubt that whenever the Lord chooses to call me home, that I will spend eternity in heaven with Him because I chose Him as my Lord and Savior. My thoughts were on those that would be left here on earth to endure the pain of losing a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, cousin & friend.  The thought of THAT is almost unbearable.

I know that I could die tomorrow and I don’t want to ever leave anything unspoken. I want to live each day to the fullest.  I want to spread joy and love.  I want my family to know that I love and appreciate them.  I don’t ever want them to question that!

Be thankful for each day & live every day with intention!

Make it a great one!

JuJu