I jumped off the Deep End! Now Sugar Free AND Gluten Free

The year 2017 started with a vengeance of depression and anxiety for me.  I felt like I was weighed under by a heavy storm cloud.  I had panic attacks that plagued me during the night.  I had no joy anywhere despite knowing in my head that I was incredibly blessed.  I felt like the worst Christian ever!

I knew I was overweight and that doesn’t help any thing.  A few years ago (can’t remember when) I became gluten free accidentally and realized my achy joints weren’t aching so much!  So that is one reason I became 100% gluten free.

Because I was already gluten free, I thought that maybe the Paleo Diet would help me.  Have you heard of the Paleo lifestyle?  It is whole foods based, natural sugars like honey and maple syrup, and great to help with the body’s inflammation.  Lots of good research out there on it.  I purchased several books to help this journey.

I tried this lifestyle for about 6 months.  Overall, my eating changed significantly.  I gave up white potatoes and white rice, eating cane sugar, and now ate an even  wider variety of fruits and vegetables.   But I noticed, I still felt jittery when I ate these foods.  I could literally feel my blood sugar rising after eating.  Not an enjoyable feeling.

Our county fair is one of the busiest weeks of our year.  I ate my normal breakfast, had a salad for lunch and found an easy gluten free meal along with ice cream on the midway each night.  I wanted to enjoy something fair food-y.  But at the end of the week, I got sick.  SICK.  My anxiety was so high.  I lived in the bathroom for 10 days.  Was this stress related?  A bug since I was surrounded by so many people for 10 days?  What was going on?

I knew something had to change and I was drawn to the Trim Healthy Mama website and Facebook group.  I forgot that I had ordered the new cookbook on Amazon’s pre-order program in May.  It arrived during this time of sickness.

I called to God and said “Something has to change!!”  One thing I love about the new Trim Healthy Table book is that it has a chapter on the benefits of following the plan.  The premise of the plan is that you eat proteins with every meal and mix either with healthy fats OR healthy carbohydrates.  But NOT both together.  I was intrigued with helping blood sugars but didn’t like the ideas of artificial sweeteners.  I
don’t like their taste, don’t like that they are made from chemicals, changed they way you need to bake. Nope, not one bit.

 

But HAD to change something.    As I was reading, I saw that the sugar substitutes were from natural plants, not chemicals, so I was ready to try it.  And I jumped in with both feet.  Started following the plan 100%.

Within a week, I noticed that I felt more awake.  I felt satisfied with my food.  No blood sugar spikes.  My emotions felt calmer and I noticed a significant decline in my panic attacks.

After a month, we went up to camp and I brought most of my food but thought I could eat a few of their meals.  By the end of the weekend, I was feeling awful, my blood sugar was spiking and my anxiety came back with a vengeance.  Okay, no more cheating!

For Christmas, Daryl brought homemade fudge an employee had made. It was delicious!!!   I ate a piece but had a panic attack that night.  Then our anniversary was at the end of the month and the restaurant gave a beautiful piece of french silk pie.  I couldn’t stop with just one bite as Daryl had already eaten his half.  So rich and dreamy…..   The next morning I woke up completely trashed.  Like I was hung over!  I got a good night sleep but had to take a three hour nap that day.  NO MORE SUGAR!!!!

I must say I do not feel deprived on this meal plan.  I have delicious meals.  I choose to eat a dessert every day.  I know how to choose meals when we eat out.  I FEEL SO GOOD!!

I find recipes on Pinterest and other blogs and use the two Trim Healthy Mama cookbooks.

My family isn’t completely on plan but they gladly eat anything I cook.  In fact, with one recipe, Bodie comes up and cuts the biggest square out of the middle.  I’d love to have my family completely sugar free but not going to force them to do it.

I’d love to have everyone feel as good as I do, so ask me any questions!!

Bible Study review of A Woman who Doesn’t Quit

We live in a rural area but I know the importance of daily Bible studying.  You may not believe it but I have to limit my trips to town because I do live at home – not in the car running errands.  So I get Bible studies that have daily work and then online video sessions.  The video sessions make it feel like I’m doing it with my best friend.  Even though these ladies don’t even know me!!

I start my day with the devotional called “Jesus Calling” and have used it every morning for maybe 8 years??  And it still speaks to me almost every day!  I have tried to start new books but my heart goes back to this.

2017 wasn’t the best year for me completing Bible studies!  Ugh.  I started and finished only one.  ONE.  Thankful I had the bible verses from Jesus Calling to get me through.

But the one I completed is a GOOD one.  Obviously it was the one that God wanted me to do.

 

It is called “

Woman who doesn’t Quit.  Five Habits from the Book of Ruth” by Nicki Koziarz.  Fitting title, don’t you think??  It only took me 6 months to do a 6 week study.

It is a powerful study.  Talks about hard situations and how to press through them.

 

Watching the video lessons made me feel that Nicki and I were chatting over coffee.  Which is exactly what I needed.  She shared her struggles and I could share mine too.

I won’t be giving anything away by sharing the 5 habits because the daily study is the powerful part.  That’s where the Lord worked in my heart.

I’m going to share them so I can review the habits myself:

  1. She accepts the assignment of refinement.
  2. She follows through despite how she feels.
  3. She stays open to the movement of God.
  4. She gives others what she needs.
  5. She moves forward in faith.

I love the story of Ruth.  I’d love to study even deeper but this is what I needed at just this time.  I hope you will consider adding this to your bible study wish list.

 

Happy New Year! Welcome 2018

Welcome to the New Year!  2018!!  Say what??

As I was listening to KLove today, I hear January described as the most depressing month of the year.  I am not feeling that this year.

Last year (2017) was a rough year for me.  I felt like I had a mental breakdown and that affected every aspect of my life.  I was deep in a depressive pit.  My anxiety wasn’t allowing me sleep.  I was a wreck.  But I tried many things to help and by September/October, I finally made enough changes that I could see a positive change in my health.

I tried to take back charge of our finances and what happened!?!?!  Everything broke!  Cars, appliances, legal bills, so much that my Dave Ramsey emergency fund just laughed.

I started Bible studies and then dropped out of them.

We had lots of farming disasters.

Riley started our local community college classes and it was so hard to manage three different grade levels.  My mental capacity was gone.

BUT…..

That year is over.  I ended up seeing that God brought me to my knees to realize I am not enou

gh.  But He is.  He is with me through all of this.  And all this is part of his creative story for my life.  I say creative because everything He does, does not fit into man’s idea of how it should be done but so much more!

 

As I reflected on the season of Christmas, the Son of God did not come to earth in a glorious , kingly way.  He came down in the most humblest of ways.  Born to a single teenager in a stinky smelly stable.  If God can save the world in the most creative way, I am going to let him work his ways in my life too.  It will be in a way I don’t imagine but I am going to trust his ways.

I ended up finishing the Bible study I dropped out of 6 months before.  And do you know the title?  It was called “The Woman who wouldn’t Quit.”  How ironic.  And I learned so much through it.  I want to do it again!

Finances still are not good but it has encouraged me to teach biblical personal finances to the kids this year.  I wish I had something like that when I was growing up.

Riley finished her two college classes and finished strong.  We learned so much about areas I haven’t been a good teacher and learned that she works harder for teachers other than her mother!  So we’ll keep her in a couple of those classes each semester.

Disasters are part of farming and I’ve researched some possible solutions.

I took a few days off between the holidays to reflect on our year and things we learned and now I know what to focus on for the next year.

I am truly excited for on the New Year!!!

Get out of Debt: Meal Planning

After examining our spending for a moth, I saw a huge area where we were not in control.  Spending on food.  This covers groceries AND eating out.  I always thought we didn’t eat out much but the numbers don’t lie!!  Granted, Daryl took a trip with the kids and they had to eat out the entire time but still, our spending was crazy!  And then because I hadn’t planned well for lunches, we’d have to grab something while running errands.  Lack of planning is my downfall!

So after setting our food budget this month, I sat and stared in our pantry.  It’s fairly well stocked with basics.  What things can I make meals from in here?  Then I went and stared in our freezers.  We raise our own meats (beef, pork, chicken) so we have more than the average person in our freezers.  I then started a list of all the meals we can make from these ingredients.

Another pitfall I discovered about lack of planning is there is nothing leftover to eat for the next lunch.  My kids do not like sandwiches and my lunch choices have not been very healthy or budget conscious.

I have been following a blog mom lifeasmom.com for many years. She is the queen of meal

planning, shopping with a budget, being organized and freezer cooking. I have one of her cookbooks called Not Your Mother’s Freezer Cookbook which we love.  I love her recipes because they are real food ingredients.  And I can easily adapt to gluten free for me.

 

So I looked through her cookbook and immediately saw 10 recipes that would be kid approved and easy for me to fill my freezer with for lunches.

I don’t meal plan like some who say “Monday is this,  Tuesday is this…”  I just write down the meals we have all the ingredients for.  Then the morning of, I examine my day and usually ask the kids what they prefer off the list.  Unless it’s a crazy day and know I need a crockpot type  meal and start that preparation the night before.

So I wrote down all the dinner and lunch plans, made a list of where I get them, and then shopped.  I didn’t add up how much I was spending as it was the beginning of the month and these were all staples.

This past Saturday, I got to work on filling freezer with lunch meals and canning.  The meals were mostly for my kids.  I took some of the main ingredients (like the chicken from the chicken bacon ranch sandwiches) and added spaghetti squash for them for my lunches.  Then I wrapped them up, labeled them and put them in the freezer.  They can be thawed and heated the morning of eating.

The effort makes me so happy!  Freezer filled with yummy foods!  And making sure I stay on spending plan.

Time to be an Adult: Get out of DEBT

I am so thankful to be married to the man I am.  When we got married, he wisely said that all the wedding money we received was to be put into our retirement account.  WHAT????  We can’t spend it to buy furniture for our new life?  Can’t use it to buy something nice to start our house?  We’re saving for 50 years down the road?  I thought he was crazy but moved on.

Him being an officer in the Navy was great!  Yes, we had to endure deployments and high plane ticket prices and HUGE phone bills since this was the dawn of emails and cell phones.  Before Facebook and texting.  But the pay was good.  Because Daryl traveled so much, I was put in charge of the finances.  We established some basic financial rules.  Started saving for retirement, paying into IRA’s, kids’ college accounts, saving for cars and didn’t have credit card debt.  We always had enough money at the end of the month.  All was good financially… or so I thought.

We did Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course in about 2010.  This course over-inflated my ego on our financial health.  Since we were not in any debt, I was able to put a large amount of money into

savings for when D retired from the Navy and we bought our “forever home.”

Daryl retired from the Navy at the end of 2013.  At the same time, we moved onto our “patch of heaven” on his family’s farm.   With the savings I started, we were able to put a large down payment on the building of our custom home.  We were able to pay cash for a new ATV.  I could spend, spend, spend all this money that I had saved.

 

We have raised our animals for all our meat the last 3 years.  We buy as much as we can locally and organically.  And because we are worth it, I just spend.  I am not saying this isn’t important.  I just haven’t done it wisely.  If we don’t eat it, I can just give it to the pigs and chickens.  That’s just one way I’m not being wise.

I always thought I was frugal.  We don’t wear name brand clothes, we don’t have car payments, we don’t eat out as much as the “Jones,” we don’t waste a lot by going to the movies, having expensive toys, etc.  We are better than most with money.  Or so I thought.

Ha!  I received quite the awakening.  And it wasn’t just one.  So now we sit here with the mess of my making.  2 credit cards almost maxed out and a large home loan.  I sometimes have trouble making it to the end of the month so I put more on the cards.

My oldest is starting her sophomore year of high school.  She wants to be a vet.  When Daryl and I discussed having children, he said it’s our responsibility to prepare them for the world by paying for their college.  It’s coming soon.  Thankfully we started the savings when she was born but there is still a lot to go.

I also have wanted travel trailer so that we could road trip/camp.  She has 3 years left with us and I haven’t purchased it and were’s the money going to come from???

SO, it’s time to pull up my big girl panties and get us out of debt.

Here is my first step.

In July, I purchased the Dave Ramsey app called Every Dollar.  The reason I bought the app instead of using the free version is that I wanted to link my bank accounts into the app.  I do most of my purchases with a debit card since I knew I was bad with cash.  This program lists every purchase I make and I am able to put it under the correct categories.  It shows me how much I have left to spend or how much I overspent in each category.  After watching what we spent for the month, this month, I’ll have a better idea of how to budget for things or even cut our spending in that area.

I did Dave Ramsey before but I never accounted for each of my dollars.  I went by how much was left in the bank account.  Pure foolishness.

We have had Quicken before.  I did not like it at all.  As a homeschooling mother, I know that different brains react to different styles.  Quicken is not my style.

What I love about Every Dollar is that it is like a game.  I set my goals and can I beat it?  I entered in where every dollar should go and then I see how much “free” money is unaccounted for.  For the next few months, every “free” dollar is going to pay off debt.

August already has some challenges.  My oldest starts at the community college and tuition is due.  We had a huge unexpected legal fee last month (all part of farming and owning land AND I didn’t have much of an emergency fund).  Our son got braces and starts monthly payments.  And our county fair is this month which adds up to huge spending when kids are in it and we have to be there almost every day for 10 days.

But with Every Dollar, I am able to budget for that and it just means I am not able to put as large amount towards our debt.

What I like about Dave Ramsey is “baby steps.”  I am taking small steps in the right direction.  And I will celebrate the small steps I do make, instead of feeling defeated by the mess we made.

Why Homeschooling?

We just finished out 6th year homeschooling!  I can’t believe it.  Other than being a wife and mom, I don’t think I’ve done anything that long!!  And guess what?  I still love it!  Each year is new and exciting to me.  I might enjoy it more than my kiddos!

Please know, that in NO way am I bashing public schooling.  I know many amazing teachers (and even family members who teach) and they bless so many children and families.  They ARE changing the world.  And we need them.  It’s just not what God has asked us to do.  Just like He’s asked us to live on a farm.  That’s why living in America is great!  We have choices.

In 2010, God was working on my heart in so many ways.  First, to bring my family to eating healthier. Second, to be open to living on a farm.  And third, to start homeschooling.  All of this was completely foreign to me!!!  I started researching through other blogs, books, and talking to other moms.

My college degree was Food Science and Human Nutrition.  I was trained that science is the best.  God was challenging me that what HE created was best.  Not labs and factories but what is found in nature.  Which led to living on a farm……. AND why not grow it yourself???  I feel I have no marketable skills but I felt I could grow a garden and take care of some animals.  Already, God was preparing my heart to accept our move to Idaho in 2013.  Because before that, absolutely NO WAY!  So now, along with Google, blogs and YouTube, that’s what I do!!  Never say never to God!!

So back to homeschooling, God was showing me that we were so busy that I didn’t have time to teach the kids what I was called to do.  I had been extremely active in Riley’s public school.  I was room mom and even president of the school parent teacher organization.  I saw all the time spent on things that were not so important.   And the way I was to find the time was by homeschooling.  SCARY!!!!

Cue thanks for the invention of Facebook and the pioneers of homeschooling that I knew that had high school graduates and even college graduates who were homeschooled!!!  I asked everyone I knew who homeschooled for theiradvice.

Once the decision had been made to homeschool, the next big decision to make was CURRICULUM!  A wise friend of mine suggested that Sonlight would be a good fit for us since it is full of living books.  Premier educator, Charlotte Mason describes living books as “usually written by one person who has a passion for the subject and writes in conversational or narrative style. The books pull you into the subject and involve your emotions, so it’s easy to remember the events and facts. Living books make the subject “come alive.” They can be contrasted to dry writing, like what is found in most encyclopedias or textbooks, which basically lists informational facts in summary form.”

After looking at their curriculum, I decided to use Sonlight for our first year.  It was a little spendier but I loved how I could incorporate all three children together AND they have amazing teacher guides, which I needed.

After our first year, I thought that I could create our own curriculum.  We tried several things but ended up back with Sonlight.  They just make it too easy.  You have everything when you receive the supplies.  No running to the library or Wal-Mart which is very important for us since we live on a farm!

What I appreciate about homeschooling

  • Mom learns just as much as kids, if not more
  • Mom has to trust God as God is molding me as much as our kids
  • Freedom in our scheduling.  This year we skied in Utah for a long weekend then headed to Texas for 2 weeks during the school year.  We take off when grandparents visit from Texas.
  • Siblings HAVE to work it out.
  • Schooling can happen anywhere and they love learning.  Granted this is after 6 years of homeschooling.
  • We do tons of life skill training.  My 11 and 15 years olds can make at least one complete meal unassisted. And it’s not heating frozen pizza!

I am so thankful we have the freedom for this adventure!

Who Is the REAL Me?

Hi!  I have been struggling for a while.  At least a year.  Struggling with who I am, where I fit, feelings of inadequacy and imperfection, and family issues.

Is it because I am in my 40’s and it’s the usual time for midlife crisis?  Is it because I have moved every 1-3 years of my life as a military dependent, and for the first time, I am in one spot forever??  Who knows??  But I’m going to use it to learn from it.  God has us go through everything for a purpose as He says in Romans 8:28.

So I am going to keep things real.

One reason I have dropped my blogging is feelings of imperfection.  I look to rock star bloggers and freak out because I don’t know all their cool techniques.  I don’t have give aways.  Have new recipes to share.  Do I even have anything interesting to share???

So I will just share me and my life and be happy with that! Maybe one day, I can be a rock start too! Come join me with a cup of coffee and sit with me.

Who am I??

Angela – a sinner, a wife, redeemed, imperfect, mom to three blessings, coffee lover, full of feelings, love to eat/cook/share food with others, love to love on hurting people, taxi driver, natural food advocate, too many pots on the fire, counselor, love to learn, natural health advocate, money mis-manager, homeschooling mom, feel I fail being a family member to my larger family,  needs too much sleep, but I’m the Daughter of the One True King!!!

Join me as I live real life today……

How we raise Meat Birds

Most people are squeamish about raising their own meat.  I can understand that!  I am an animal lover and hate to see anyone in pain.

But I also care about my family.  I am concerned about how the American food system is taking care of their products.  Hmmm, how is sending chickens to China to be processed a good thing?????  So, I combat this by raising my own animals.  I know what they’re fed, how they’re treated, how happy their life is, how big the shelter is, etc.

My philosophy is make sure all their days are good until their last day.  And that last day is not a happy day for anyone!!!  I miss them when they are gone.  But it makes me appreciate their gift to me more now that I know what happened in order to have it.

Last year, we ventured into the world of pigs/pork.  I LOVED it.  Loved their antics.  My husband and kids are loving their bacon and smoked pork chops.  And say it is the best tasting EVER.  I love being able to provide for my family.  Getting ready to order my next batch for this year.  Halfway through last season, I decided to add more pigs so I could sell those and make costs even for my own meat.  If you taking care of one, why not add a few more!

One thing I noticed was how quickly we clear out a freezer!!  When you load it in the freezer as you come home from the butcher, you think, how can we eat all this!?!?!  But I gave a lot out as Christmas gifts – to someone who gave us their leftover corn, to our neighbors, grandparents, aunt/uncle, etc.  And we might eat at home more than the average person?  I have no clue on that.

I bought 65 butchered chickens last year and we don’t have ANY left!!!  My kiddos are missing chicken meals.

So this year we will be focusing on raising meat birds/broilers/cornish cross.

We have butchered our own roosters and they weren’t my favorite taste so I researched more into it.  First off, the roosters we ate were not the eating type.  Second, I didn’t let them sit (to remove rigor mortis) before cooking.  Third, did not cook them the best way to soften them.

I looked into raising Freedom Rangers.  This is said to be a more natural type that doesn’t gorge themselves to death and are better raised on pasture.  BUT I was concerned as my husband is not keen on the dark meat flavor of regular grocery store chickens so how would he be on these?  So that is why I am raising Cornish Cross this year.

As I posted earlier, we hatched 21 eggs.  Then we purchased 24 more eggs and 24 chicks.  If these all hatch/reach maturity, that would be 69 chickens but that won’t be enough for a year AND provided my butchering helpers with chicken too.   So we’ll do at least 1 more set of eggs and chicks.

For the first 2 weeks, they live in our garage in a horse trough with shavings, a heat lamp and well-covered to keep out our cats.  I am able to check on them regularly and keep them in clean food and water.  Now meat birds are different than layers!  Whoo Whee!!!  Smellier, messier, eat more, swim in their water bottle and uglier.  And since they can gorge themselves to death, after their first week, I take out their food at night.   I buy all of our feed from Scratch and Peck but have it delivered through Azure Standard.  Since we will be eating these birds, I want to make sure everything that they eat is as natural as possible.  For the first 8 weeks, they are to be on Starter feed.  Then they will be moved to Grower feed.  I’ll supplement their feeding with a local farmer’s scratch mix as it will cut feed costs.

Once they reach about 2 weeks old, we move them to the brooder that my husband built in our chicken coop.  I think he did a pretty good job designing it but I may be a little biased.  He is so resourceful!  As our house was being built, every scrap that was thrown out, he took and stored in a building her on the farm.  And he manages a warehouse so every time something comes in on pallets, he brings them home.  Other than buying hinges, he had everything on the farm!

This brooder hopefully will be all they need til butcher time!

We’ll butcher them at around 8 weeks if they are around 6 lbs before butchering.

Incubating Eggs

My Christmas gift

Never would I have expected that I’d ever get an egg incubator as a gift or even use one!  But this past Christmas, my hubby splurged on me and got me a highly rated Brinsea Octagon Incubator.

Brinsea Octogan Incubator

I never wanted an incubator as I thought they would be really hard to use – have to worry about turning the eggs at the proper time, maintaining proper humidity, la da da da da…….  No thank you!

Since we have around 75 egg layers right now, we decided first to hatch meat birds.  We order from a local Idaho hatchery (Dunlap Hatchery) and they ship eggs only in February through May.

But incubator is absolutely amazing!  I could see why my hubby picked this one.  First off, we made sure the temperature would remain the proper 99.5 degrees for 12 hours.  Then we added the water into one vessel and added the eggs, POINTY end down. This helped the growing chick have the proper amount of air in the egg.  Wrote on the calendar the reminders to add water every other day to one vessel and then keep both vessels filled the last three days.  That was IT!  The incubator did it’s thing!  The octagon shape made it possible for the motor to turn the entire incubator.  As it turned out, our “due date” was Good Friday!  Nothing like having baby chicks for Easter!

We finally remembered to candle the eggs about 2/3 way through and found 2 of our 24 eggs were not growing.  One had invisible cracks that we could only see through candling and the other egg might not have been fertilized as nothing was growing in there.

Do you know what candling is?  I didn’t before we researched incubators.  How we candled our eggs?  Hubby cut a small hole in a piece of cardboard – maybe an inch in diameter?  Then he put the cardboard on top of his high powered flash light.  We held the egg over the light (in a dark room) and could see blood vessels and dark masses in the growing eggs.  Made this mama nervous as those eggs were worth a lot of effort and my kids were handling them in the dark!  But thankfully no one were harmed.

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On the night before the expected hatch date, I went and sat next to the incubator to see if I could see any pecks in the shells or hear any peeps like I had heard others talk about.  Nothing. But early in the morning on Good Friday, my oldest runs into my bedroom screaming, “A chick has hatched!!!!”  I run in to the laundry room and look in the incubator and there it is, as fluffy and loud as it can be!!!  Several other eggs had holes in their shells too!  By that night we had 12 hatch.  Pretty good odds.  50/50 already!  By Easter morning, 21 out of the 22 had hatched.  After leaving the last egg in the incubator for 2 more days, just in case, we decided to open the unhatched egg up.  Looked fine but maybe it ran out of air??  No idea what happened but that’s nature.

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I had heard that incubated eggs have a very high failure rate.  But my hubby loves to research and he made sure he paid more for a highly rated machine.  I now have to agree with his wisdom! Our second batch of eggs are now halfway through their incubation time.  We’ll have to see if the rate remains that high this time!

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Because my goal is to raise all of our meat chickens to last our family’s needs for a year and I only have a 24 egg incubator, we will be ordering chicks and eggs the next few orders.  Last year, I bought 64 birds and that wasn’t enough.  The kids can’t wait to butcher date as they are missing chicken meals.

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Closing the year 2015

I have been more introspective at the close of this year then I ever have been!  Maybe because this year I spent more time on training and developing ME?    Maybe that would have been my word/phrase for 2015 – personal development?  I think that the end of 2014 was when I first saw people making words for their year? Maybe??  Or maybe I just paid attention to it?  And I couldn’t think deeply enough to dedicate a word for me to focus on all year long.

Since I spend so much this year on introspection, I can see areas that need change in my life.  I realize I am involved in too many good things.  What’s the saying about doing too many good things that don’t allow for the great things?

Learn to say no

I realized when school started this fall we would have to cut things.  Right off the bat, we cut 4H.  It is a very good activity, just too many regular meetings when we are already living 4H out on our farm.  Every day is already educational in farm life!   We cut the girls’ from the local drama group.  Mom was just tired of being the sole taxi driver and there isn’t anyone way out here in the country to carpool with.  We stopped the regular involvement with the American Legion.  We still made 130 Veterans Day cards and helped with the annual Turkey Bingo fundraiser but opted out of the monthly meeting and potluck.  But you know what???  I still feel overwhelmed!

Several years ago, I read a book called “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.    It has been a huge impact on me (in fact it was the one that guided me to homeschool!)  But I remember the author saying something like Mama being the thermostat of the house.  If she is tired and cranky, her kids will show the same symptoms.  In my case, if Mama is stressed, the kids will also be stressed.

A woman after gods own heart

As I was searching for a new Bible Study to do in November, I saw one titled Breathe by Priscilla Shirer.  I had to think about it for a few weeks but decided that it was the study I needed to close the year out with.  I have a problem slowing down.  In fact, that’s probably the reason I don’t sit still enough to focus on this blog.

Breathe

I have learned so much from it.  First off, I don’t feel I have trusted God enough with our finances.  That is something WE are supposed to control, in my faulty opinion.  Secondly, I learned that I am a slave to busy-ness.  I feel my self-worth comes from what I accomplish.  My son said a few weeks ago that we are not honoring the Sabbath as that’s one day we work even harder than others since Daddy is home and we can get projects done.  How convicting is that??  Now, I think he also had ulterior motives since working is not his preference!

Daryl and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week. We went out to a delicious local sourced restaurant and talked for several hours.  As we always do, we looked back on the years and he commented on our lack of Sabbath rest.  Since D confirmed my thoughts, I knew this was something I need to change/focus on it for this next year.

So what will my word be for 2016??  Peace.

I will seek God in all my decisions – all my essential oil business decisions, all my farming decisions, all my homeschooling decisions.  I am seeking Peace.  If I don’t have God’s peace, I don’t want it!

2016