Are You Too Busy?

Are You Too Busy?

Family. Work. Church. Activities. Kids. Meetings. We all know how busy life can be. But how do you know if you’re TOO busy? My friend taught me an important lesson. A very convicting, honest lesson. As a minimalist, my attitude about basic abundance extends to my calendar. I say ‘no’ quite frequently to events or activities and guard my family time fiercely. Even so, the ‘Mom’s Calendar‘ on my fridge fills up quite easily. How do you choose what to say ‘no’ too? Do you compose a family mission statement? This is a great idea I’m currently working on, from Kristen Welch in her book, ‘Rhinestone Jesus‘. The idea behind it is FOCUS. Does going to this activity/event/meeting fulfill my mission statement? If you know your purpose, the fullness of your calendar will be irrelevant. My friend is a prime example of this. Her heart is big. She exudes God’s love in all that she does. A few weeks ago, she was driving near our church when she noticed an elderly woman struggling to shovel the end of her driveway. A frail, old woman, shoveling our heavy, Canadian snow. Even though my friend was on her way to drop some of her kids off at a sporting event, she pulled over and went back. Turns out the woman was desperately trying to get to the store to renew her heart medication prescription. Hello? The kids piled out of the truck and together helped the sweet, old lady to get out of her driveway. My friend also offered her phone number, in event of future snowstorms. That’s showing God’s love....
Give Me My Safe Christianity

Give Me My Safe Christianity

I attend church regularly. My husband is a deacon. I host a Bible study group and read my Bible on a regular basis. My  close circle of Christian friends wear no masks. We are pretty open with each other. We often share prayer requests with one another over Facebook or e-mail. Sometimes, my family volunteers for the Salvation Army to ring the Christmas kettle bell. We donate clothing to the homeless. We sponsor children through Compassion International and missionaries through Gospel for Asia. Occasionally I’ll write a blog post or two about God.  And even though I’m pretty nervous about it, and worried about what to say, I’m always ready to share about Jesus with anyone who asks. It rarely happens though, so I don’t really worry. The point is, I’m ready. I’m very Christian and I think most people who know me would agree. I try my best to follow God’s law and I’m careful about what I read or watch on television. I homeschool my kids and am raising them to love God. But there’s a problem with all this. It’s all safe. And I like it. The truth is, the more I’m learning about ‘real’ Christianity, the more I realize I’m not living it. Being a follower of Jesus in New Testament times was not an easy road to travel. Christians met in secret to avoid persecution. They prayed fervently with, and for, one another. Many of them lost their families. Many of them lost their lives. They loved Jesus and desperately tried to get others to listen. To point them towards hope. Salvation. In many...
Why I’m Rethinking Everything

Why I’m Rethinking Everything

My heart weighs heavy. This. This is what I want my kids to know: Power of The Meek I want them to know God’s power. I want them to know how much He loves and how much He wants to use us to help others. Have I done my job as a homeschool mom if they have learned reading, writing and arithmetic, but haven’t learned of God’s love? How to love others? How to love Him above all else? But how can I teach them something I don’t truly know myself? Do I love Him above all else? Do I show His love to others? To my kids? Didn’t I just snap at them for interrupting me as I’m concentrating on writing this? Thank God for grace, mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for second chances. For third. For ten million and twenty-third. Guide us. LEAD us. Take us on your journey.   These thoughts brought to you by the stirrings in my heart from reading Kristen Welch’s Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer...
To Wheat or Not to Wheat? That is the… Privilege?

To Wheat or Not to Wheat? That is the… Privilege?

The last couple months have been a blur of trials and titles. Wheat-free, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free. It all started with this post. I’ve scoured blogs, articles, medical resources and Pinterest for information, recipes and the truth about the foods we eat. But I’m shocked with what God showed me… So what is the truth? There are tons of articles claiming one side of the story, and just as many articles refuting them. There are people who blog passionately on both ends of the spectrum, and many who meet in the middle and tend to be a bit more balanced. But who’s right? In the end, I can only go by the testimonies of people I know who have shared with me about their families. Like the kind-hearted lady whose whole family has been able to go off of all kinds of medications for different maladies by going wheat-free and grain-free. Or my new friend who shared how her husband’s blood pressure and cholesterol has dropped to normal levels after only two months of removing wheat from his diet. They still eat fatty foods like bacon and butter, yet his own father continues to struggle with the same issues despite being on all kinds of medications and eating ‘low fat’, but still eating wheat. And then of course, there’s one of the most wonderful women I know, who has dropped her insulin from 60 mg a day to just 20 mg because removing wheat and sugar has made all the difference in her diabetes. I have no doubt that going wheat-free and gluten-free can definitely make a HUGE difference to...
How To Achieve Balance In Your Life

How To Achieve Balance In Your Life

We all know when our lives are out of balance. We can feel it in our bones and see it in our stress levels. This past month, I’ve let myself get out of balance again. I can be on the ball with the homeschooling schedule, but  be behind on my office work.  I can have days where I get lots of work done, but then my daughter feels neglected. I can remember to eat healthy and exercise, but… okay, I haven’t remembered to eat healthy and exercise lately. Sigh. It happens to all of us. So what can we do about it? How do we get in balance? Here are some tips: Define what needs to balance -Remember that we are not just physical beings. We have a spiritual side, an emotional side, and an intellectual side. Remember to include all these areas when trying to balance. For me, a balanced life includes time with God, time with my family and friends, homeschooling, office work, writing, housekeeping, eating healthy and exercising. Take some time right now to make a list of your own priorities. Take a second look at your list – How long is it? You can’t balance 30 apples on a scale that is meant to hold 20. Don’t be afraid to cut some things out. Minimalism runs deeper than just getting rid of your things. Bring it to God – This could easily be the first point. Commit your lives to Him and let Him lead you. He will show you what needs to be balanced and what needs to go. Start Your Mornings Right –...
Why Netflix Is Costing You More Than You Think

Why Netflix Is Costing You More Than You Think

Gone are the days of $5 movie rentals. With Netflix, you can get unlimited access to a number of movies each month for just under $10. What a deal! What a steal! Or is it? Netflix may be costing you a lot more than you think. A few months ago, I was trying to find a certain foreign show on the internet only to discover it was not viewable from my country. Then I remembered Netflix. Sure enough, they had the show. Since our family has never signed up for it, we could get a trial month for free. Perfect! I could watch the show I wanted and then cancel. Except Netflix doesn’t want you to cancel. They are banking on the fact that you won’t cancel once you sample their wares (isn’t that what drug dealers do?) and they are usually right. But they didn’t get me. A couple days after I watched my show, I browsed through the other offerings Netflix has. The reality donned on me. I no longer have to go to a video rental store – the video rental store is right in my house! And therein lies the problem. Here is what I discovered about Netflix, and why it costs more than you think: It’s Too Accessible – There are all kinds of movies I would never rent from a video store, and now I’ve invited them all into my home.  There are genres and topics that go against my faith… and if I sign up for Netflix, I’m paying to have them delivered directly to me (whether I watch them or not)....