How you see the world around you affects how you live your life, how you treat others, and who you become.

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Matthew 13: 31-32

People were always a bit shocked by the things Jesus would say and the way he said them. His perspective was higher, his wisdom greater, his love deeper.

How do you see the world around you? What has happened in your life to shape the perspective you now have. Perspective is the lens in which you view your world. We all have one and they are all varied. Maybe you were raised poor and have a difficult time relating to wealthy people or perhaps you grew up well off and can not relate to the needy. Have you experienced suffering? Are you sympathetic?  Do you care about others at all? We all have our lens.

Jesus was always trying to broaden people’s perspectives.  Open their eyes to understand the kingdom of heaven. Yet because we live on earth and experience our lives in the way that we do, we are often unable to look past the day to day and what we know.

I want to encourage you to look up today. Really look at your surroundings. Consider those around you. Ask God to open your eyes and give you the mind of Jesus Christ. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live an ordinary life. I want to make an impact,  leave a footprint, give others something to build on. I want to love others without prejudice regardless of my past. I want to conquer things others see as impossible. I want to have faith to walk on water. I want to live like Jesus.

Mirror Mirror

  My family and I have recently moved and are in the process of renovating our home. So we still have boxes scattered and no decor on the walls. Heck…Some of the walls aren’t even finished yet.
  Every morning when I flip my head upside down to blow dry my hair, I see this beautiful antique mirror that my mother in law gave to me. It is sitting on a box in the floor in my bathroom. I love to look at it and consider the possibilities of where to hang it. I want to hang it in my bedroom, but then who will see it? Maybe I should hang it in the hall or the living room. Where will it look its best and get the most attention? Do people put mirrors in their kitchens? These are all things that I consider. Until this morning, not once did I consider to hang it for its intended purpose. Reflections. 
  It occurred to me that I can treat my faith and walk with the Lord like this mirror and very likely have been for sometime now. I read the scriptures and immediately post them on facebook. (Display) Someone might need this today. Do I allow myself to look closely and reflect on the words? Sometimes. I get more caught up in Christianity and the idea of a relationship with the Lord than actually pursuing Him.                   
My pastor says “familiarity breeds contempt.” I don’t know if that is scripture but it is true. I get caught in the current.  I stop trying to swim upstream.  I’m tired and want to float a while.
I have to encourage myself with the Word. I press on towards the goal. I keep my chin up and remember those things that I know. My foundation is firm but it’s time to get back to building. Because He is worthy and I am nothing without my God.

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

A day without words

Lately I find myself considering more and more how one would go about not speaking for an entire day. Am I the only woman who has ever wanted to try this? Men in general use less words than women.

I catch myself saying things that didn’t make it through my filter first, which usually have little benefit if any. And for me it is important to speak things that matter. I want to be intentional with my thoughts and my words. Words are the expression of a thought and so a focused mind is where I begin.

I crave peace and quiet. I am the first to rise at my house because I thoroughly enjoy the quiet and stillness of the early morning hours. I begin my day by reading scripture and journaling my prayers. Journaling has been one of the greatest habits I have begun. It let’s me see where I was, where I am, and how I got there.

There are lots of scriptures that talk about controlling your tongue. Yesterday I read Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent and discerning if he holds his tongue.” And I thought…I want that. I want more silence and less words. I want to go away…take a trip and spend some time alone. How else can one go about not speaking? I have to speak at work. It would be rude to ignore everyone. I have to speak to my family. I feel pulled constantly by everything around me. I want to just BE. I want to ponder more. I want to explore my thoughts more. I desire less distraction. Sometimes I hate the noise from the tv so much that I seriously consider giving it away. Am I crazy? Am I the only one who feels this way? I am only 30 years old. If you say it gets worse with age I can only imagine where I will be at the age of 50. I can see myself living in a remote village of a corner of the world that no one has heard of or even cares about. Lord help me.

Mrs. Independent

On my bucket list is “thru hike the Appalachian Trail.” I fancy myself to be a pretty adventurous and independent woman most of the time. I like hiking alone and enjoy only having to pack for one (what little I take). It is nice to be able to throw some tuna in sunflower oil, a couple of cliff bars and water in a pack and hit the trail. But when it comes to camping there has always been someone to go with. Even if it is with a group of strangers who meetup ( or ) to do things they enjoy together. I have always wanted to attempt a backpacking trip/ camp out alone. But then the sun goes down… and the wild cats and bears that were playing in the woods while I was hiking suddenly become ferocious creatures after my hide.

This weekend I was bound for some nice piece of land in need of exploring no matter who did or did not go with me. I asked everyone who was remotely interested in a hiking trip to which they all reluctantly declined. What? You mean you can’t drop everything you had planned for the weekend and come with me!? Not many people live this way I have discovered. Whether good or bad, it’s how I roll.

I did my research on several places and decided on a State Park about 70 miles or so from my neck of the woods. I told my husband and family where I was headed and of course gave them the phone numbers and site number to where I was staying. My husband probably told me to “be careful” 10 times before I got there!! Even my 11 year old son asked me 3 times to “please be careful.” What do they think I am going out there to do? Of course all of my friends on facebook thought I was completely crazy and would more than likely end up hurt, lost, or both. I HAD to prove them wrong. You know THEM, right? All of the people that have a panic attack at the idea of a lonely, pitiful woman out in the wild, helpless to fend for herself. BLAH! This is WHY I HAD to go! I had something to prove. I am still not certain as to what extent. None the less, I knew in my heart that I could do it and needed to.

So, with a lot of preparation, prayer and a pistol (I call this the P3 system) I survived my first night, alone, in the woods. I will admit that I let out a sigh of relief and smiled as soon as the sun came up the next day. I may have even whispered to myself “I did it.” BUT…I DID IT Y’ALL! It was similar to the first time you do anything. You spend more time worried about what it will be like and the what if’s than you ever needed to. I will make one suggestion for the women reading this blog who are working up their nerve to go it alone. Stop watching movies like Cabin in the Woods and those like it. Being freaked out is not my idea of fun and all of those images and fears that you saw come back to haunt you as you lay there in silence surrounded by darkness. Why torture yourself like that!?

DORK ALERT: You will notice in the picture that I took my guitar. I didn’t have far to hike so I loaded down my pack (probably near 50 lbs.) and strapped a camera around my neck, guitar in left hand and small cooler in the right. I can’t help but laugh at the idea of me traipsing through the woods barely able to keep my balance. That is one of the great things about going places where no one knows you. Ha! I don’t mind that everyone who saw me on that trail got a good laugh. Overall the trip was incredibly beautiful. I had a fire, a bottle of homemade wine, and my guitar to keep me warm and entertained. I am WOMAN…Hear Me ROAR!

It’s a God thing

I have a story to tell. As most of my friends and family know, I enjoy hiking and backpacking. I haven’t done a lot of backpacking but what I have done I have Enjoyed. My dad and I often go on Camping trips And The gear that we use is mostly things that my dad has slowly gathered over time. It wasn’t until I went on a serious backpacking trip with a group who often does it that I realized how much my backpack lacked. I noticed everyone’s really nice extended day backpacks With fancy names and pockets. The more I spoke with people and did research on my own about packs, the more I realized that it is important to have a good backpack.
I struggled with the idea of paying $300 for a good backpack. So I prayed and asked the God who has all resources available to him to provide me with one at a reasonable price that would fit my body. A lot of people will tell you that God doesn’t answer your selfish prayers. There is a scripture that says “delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4. I found a lot of freedom in that scripture. God is the desire of my heart, and so is backpacking! He created me to love nature and things outdoors and socializing with people who love the same things that I do.
Every time I went on a trip and saw someone with a really nice pack or flipped through my backpacker magazine, I became envious. I would still my mind and lift up a prayer to the God who provides all things for me. After several months went by I found one on craigslist that looked nice and good for me, but the person selling was asking more than I wanted to pay, $100. About a week went by and I kept looking at the same backpack. Finally I texted the girl selling the pack and asked if she still had it. She responded that she had sold the pack about a week before. :/ bummer! Then she tells me she sold it for cheap to a resale shop in Benton, my hometown. So that day on my lunch break I go see if it is still there. Wouldn’t you know that it WAS still there and they were asking $110. (I was hoping they didn’t know what they had!! Not a chance.)
I had read the reviews on this backpack and it was excellent, it fit and I even liked the color. God provided beyond even what I am telling you here, financially. This was an answer to my prayers. I couldn’t stop smiling as I left the resale shop that day.
But I was doubly blessed. There was a very nice surprise that came along with it. The girl who had originally had the backpack for sale on Craigslist and I began texting and have become fast friends.

My God is so much bigger than the box we put Him in! I want to shout it from the mountain tops! God sees you where you are, He DOES care and your prayers DO matter.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV)

Priorities by design

My husband and I married 8 years ago. In doing so we each brought the other a gift, an opportunity to learn, a son. We each came with our own, tagging along behind us. We are a blended family full of quirks and joy.

By now we have hit some pretty good bumps along the way causing us to rethink our path. We are still headed in the same direction as when we began, yet we have learned to seek the better, smoother path. Why go all the way around when you can clearly see there is a better way? Yet, the path changes from month to month and year to year, just as our priorities do.

The other day I was moving things around in our family room and I noticed a pillow in a corner chair that has been there for probably a couple of years. I see it all of the time, but I haven’t really SEEN it since the month that I placed it there. I was in a sowing phase. I am a phase gal. Some stick, most don’t. Sowing didn’t. But at the time I thought it was a great use of material and made that little pillow. I placed it in the chair and once I had decided that it would stay there, I left it alone, trusting in my decision. Until now. The pillow is worn down and frankly I find it ugly.

Our family’s and my personal priorities are a lot like that pillow. At the time they are right for us or me. Then time passes and things begin to get uncomfortable, old and worn out. I am reminded of a scripture.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV)

If I allow myself to get caught up in the comparison game of life, I get discouraged and to feeling as if I am never doing enough of the “right” things. But who is to say that we aren’t exactly where we are supposed to be?

And so a word of advice. Don’t judge others for where they are, they won’t be there forever just as you aren’t where you once were. Thank the good Lord for that!

My phases are natural and often spontaneous but my priorities are well planned. Just like that little old pillow has got to go, so do some of my old priorities. They aren’t as important as they once were. New things and people have come along and it is time to do some spring cleaning and updating.

Are you living on the fumes of old priorities? Have you taken the time to re-examine what you do and why you are doing it? Is there something that needs to go to make room for the new? If I am honest, I will admit that I am always a bit envious of those steadfast people, never changing. Yet change can be good; for without change there would be no growth.

Cage Free


About 12 weeks ago, I impulsively brought home 8 chickens, 2 ducks, and 1 puppy (guard dog). Our coop wasn’t ready, but I knew the baby chicks and ducklings wouldn’t be ready for the coop until they were a couple of weeks old anyways.

The chickens and ducks are older now and bring our family much joy. They don’t lay eggs yet, but we have enjoyed taking care of them and watching them grow. I ultimately wanted to raise chickens for the eggs. (Plus, I’ve always wanted to live on a farm. So, chickens are step #1. So far, so good.)

I want the chickens to be organic which means that I don’t buy chick/duck food that is medicated. We have slowly been upgrading their coop with a hanging feeder, metal 5 gallon water container, and a kiddie swimming pool for the ducks. I have been keeping a weekly poultry log of purchases and upkeep.

Although we have a fence around the chicken coop, eventually the chickens will fly out and back in at their convenience. They will be considered “Cage Free” at that point. Which means they can eat those pesky ticks that plague our dogs every summer.

The cage is actually there for the chickens protection. Every morning I open the door to the chicken coop and let the chickens and ducks roam the fenced yard. And every evening I close the door to keep predators out. It may seem like they are stuck in that pin now, but not for long. Once they start to look beyond the cage, they will see there is more to be explored.