Since we live on a budget, I’m all about re-purposing old things to be used in a new way or just sprucing them up to give the room a fresh feel. That’s what we did with our nursery, and it turned out just perfect! But long before we had a nursery (or even a marriage), Caleb and I took on one of my favorite DIY projects of all time. We took a piece that had little life left in it, spruced it up, and gave it a whole new purpose! It only took us one Saturday afternoon and we were able to transform an old dresser into a fabulous entertainment center!
“When my fears, like Jericho, build their walls around my soul; when my heart is overthrown, Your love is my battle cry, the anthem for all my life.” (Every Giant Will Fall – Rend Collective)
I struggle with anxiety. It’s been a lifelong struggle, but it has really come to light in the past few years. In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and physical pain caused by anxiety. By the sheer and utter grace of God, I have overcome that severity, but the devil still wants in, so he attacks me in little ways.
Caleb and I have several young married friends who have suffered miscarriages recently. It is painful beyond words to watch our friends go through this, and to imagine ourselves in their shoes is unbearable. We’re a young married couple, and we may start a family soon, so the devil thought he could sneak in and attack me here. Yesterday at church, during altar call, our pastor was praying over his 9 year old little girl who is fighting an infection in her finger. Something about praying over kids always brings me to tears, but before I even knew what hit me, I was down the trail of what ifs. What if that’s us here in a few years? What if our baby was sick, or I had a difficult pregnancy, or we lost a baby?
Newlyweds, represent! My husband and I got married in March, so we’re sneaking up on 4 months of marriage. It’s been awesome! 🙂 We’ve had lots of fun and learned lots about each other and about marriage (read about our first 100 days of marriage here). Before we got married, we discussed many practical aspects of marriage, and one of those was sticking to a budget.
A budget is so important. When I graduated college and got my first “big kid” job, I made a budget and I stuck with it. I believe God calls us to do that, to be wise stewards of the money He has given us, whether it’s a little or a lot. So after Caleb and I got married, we made a budget. As newlyweds, y’all know how money goes. Money can be a little tight. There were some things that we were willing to give up to make our budget work. Food was not one of those things. 😉
As I’ve mentioned before (here), living a healthy lifestyle is one of my top priorities, and Caleb agrees with that. Therefore, healthy cooking and eating is a must. But healthy food is expensive, and if you’re eating mostly meat and fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s not an option to coupon. I rely on sales at the grocery store and I’m wise with what I purchase, but I felt like that just wasn’t cutting it. So I began to think about what I could do to help pay for groceries. We spend around $200 a month on groceries, so that’s what I needed to be able to earn.
After graduating college, I spent two years teaching in public school. The first year, I taught 4th and 5th grade reading, writing, and social studies. The second year, I taught 6th through 10th grade technology, as well as advising the yearbook. After my second year, I resigned to be a homemaker.
Both years had their ups and downs. I loved my kids and I loved being able to teach them. Though I love being a homemaker, there are moments when I sometimes miss teaching. Teachers are a special breed of people, and I don’t say that just because I was a teacher. 😉 It takes someone gifted to be able to pour into children and dedicate their lives to shaping these kids into adults, teaching them not just academics, but morals and life lessons.
However, it’s not just the kids that are taught lessons. My students, as well as my fellow teachers, taught me a lot of life lessons during my short time teaching, and I think they’re crucial. Here are 4 lessons that I learned in my 2 years of teaching.
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We live in a world dominated by fear. Cultures fear their way of life is being threatened. Officers fear their safety is being threatened. Citizens fear their rights are being threatened. It is far too easy for the devil to wrap us up in his lies of fear and uncertainty and strip away from us the peace that passes all understanding. We cannot choose to live in fear. As Christians, we must stand tall, strengthen our stance, and fight for the peace that God promised us.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
The search for peace often comes up empty because we are looking in the wrong places. We look for peace in our friends, our family, our spouses, yet that is not where God has placed our peace. Our peace is in God alone, and we must look to Him to find it and experience it.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
Music helps me. I find the peace of God in a guitar strum, a gentle voice, a violin in the background. I believe God uses music to touch the hearts of His people. I want to share with you 6 songs that God has used to touch my heart with peace in times of fear.
Behind living for Christ, living a healthy lifestyle is one of my greatest goals. God has gifted us with our bodies and we should take care of them. This includes healthy eating, being active, and staying well. At home, we have a routine, but the real struggle comes during vacation. For many people, myself included, vacation includes eating really good food, relaxing, and not worrying about life. Having a time to rest and recharge is needed, but it’s not a time to forget your healthy habits. Don’t worry, though; it’s easier than you think! Let me share with you 3 easy ways to stay healthy on vacation.
Today is July 4th, Independence Day. It is a day of celebration for our country. We are proud to be Americans. But for us, it’s another celebration, as well. Today, Caleb and I have been married 100 days! Yaaayyyyy! It’s been amazing, and we know that it will only be greater as we go. We are enjoying our life now and we are so excited for the future and everything that it holds. 🙂
I read a blog post the other day from Heaven and Hearth entitled Marriage Isn’t Hard (click the link to visit that post). Kali is wise beyond her years. In her post, she talks about how the phrase “marriage is hard, but worth it” has essentially become a mantra in the Christian culture. She disagrees, as do I. Is marriage worth it? Absolutely. Is marriage hard? No. Sin is hard, and we are sinful creatures. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” [1 Corinthians 15:10] God’s grace enables us to live a life pursuing His holy desires, and enables our marriages to be filled with grace, love, and mercy.
This is not to say that hard times will not come. Many of you will look at this and roll your eyes because we’ve been married a little over three months and of course nothing difficult could have happened during that time. (You would be wrong.) In fact, quite a few people have told us something to the effect of, “Oh, sure, marriage is good in the beginning, but you just wait.” If that is you, please stop. Speak life into newlyweds, please. We know that there will be difficult paths to navigate, but by the grace of God and with His mercy, we will triumph.
Marriage is good. We love it. We love each other. We’ve learned a lot about each other, marriage, and God in the last 100 days, and we want to share some of that with you.