Ponderings

My Confessions

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Guest post by dear friend Amanda Speer From Story and Table

 

Confession: my house used to be clean. Now it is messy. I’ve got 2 under 3, a dog, a small business, and my own lack of motivation to deal with on a daily business. Did I mention my house is almost 100 years old?

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But during this holiday season I’m focusing on living in my house, not just cleaning it. There will always be time for that, but there is only a few moments for my boys to build blanket forts. There is only a few mornings to sip tea while reading Luke 2.

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I once heard that there are only 940 Saturday’s in your child’s life. In my house, I’m spending those days playing on our giant dirt pile or jumping in leaves. I am not spending them nagging family members about dirty clothes or dishes. Saturday’s are for community groups or football-watching. They’re for resting or playing with swords or pretending to be monsters.

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Our house is used to the glory of God, but here cleanliness is not next to Godliness. You know what is? Grace and peace and respect. It’s for saying sorry and offering forgiveness. Our house and lives may be messy but that’s because we live here.

 

Amanda Speer is a boy mom to two little wild things. She believes that cheese and books are the perfect love language. Amanda searches for the extraordinary in the everyday and tries to believe and bestow God’s lavish grace. She blogs with her sister at Story and Table.. You can find her on Facebook or on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Life In My 20’s…What I Have Learned

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In 12 short days I will hold my breath and blow out 30 candles.

 

This post has been in the works for over a month. I wanted something profound, something my great-grandchildren could look back on and see wisdom in every word. It was to be titled “20 things I learned in my 20’s.” Turns out, not too much. I was stumped with a mental road block. I realized I have no flowery advice, nothing to bridge a gap or any life secrets.

 

The only thoughts that kept coming to my mind aren’t encouragement at all actually. It’s humility.

 

I cry as I write these words of all the beautiful people and love given to me in my 20’s. Honestly, I wonder if my 30’s will ever even come close in the running. Really, I am blessed beyond measure at the outpouring of people who love me unconditionally. God handpicked an amazing crowd to surround me.

 

I’ve got my husband who is the gentlest hardworking man I’ve ever known. God gave me a love story some only get to imagine. He loves me to a fault. The older I get, I see not everyone gets this kind of love. I have learned to cherish it, to protect it with all my might.

 

My children. There are no words for how they make me feel, smile, laugh, cry, and love on a daily basis. The fierce love is remarkable. I have learned to look at the world through their tender eyes with complete trust in Jesus.

 

My sweet mama. The person I just gotta call and tell, she gets me.  The one who taught me how to love with all I’ve got, loyalty, and how to mother. She’s my best friend. What I wouldn’t give to have this kind of relationship with my daughters one day.

 

My dad. He has made great mistakes affected the life courses for many. He has strived to right those wrongs and has mended our relationship in such a way that when we are together, I get to be a little girl again. He taught me heartache isn’t always a bad thing. He never stopped loving me, and I never stopped loving him.

 

My sisters. The beautiful friendship that has blossomed. The inside jokes, the sharing of clothes, the bickering, the dance parties. They teach me to laugh and help me reminisce. They are beautiful. They’re always there for me and appreciate my goofiness.

 

My Granny and Poppie. The matriarch and patriarch from which all of the good stems. Just there smell and presence feels like home, comfort, and Jesus. Their prayers poured over me and encouragement they have spoken in my life are priceless treasures. They taught me the importance of a legacy.

 

My aunts and uncles. Uncle Chip, Aunt Mitzi, Uncle Greg, Aunt Lisa. They are always at all of my children’s birthday parties. They pour love and respect and are always pulling a sweet babe on their lap. They make sure I get through the line of casseroles at the family gatherings after the 4 little plates have been made. They taught me the preciousness of consistency and being able to count on someone.

 

Aunt Debbie. The one I could call in the middle of the night and say “Hey, will you go get me a coffee?” and her reply would be “Sure honey, how many creams?” The giver… giver of time, resources and is known as the “surprise girl.” She integrates in and through every family member always tending to. She taught me you can’t take anything with you, so spend on the ones you love.

 

My other family. My in-laws Jim and Donna. Took in a bright-eyed 15-year-old girl in love with their son. No questions asked, loved me. I never knew a healthy relationship with in-laws and they taught me everyday through prayers, encouragement, hugs, talks, monopoly playing, dominoes, popcorn Sundays, and even the arguments we look back at and laugh. I am their daughter.

 

My brother and sister-in-law Jason and Tina. Raising little people together in the thick of life. The endless phone conversations we have had, the dreams of our “Folger coffee” moments, the disappointments with less than perfect family days, and the stories, oh the stories! I can go on and on. I learned beauty in sharing life.

 

My forever friend Kylene. My protector friend that has always loved me no matter how many miles apart or how much time has passed, we never miss a beat. She taught true friendship withstands it all.

 

My work girls Katie, Holly, Karina. From the outside we have nothing in common. Our hearts have been intertwined for… I honestly don’t even know how long. Really, it feels as though we have always been friends. I have no idea when we started sharing good meals, good wine, and even better desserts. I love them and I love all of our differences. I learned what a real judgement free zone is.

 

My homeschooling mamas, my people, my kin, the kind you search for your entire life. Kristie, Eileen, Stephanie, Kelly, Melissa, Amanda Cox, Amanda Bradley, Lorre, Ginger, my new friend Bobbie and countless others.  We could go weeks without talking then can send one sentence questions and never take offense when the other only answered the text  in their head. We have a  bond. We understand full length the beauty and the struggle between the calling and the craziness. I have learned the power of an instant bond and the feeling of finally fitting in somewhere.

 

Perhaps wisdom found its way to my soul after all. It was through the love poured, the shed tears, the throw the head back laughs, and the walking through the twenties into my humble thirties.

 

I didn’t make it through my twenties, I was loved through them thanks to the bouquet of handpicked beautiful people who saw past my mess, and ugliness and found me worth their love.

 

From the bottom of my heart you have filled to the brim I am grateful. The twenties were the time of my life, here’s to 30!

Why I’m Not Afraid Of Stretch Marks and Wrinkles

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I saw it. Staring into my sleepy reflection at the end of a day that felt like two I saw the creases, the wrinkles in my forehead. I washed my face with ease as I tried not to add unnecessary lines to a once face of youth. I pulled over my t-shirt,  as it fell over a soft belly with a criss cross of stretched skin. Months of cocoa butter massaged deep can’t hide the growth of four lives that occupied me as their first home.

 

Swiftly, the thoughts flood in. The prevention, the brakes, the turning back the hands, the fountain of youth. I need it, how can I get it? How can I stop it? What’s next? How do I hold onto beauty?

 

Just as swiftly, the Lord whispers reminders and truth. My fountain of youth within my soul overtakes my worn in body. Every line in my freckled face is etched through the smile when he grabs my hand, the squinting back of tears when your mama heart is so proud, the silly faces made to sleepy babies. These precious lines etching my face keep the youth fountain within flowing and spilling over to all who come within my loves reach.

 

My stretched skin is proof of a divine plan. Proof of a God given blessing. Not all bodies make these kind of marks, but mine did.

 

I will soon cross over into my 30th year. I don’t want to spend the rest of my precious years fighting the inevitable. I want to LIVE and EMBRACE these sweet years God has given me.

 

I’m not afraid of the process of aging as I continue to mold and add sweet memory making lines. I’m not afraid to add another mark or two to this soft belly hidden under my blouse. In fact, I want it.

 

I want to age in grace, humility, acceptance, and joy. Let my inward youth spill over to draw others in and point to my Saviour deep within me. To have the dewy complexion of living a life spent up and used up, preserving nothing, using all I’ve got, and all I’ve been given. all for the glory of God.

 

Who’s ready to add more lines?

 

Photo credit pixabay

 

Sharing this with:  A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family,  New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

Blog Words

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I want to write the good stuff. You now, the good stuff that melts hearts and makes the beats thump a little faster.

 

I only want His good stuff.

 

The grace, the beauty abounding in all my ugliness of words. I am so tired of shouting over the noise. I’d rather whisper to let His presence wash over. I want it to wash over our loneliness, insecurities, and mess. To let the waters wash over the bruises from a tarnished world. I want my words to peel back the layers of His goodness and tender love though we are so undeserving.

 

I desire my time here to be worthwhile, to mean something in eternity. Time is of the essence and far too precious to waste to not talk about the good stuff, His good stuff. The kind of stuff that wrenches hearts and praises our Creator.

 

As more read, I want God’s fingerprints to be seen all over it. Giving hope to anyone who can’t get out of bed, or who are up but want to crawl back in.

 

Lord Jesus may you take my words and penetrate souls in need of you. May I be so close as to feel your breath of life as I write through my mess. Let me never listen for applause or look for followers, but only incline my ear to your voice and be your follower. Take my stories and pen marks. Use me Lord to only glorify your name. Reveal your almighty purpose to those reading. Let your words transcend over the one day of social media and prick hearts for you.

 

Lord let the prick be the opening to all of the pouring you do. Let my words reach to the core, to the center of the prick, for your waters to flow in and overtake. Let me never forget the reason I breathe, write, and live; to fulfill my calling and bring glory to your name. Amen.

 

So tell me friends, what are your eyes waiting to read? Encouragement, inspiration, how to’s, one of my personal disaster stories wrapped up in grace? I would love to hear from you. I have created a newsletter titled The Good Stuff with intentions of delivering all of the good stuff  I find throughout the week that touched my heart in hopes God uses it to touch yours. I will share with you the crazy going on in my life to make you laugh, or be glad you’re not me! I will also share some great deals going around and occasional freebies. Sign up below for my newsletter, let’s connect, learn, grow, and talk about the good stuff.

 

photo credit pixabay

Thank You Olivia Pope

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Photo Credit By ABC

 

You have exposed me. Exposed all of my hypocritical ugliness and for that I thank you, Olivia Pope.

 

I’ve watched with eyes wide open, on the edge of my seat, as I caught up on all I thought I had missed on Netflix. I was stoked to see that I didn’t miss the last two episodes. I am especially grateful I got to see the episode last Thursday night.

 

If it had not been for that episode… for Olivia Pope… for ABC I would have never had the opportunity for such great conviction.

 

I had almost forgotten for a split second that I believe in marriage, life, and love without agendas. I forgot why I pray desperate prayers for marriages to stick it through, I forgot why I cry and hold hands with women fighting for their marriage, I forgot why I write and educate women on the effects of abortion. I lost my voice, my vision. I forgot to fight.

 

Last Thursday the Lord breathed a renewed mission,vision, passion…whatever you want to call it.

 

That is to fight for the good and beautiful and to expose the ugly in disguise. I had been so fooled as I watched all of the affairs, killing, rape, and breakdown of families. My guard was too low, the filter too dirty. I let the garbage enter my home and heart.

 

Thank you once again for the wakeup call.

 

A wakeup call to not be of this world, to fight for the weak ones, to clean my heart filter, and guard my home, and honor my Saviour.

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things

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This is a random list of my faves and must haves. Feel free to add in the comments some of your favorites, so I can check them out!

 

Blogs For Inspiration/Motherhood

A Mama’s Story

Raising Homemakers

A Holy Experience

Large Family Mothering

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Amongst Lovely Things

Blogs For My Farm Dreams

The Prairie Homestead

New Life On A Homestead

Blogs For Healthy Living

Wellness Mama

Life Sanity

Jill’s Home Remedies

I Can’t Eat What

Kitchen Gadgets

The NutriMill (wheat grinder)

Kitchen Aide Mixer

Blendtec

Beauty Products

Rodan and Fields (I am in the middle of using the reverse facial regimen and LOVE it! I have only been using it for two weeks and all of my red spots, freckles, and dark circles or disappearing! Pics soon)

wet brush (my hair stylist Jennifer got this for me. The way this brush gets tangles out of wet hair amazes me. This brush has been transforming the bath time routine with my daughters since the day we got it.)

salt spray (I spray this in my hair then wrap my hair around the curling iron in big chunks. It gives my hair a messy, wavy look. This is perfect since I typically have little hands pulling at it all day)

Nutrition/Health

Bulk Herb Store

Elderberry syrup

Young Living Essential Oils *specifically RC for my little guy with respiratory issues.

Books

The Mission of Motherhood

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover

Educating the WholeHearted Child

For The Children’s Sake

Secrets of the Secret Place

 

I will be adding to this list frequently:) What are some of your favorite things?

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Head over to my disclosure page to learn more:)

 

Why I Hate Small Talk

Why I Hate Small Talk

Oh the small talk, I just can’t handle it. I understand at times it’s necessary. Do you ever just want to say, “Ok, cut the crap and let’s get to the good stuff!”? I’m not going to lie, I’m terrible at small talk. It is when the barriers that separate us are broken that I can breathe, and be myself…and that my friends is when the great things can happen.

 

Let me ask you a question…What if the awkwardness and gaps in our relationships didn’t exist? What kind of power would that hold?

 

Imagine what we could learn from one another. We could have the opportunity to break the walls and barriers. We could be the bridge.

 

The bridge that goes over different races, social statues, from the working mom to the ones who stay at home, from the mom of many to the woman in the depths of infertility. We could have the chance to get real. We could cry when we want, laugh, and love. Not just any love, a learned love. The kind that comes from conversations and stories filled of their hopes, dreams, and fears. A chance to truly understand what it is like to walk in their shoes.

 

My, what we could do and accomplish.

 

We could raise awareness for the raging racism all around us. We see protest, watch the news, and listen to the blaring opinions. Did we ever question how we are still  in this place? We can’t miss opportunity to dig in deeper and really listen.

 

Have you ever noticed the awkward silence when a woman is in the throws of infertility: rather at a baby shower, church function, or a girls night out? We must let them know we notice them, and get over ourselves. Ask about their journey, pray for them, help fund an adoption if that is where the Lord is leading them. Infertility could happen to any of us at any time. Let’s be the bridge.

 

We could lend a hand to all the mothers no matter where they are working. Because they are ALL working…Can I get an AMEN? We can link up our arms circling around in prayer for one another. We can gather in the name of Jesus.

 

To be vulnerable is when we can really change our world. We not only gain perspective into another person’s life but we gain new perspective into ourselves and our motives.

 

To close the gap, we must bridge it over, built with sincere purpose. We must walk across it to the other side, often. So often, that we no longer have a side to which we belong. It is a beautiful picture of women united. Let’s cut the small talk and get personal. The wisdom gained and poured will be so beneficial.

 

Who’s with me? Any one else hate small talk?

Where Are The Church Ladies At?

Where Are The Church Ladies At

 

Do you remember her? The woman who walked the pews of the church passing out hugs and candy as she searched for unfamiliar faces. She never met a stranger. When your eyes met hers you saw a long-lost friend with kindness coming from deep within. She never saw the piercings, tattoos, the worn out dress, the dirty faced children, the rushing out of the car, or your church track record. She saw God’s children, her fellow brother and sister coming to a sweet place of fellowship and worship. She instantly bought ease and comfort to tense shoulders and fake smiles. She had the power to open the windows to your soul until the pain, struggles, and aggravations poured out. She simply listened, judgment never crossed her mind.

 

She was an extension of all we needed. The hands and feet of Jesus. She bought the scriptures to life. She was a fountain of wisdom with words carefully separated between self and spirit. Some how she always managed to speak from the spirit. She spoke of things most don’t. Things like sticking with your marriage through the hard times, capturing the heart of your children, and of the home being the foundation and our domain. She wiped tears, wrangled children, laughed with you and most importantly spoke truth to your soul.

 

Unfortunately the church lady, in most cases, has been replaced by the busy body. We can feel it. Feel the judgment and can see the eyes scanning on what we feel like is our crazy mess of a family. So we hold in the struggles and try to cover the tattoos, and strive our best to shine the image of approval. We slowly forget the reason we came in the first place.

 

If you are one of the lucky ones with a God sent church lady then treasure her, mimic her, and follow in her footsteps.

 

If you don’t have a church lady then be the church lady.

 

Show others the kind of God we serve. Look at the people around you through His eyes. Lift them up and point them to the blessings around them. Share the truths and all about God’s goodness. Hug  necks when loss and failures encompass them. Love on the screaming baby, the teen rolling their eyes, and the busy toddler.

 

We have the opportunity to bring in a new generation of church ladies. To fulfill the Titus 2 mandate. “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands, and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

 

Who is ready to be the next church lady? Subscribe and share.

 

Sharing this with:  A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family,  New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

 

Remembrance In The Season

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By freedigitalphotos/Aduldej

 

Fall into His everlasting arms.

 

Feel the cool breezes of a fresh tomorrow.

 

Embrace the beauty of the change.

 

Admire the rich colors of something new.

 

Enjoy the crunch beneath your feet as it replenishes the earth.

 

Expect the harvest of the work the Lord has done.

 

Cozy up in contentment by the warmth of God’s unconditional love.

 

Remember there is beauty in the dying.

 

Jump into a pile of opportunities and callings.

 

Meander through the overgrown plans in your mind.

 

Carve out time for the sweet stuff.

 

Collect the blessings through the tangled vines.

 

Change perspectives when the chill feels too cold.

 

Capture the gift of the never-ending rotation of seasons.

 

Breathe in the crisp reminder that you are His.

 

Sharing with A Mamas Story and  The Life of Faith

Home

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Photo by artur84/freedigitalphotos.net

 

Home. Why are we afraid of it? Afraid to be there all day with our children? When did everywhere else become the better place to be? We go searching for better food, more creative outlets, entertainment, and better education.

 

We are given the opportunity to govern within our four walls on our little slice of the world. I feel as though we take it for granted because we fear we aren’t good at it. Good at making a house a home.

 

Back in the day, the home defined and gave purpose. It was the center, the core, and gathering place where all good things stem from. It was a place that was cherished and well maintained for functionality. It’s where the sick were nurtured to health, the love of Jesus was taught, and real life walked.

 

Why have we given up so easily on this place called home? Everywhere we turn we have a pulling on us to leave our center. The distractions attempt to pull us away from the heart beat of our family.

 

It’s not too late to turn this around. We can bring our homes back to life so that the heart beat is thriving through each and every person that enters. We can make it so that life springs forth through our open doors and windows to a world hurting. Let’s be the women that entice our families with homemade goodness wafting though our kitchens, let’s bring in every book we can get our hands on filled with stories of heroes, wars, and love. Let’s study what turns our four walls into life-giving medicine.

 

We have the ability to be the home front to a needy generation in search for belonging. Home is the building block, the foundation, the underpinning, the beginning and essence. Let’s make it a good one.

 

What kind of creative ways do you keep your home the center? Subscribe and Share!

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You, Proverbial homemaker, Just another Mom, The Life of faith, What Joy is Mine,  Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Refelctions, Morsels of Life, Our Family Grace, Table For Seven, Yes Theyre All Ours The multitasking mommy Nourishing Joy,Hip Homeschool moms, Time Warp Wife,

 

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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