Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I have decided

I'm on journey.

We all are.

As a child of God, I'm on His journey, not mine.

Every once in a while, I get side tracked, knocked off course. I lose my way.

More than anything in the world, I want to be the woman God created me to be.

I became a Christian in 2004. I was almost 27 years old. I was a wife and a mom of a two year old. My life wasn't over night, but slowly, I started seeing the world differently, with the eyes of Christ.

Now, I'm not perfect.....NO! Not by any means, and I will NEVER claim to be.  I've got a long way to go before I am truly the woman God created me to be.

I struggle.

I have a bad temper.  I don't beat my kids or cuss my husband or anything.  I just yell. And ya'll, there's so many days where I just haven't liked myself because I yelled at my kids.  I reacted instead of responded.  Yes, there's a difference.

I have a time management problem.  I like blogging and Facebook and Pinterest and Etsy, and....well, you get the idea.  Before I know it, I can lose track of time and that causes the laundry and dishes to stack up, the school work not to get done, or the Sunday school lesson to get prepared an hour before church.

And there's this four letter F word that I have a problem  I like to eat.  Bread, Snicker's bars, scrambled eggs, watermelon, cantaloupe, macaroni and cheese, Big Macs, onion rings.......see. I like food and coffee, and Dr. Pepper.  Needless to say, I don't always make the healthiest choices.

I've also been know to get into gossip. I wouldn't call myself the town gossip. There's so many things I am totally out of the loop about, and sometimes, well, ignorance is bliss.  There are times, however, I have gotten into conversations I was not proud to be in.  Either I said some things that I wasn't proud of, I didn't stand up to someone for the things she said.

My friend, the list could go on.  Although I proudly call myself a Christian, I admit, I am sinner.  That's why I need Christ in my life.

So, I am on a journey.  I want to be the woman God has called me to be.  It isn't always easy, but I must make the effort.

And that brings me to this....

What journey are you on?

What is that you struggle with?  Is there a relationship that needs healing? Is there a habit that needs breaking?  Is there a lifestyle change in order?

I would love for you to work with me in getting back on track.  Let's join together in strengthening our relationship with Christ to become the women He has called us to be.

The first thing you can do is click HERE.  This is a simple, short survey that will show me the needs that women have, the areas in which they feel they can/want grow.

At the end of the survey, you have the opportunity to help me write my first book.  Yes!  I have decided to write my first book, but I can't do it alone.  If you would like to help (and you may remain anonymous, there will be an opportunity for you to do so.

Secondly, if you have decided to join in this journey, I will contact you with the specifics.

God has given us a life worth living.  This is our time to get back to basics and get back to our calling as Christian women.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Also, if you know someone who would like to join in or may appreciate this post, please share it with them.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Book Survey

Good news!  I have finally decided to get started on my first book.  I need your help.  Please click on the link below to fill out a short survey.


Thank you so much!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Doubt

In the fight for life, there is no room for doubt.

For me, it's either all or nothing.

What about you?  What are you fighting for?

Your kids?
Your marriage?
Your life?

We are all fighting for something....

for that pay raise
for that new job
for a cure
for healing

In our fight, we have to march in, shoulders back, head held high, determined.

Determined to fight.
Determined to win.
Determined against all odds.

If we let the slightest bit of doubt creep in, Satan can and will have a field day.  He loves when we doubt.  It weakens our faith.  We fight a little softer, a little less, and finally we quit.

We give in.

But you know what?

The victory has already been won. Christ has overcome the world.  There is hope!

My hope is in Him.

I've learned that my ways are not His ways.

My timing is not His timing.

His answers aren't my answers.

But His way is perfect.  And to be in His will, there is NO room for doubt.

So we must lean on Him.  We must be guided by His nail pierced hands.  We must believe that we will be victories regardless of the battle ahead.

Thank you for joining me this week for Five Minute Friday!  New to the FMF movement?  Well, basically, you start at Kate Motaung's fabulous blog and get her one word prompt. Then you write for five minutes.  You let the words flow.  Five Minutes. No overthinking. No editing. Just writing.  Head over to to join in the fun.

On Being a Writer: Limit

Do I wear many hats?


Wife of an associate pastor/army chaplain/amazing man

Mama/maid/personal assistant/chef/chauffeur/referee to 3 boys (13, 9, and 5 years old)

Soccer coach (on break until June)

Sunday School teacher, nursery worker, VBS teacher

Robotics coach

Teacher of all things fifth grade and Common Core

Aspiring writer

Yes, many hats.

I told my friend, aka assistant robotics coach, I was considering taking over academic team.  She begged me to rid my mind of that thought.

Nope, don't really need anything else to do, another hat to wear.

Right now, in this season of life, I find it difficult to limit things so I can focus on writing.  Family and church will always come first.  And, well, I have two mortgages to pay, so I have to continue teaching.  Want to buy a house?  Everything else I do is for fun, for my sanity.  

I want my writing to glorify God.  Therefore, I've been working to take steps to get closer to Him.  I've set aside time for each day to read His Word. I take part in prayer and Bible study.  I fellowship with other believers.  I'm trying to limit my time on social media, on mindless iPad games, and idleness. I am becoming more conscientious about my time, not wanting to waste a moment.

My goal is to be more consistent and persistent in writing. I am going to take advantage of writing opportunities that may present themselves and find time to write as much as possible.

This writing life is definitely important to me, and I want to use this gift to reach others.

On Being a Writer: Rest

I almost chuckled reading this chapter: REST.

What's that???

Let's be honest.  Some of us feel like we don't have time for rest.  As a mama, I have the mindset that I don't have time to rest.  My kids reinforce that as well!

But seriously, here in my writing journey, I don't rest intentionally.  My rest from writing comes from the busyness of life as I know it.

There are times I've returned here to the blog and apologized for my absence and went on to explain what had pulled me away.  Not that anyone really cared, but I felt the need to explain myself.

But rest from this place is a bit different for me than it may be for other writers.  You see, my time here is contingent upon my time with Christ.  I made a deal with God (yes, I'm one of those people). If I didn't spend time with Him, then I wouldn't spend time here.

So sometimes life pulls me away.

My family.....we spend time together. We play together. I told my middle child the other day, "We are family and will suffer in misery together."  That was partly a joke because he didn't understand why we had to drive an hour away for his big brother's soccer game.  But it's true.  Family first, no matter what's going on.

My church.....I teach and volunteer and do what I can to minister to those in my church.

My career.....I'd love to say I have a writing career, but that's not where I am on this journey.  Teaching keeps me pretty busy.  Planning, preparing, meeting, grading......all that that comes along with teaching these young children.

For me, sometimes I need a rest from real life.  For instance, when I attended the Five Minute Friday retreat, I was rejuvenated.  I felt refreshed and ready to conquer the world with words (or at least share them more confidently).  My life experiences have helped me with reviving my writing.  The busyness that comes along with deployment, the struggles that came with my miscarriage.....those and other seasons of life have allowed me to step back from this space and return with fresh words.

One thing I am learning is REST IS GOOD.  After all, God took a rest.  If He did, shouldn't I as well?  Maybe that comes with age and experience, the realization that rest is truly good, and we shouldn't feel guilty for it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

On Being a Writer: Plan

If I haven't mentioned it, or if you haven't caught on, I am taking part in a discussion group with Kate Motaung and some other amazing writers.  For 6 weeks, (oh our time is almost up!) we have been reading On Being a Writer and discussing it's contents and how it is affecting us as writers.  As a newly proclaimed writer (it's surreal saying that), I have to say that this book has meant a lot to me. In fact, it has helped me with my brave.


During this season of life, it is very difficult for me to plan my writing. As Kate said on her blog, many of us wear a variety of hats.  I can totally relate.

Working full time as an elementary teacher + all the after school meetings that go along with that.

Robotics coach.

Mom of 3 boys who have lots of activities.

Soccer coach.

Sunday School teacher.

Yes, I think I wear quite a few hats.  Much of what I write, I would call impulsive.  Kate said,

"As a result, we would do well to make use of the moments we can snatch."

And that's what I try to do.  I try to snatch the small, quiet moments and write.  It's usually never planned.  Take today for instance.  After a faculty meeting, I was home alone with two children not feeling well. My oldest sone had not made it back from a round of golf with a friend, and my husband went on to church without us. My "plan" was to get this post typed up and published.  However, I had an idea about joy and thankful in times of trouble.  I couldn't shake the idea and just had to write it.

That's how much of my writing goes.

I have goals I'd like to reach in my writing, but I haven't actually planned anything out.  That takes time, the kind of time I don't have a lot of.  But I'm trying. I'm trying to be more consistent and more intentional. I think that's a start, and we've all got to start somewhere.

Can You REALLY Be Thankful and Find Joy In All Circumstances

My cousin found out this week that she has breast cancer.  No woman wants to hear that diagnosis.  I have been amazed at the number of people posting scripture to her Facebook page.  I can tell from her comments that she is finding comfort in God's Word.

Words for finding comfort and strength are filling her heart and mind.  They are giving her courage during this difficult time.  This afternoon, I found this gem on Pinterest to share with her.....
What was I thinking, right???

Be joyful????

Give thanks?????



Be joyful.
Give thanks.


First, let me be clear.

I have never been diagnosed with cancer. There was a time I was fearful due to some changes in my breasts.  I saw my doctor, had an ultrasound, and got the all clear.  So, no, I don't know what it is like to get that diagnosis.

I do know heartbreak in other ways.

I know what it's like to watch your husband walk away from you at the airport not knowing if he will make it back home from Afghanistan. I know what it's like to be Skyping with your husband while he is deployed and there be an attack. I know the uncertainties and hardships that deployment can bring.

In those instances, I prayed.  I found joy knowing that God would hear my pleas (that He wants me to let my requests be known).  I found joy knowing that my children grew in their prayer lives and relationship with Christ.  I found joy knowing that my husband was serving God and country. He was doing something he felt strongly about.

And I gave thanks.  I gave thanks for the amount of communication we had: Skype, texting, email, phone call, snail mail.  We had it all, and I can't imagine the days when women couldn't communicate with their deployed Soldiers like that.  I gave thanks that each time there was an attack my husband was safe.  I gave thanks that he was able to minister to the Soldiers and provide them with Christian guidance.

I gave thanks for answered prayers.

I know what it's like to find evidence in the toilet, the first clue that something was wrong with your pregnancy.  I know what it's like to tearfully find your boss to tell them what you think is happening to get permission to leave work to go to the doctor. I know what its like to cry all the way to the doctor not knowing what exactly is happening.  I know what it's like to see your baby on the ultrasound monitor to find that, yes, it's true, your baby stopped growing.  I know what it's like to have a natural miscarriage and lay weak on the bathroom floor knowing you will never be the same. I know what its like 2 years later to cry, remembering that day, and yearning for that baby.

In all of this, I prayed.

And I found joy.

I found joy in the fact that there is hope in Christ.  That I felt His presence, and I may meet my baby one day in Heaven.  He brought me comfort in the banana popsicles that my husband urged me to eat while I was weak, causing me to remember the love of my grandfather.  He brought me comfort as I laughed about laying on the bathroom floor on my son's toddler bed. He reminded me in so many ways that He was right there with me, that I wasn't going through that miscarriage alone. I found joy in the scripture cards my friend Leslie sent to me.

And I found joy in the things I was thankful for:

I had an amazing medical staff that was honest, yet compassionate and went beyond the call of duty for us. 

My coworkers held my hand (literally) and cried with me.  The love they have for me is amazing.  

My husband and mom never left my side. They cleaned me up, held my hand, and took such good care of me. 

My in laws took care of my children because I was too weak to be there for them physically and emotionally.

I was thankful for those three healthy children, those boys who are my sunshine.

I was thankful for the phone calls and texts I received from those checking on me.

I was thankful for the meals provided for us.

So, I say YES, we can really be thankful and find joy in ALL circumstances. For me, being thankful and finding joy are choices I can make. And let me be clear on this: Happiness and joy are NOT the same thing.  When my kids behave, I am happy. When the bills are paid, I am happy.  When I have a terrible day, I find joy in the comment of the kid that says, "You are an A+ teacher," as he reads my coffee cup.  I find joy in the fact that a dreaded faculty meeting is cut short.

I make the choice to be thankful.

I make the choice to find joy.

What about you?  What choice are you making?

Monday, September 14, 2015

On Being a Writer: Engage

I think sometimes people just don't get writers. Words can be a little scary. Words can seem simplistic.  Words can.....well, words can do anything.  And writers get that.

While at the Five Minute Friday Retreat, I was asked if there were any other writers that I knew and talked with.  They only one I could think of was a coworker friend that has begun to blog more regularly about her faith.  Other than that, I didn't really have any real life writer friends.

I've been blessed to find some amazing online communities that have welcomed me with open arms.

When I first started blogging, one of the first blog hops I found was MckMama's Not Me Monday.  It wasn't for writers, per se, but it was fun getting to know others through the shenanigans of motherhood.  I got a taste of the writing style of others. I was able to begin interacting with other bloggers, learning about the people that were out there in cyber space, those who could potentially become engaged with me here at A Life Worth Living.

I then found Wives of Faith, an amazing online Christian community for military spouses.  Sara Horn has done a fabulous job reaching out to other military spouses and connecting with them.  In doing so, she offers the opportunity to submit blog posts to Wives of Faith.

Through this, I have developed some online friendships with other military spouses.  We are able to share words to support and encourage one another.  We are also able to pray with one another and grow and strengthen our relationship with Christ by taking part in the Survival Sisters program.  Because of Sara and Wives of Faith, I got my first taste of writing for other audiences that didn't include my blog followers.

Through Wives of Faith, I was able to become part of Kori Yates' online community called Planting Roots.  Again, this Christian community connects military women and spouses through the Word of God.  I have been able to have posts published at Planting Roots as well. This community is very welcoming to women who have a desire to lift up one another who are experiencing the ups and downs of military life.

And let's not forget the Five Minute Friday community.  I think this community has challenged me the most.  With a one word prompt and a timer set to five minutes, I desperately want to choose my response carefully.  Sometimes I get an immediate idea, and other times, I struggle to find the right words.  Either way, I think I've grown because of the Five Minute Friday community.  I've been encouraged by both reading other posts and through the comments left by others.
But perhaps the biggest impact from the Five Minute Friday community came from the Five Minute Friday Retreat.  When I first read that Kate and her crew were planning this, I was giddy about it, which is so unlike me because meeting strangers is not my cup of tea.  But the feeling just wouldn't go away.  After a lot of prayer and encouragement from my husband, I signed up and attended the first every Five Minute Friday Retreat.

To make a long story short (If you want the long version, just click HERE), I was forever changed by attending the retreat.  I found my people.  I found the people who "got me." Because really, they were just like me no matter how different we were.  We all had the same hopes and dreams when it came to writing and the sharing of our words.  It was simply a blessing.  I may never meet these ladies again in real life, but they will always be a part of me. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of them.  I'm grateful for what they shared. I'm grateful for the love and encouragement they gave.  I am thankful for each of them.

It is so important that writers find those connections, people that they can encourage and challenge. People that get what is like to be a lover of words.  I am thankful for the opportunities that online communities provide for people like me, those that want to grow as a writer and take advantage of the power of words to have an impact on the world.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On Being A Writer: Discover

Whenever I post here on the blog, my words are just as much for me as anyone else.  Words are a way for me to express myself, to share my feelings, my life.  I try to be real.  Sometimes that's hard.

Other times, it's too real.

I've shared with you my miscarriage back in 2013.

I've shared with you my experience of deployment.

I've shared with you about how being a mom is tough.

I think in that sharing, in the being real, that's where we find ourselves.

In the being real, we have emotional breakthroughs.

In the being real, we feel empowered.

In the being real, we have freedom of self expression.

In the being real, we discover ourselves.

Like Charity Craig says, "I need to be all in."

To do this writing thing correctly, I have to have my head and my heart in the game.  Really, it's all or nothing. I can't write just to write. I can't post just to post. Words aren't just words. They are living.  They have power and must be treated accordingly, not half heartedly.

I think the more I write, the more real I want to be. I believe that will make me transparent so that others can see Christ in me.  Isn't that the goal of the Christian?  I have the amazing opportunity to do that here on the blog.

Each time I write, I find out more about myself.  I become a little braver.  Each time I write, I enter a world of discovery.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Same

Change is scary.  No one really cares for it. We fear it.

Change makes us uncomfortable by bringing the unknown, making us step out of our comfort zones.

But really, change can be good.

Is anything really meant to stay the same?

Babies grow and develop into toddlers. Eventually those little kid days turn into the teenage years. Then our children are adults and living on their own.

They changed. Didn't stay the same.

Sometimes its good not to stay the same.

As a Christ Follower, I should not stay the same. If I do, that means that I haven't grown in my relationship with Him. I haven't lived for Him.  I haven't given up my old ways for Him.  Part of being His is change, not being the same as I was.

I am starting to welcome some change.  There are things I don't want to stay the same.  I need growth. I need to experience the unknown. I need out of my comfort zone. Sometimes we need change.

Yet, sometimes we need things to stay the same.

Thank you for joining me on this Five Minute Friday.  Please leave a comment if you are joining in from Kate's and let me know what number you are in the link up. I'd love to stop by.  If you aren't joining in the FMF party, leave a comment anyway. I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, September 07, 2015

On Being a Writer: Promote

When I first started this blog, I made a promise to God that I would use it to bring Him honor and glory, that if I didn't spend time with Him, then I wouldn't spend time here.  This blog was important to me, but God was (is) even more important.  You can read more about that in my first blog post.

For me, blogging was a way to share what God was doing in my life.  At that time, I was becoming more involved in leadership roles in my church. Jeff was in the process of becoming an Army Chaplain. I was raising two sons with another on the way. Let's not forget about working full time.  Life was busy and there was so much room for God to work.  His work and love could be written about here.

But who would read it?

My friend Kim introduced me to blogging, so I started clicking on blogs she followed and leaving comments.  My hope was that those people would come back to my blog and share the love.  I guess that was my first taste of self promotion.  It was a little scary.  Was it the right thing to do?  Did I want strangers actually reading my blog?  The Internet can be a creepy place.  I was relieved to read in On Being a Writer that Charity did the same thing: I left comments on other blogs or linked to other posts by other writers hoping for reciprocation.

Like Ann, I promoted the work of others. I was involved in launch teams for Sara Horn.  It was fun to get involved and connect with others on topics we felt strongly about through books and blog posts. I was able to make friends and connections at the same time.

Through Leafwood Publishers, I was introduced to author Nancy B. Kennedy and was able to read and review her books. I count it a blessing to know her and support her writing.

The more comfortable I got in actually clicking publish, I felt that I needed to extend my audience.  After all, if I am sharing about God, I need people to actually read it.  I became involved in blog hops and link ups.  One of the first was MckMama's Not Me Monday. As an imperfect mom and wife, it was fun to meet up each week and share in the shenanigans of life.  Wives of Faith has also had some blog hops such as Wife to Wife Wednesday, Military Family Gratitude Photo Challenge, Military Spouse Appreciation Link Up, and the Wives of Faith Christmas Blog Carnival. I was able to meet some other bloggers through these activities, and I am hoping that some of them are still readers.

Because I wanted to reach more readers, I created a blog button for others to share on their blogs. I was one of those new bloggers that would click on those buttons to visit new webpages and meet new people.
But in all of this getting my name out there stuff, I had a struggle.  I know I'm supposed to be writing. I know God has given me a gift, but how far does it go?  How much do I self promote?  Is that sinful?  Those are questions that I've had great difficulty with.  After publishing a really great blog post (well, I thought it was great), I didn't get much response.  The response I got was from two relatives.  I'm thankful for that, but I was shocked the response wasn't greater.  I was disappointed and began to reflect on the whole situation.  I then posted about that in How Many Likes Can I Get?

But honestly, why did I click Publish?  Was it to get a million Likes or to stand up for Jesus? 
Hard question.  It shouldn't be, but it is. 
I was standing up for Jesus, but I also wanted to get a bunch of Likes and Shares too.  Hypocritical, I know. 
So where is that happy medium.  Can't I do both?  I think for me, I have to realize and understand that it doesn't matter how many Likes and Shares I get. What matters is that I spread the message for Christ.  That even though one person might read my post, that one person was hopefully touched. 

For me, I know my heart is in the right place. I know that whether I publish here or at Wives of Faith or Planting Roots or finally fulfill my dream of writing a book, that my heart is connected to God's and that's why I share words. For Him.  With sharing His work in my life, there has to be some promotion.  I have to get my name out there.  I just have to always remember: it's not about me; it's about Him. If I get to big headed, I know God will convict me of that prideful sin.

I do know that I have to promote.  I'd prefer the old fashioned method of word of mouth from those that now about this little space on the Internet.  However, I know there is a great big world of social media out there that can promote His work in my life.

You can find my words about this Life Worth Living here at my blog. 
You can also find some of my favorite posts on Pinterest on my board Blogs and Such.  
I also tweet out my blog posts although I am not an expert in the Twitter world.
And Instagram...I have an account but I'm not sure how to use it for my blog.

There. My social media connections are out there. What I ask is this....

If you find something here on the blog that you feel is worth sharing, please share it.  You and I can be a team in spreading the word of God's love.  That's my goal here, and I hope that's your goal when you visit here as well.

Here's to promoting the Word of God!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Just as the Lord Commanded

I once got the big idea to read the entire Bible.  After all, I was new Christian and I knew how important knowing God's Word would be.  So I started.....In the beginning....

I loved the story of creation and got caught up in scripture until I started reading about specific measurements, the numbers of this and that, you know....anything that didn't have drama or a moral.

Now, I admit that I just didn't get it.  I didn't understand why it was important that the curtains on the west end of the courtyard of the tabernacle were 75 feet long or why Eliab presented an offering of a silver platter weighing 3 1/4 pounds along with a bunch of other stuff.  All of that information was just too technical for me.  I needed the elements of drama with the characters and plot and climax and resolution and theme, not numerical figures.

So, I struggled through it.  I half heartedly read and finally just skimmed for the "important stuff" and moved on.

Even now, some 11 years later, I still admit that isn't my favorite part of scripture, but I found something very interesting the other day.

As I was reading in my chronological Bible, I read about the Israelites again and the things they were called to do.  This time was different.  I noticed the words just as the Lord commanded. I continued to read on, and there it was again just as the Lord commanded. 

Hmmmm. There must be something to this.

I grabbed my pen and underlined each time I read those words on that page.

Seven times on that page.

Just as the Lord commanded.

And so then, I thought,  "What if we all did what the Lord commanded?"

Whether it be the offering we bring, the gift we use, the path we follow, the Lord commands something of us.  Far too often we are not obedient.  For whatever reason, we choose not to obey His commands.

But what if?

What if we did what the Lord commanded?

We'd give our hearts to Jesus the first time we hear His call.

We'd be faithful in service to Him.

We'd be faithful in sharing the Good News.

We'd love.

We'd give.

We'd be the ones God has called us to be.

What if I continued to read God's Word with fresh eyes and an open heart?

I love Him, and I will obey what He has commanded.

I am thankful that God's Word is relevant and living. I am thankful that each time I read it, I find something that I didn't see before.

As a side note, if you are interested in a journey through the Bible, I encourage you to take that journey.  I have many types of Bibles that I love.  If you get a One Year Bible, don't start reading it on the specific day you got it. For example, don't start on September 6. Start at the beginning (January 1). It can get very confusing.  If you'd rather just read the Bible and you've never journeyed through it before, I'd suggest starting in the New Testament. My first time trying to read the entire Bible was an epic fail.  I was a new Christian and struggled with the Old Testament.  I gave up the first time, but later started in the book of Matthew.  I was able to read through the New Testament more easily.  I worked my way up to The One Year Bible for Women.  After completing it, I purchased The One Year Chronological Bible.  You can also find Bible reading plans online.  Regardless of where your start, you'll never regret spending time in God's Word.