Category Archives: Life

December Break

After much thought and reflection, I would like to say that I am taking a break from blogging for the month of December. I have prayed about this and I have much peace concerning this desicion. December is a very busy month for my family.
Keep Calm And Remember It Is Just a Break
I blog about putting family first, and this is something I want to live out, not only to put lip service to. I will still be posting and sharing via my Facebook page through out the month. So if you would like to share in encouraging photos, my family moments, funnies, random thoughts, and maybe even an encouraging thought of my own please visit. I would love to see December turn into a time of growth for the Facebook page and community. That way when January rolls we are together and thriving we I announce the return of my blog.

Thank you for being with me. Thank you for understanding. I love all of you.

***What are some of the things you do with your families during the holidays? We enjoy the Christmas movies, Christmas cookies, holiday parties, the lights, decorating, and more.***

Have A Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

Alright, so I know I am a day early on this, but since I post a whole three days a week I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving today. I think the older I get the more it becomes my favorite holiday. It is a day set aside to remember our blessings. No matter how bad things get there are still things to be thankful for.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

This last Sunday in church the pastor told a story about a local man who had just lost his home in a storm. It was a horrible storm that had completely scattered his four walls and his belongings. One of his neighbors had come up to him and said, “Bob.” (Let’s call him Bob because I don’t remember his name. “Bob, you have lost everything.”

Bob replied, “No I have not. I still have my wife, my family, my friends, my health, the ability to work and the drive to go earn a living. And not least of all I have the assurance of my salvation through my faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross.”

Now while I may not have quoted the tale exactly I know I have captured it’s essence and that is what is important today. See Bob understood that there are things in life that are far more valuable than his stuff. It is those intangible things that we possess even in the trials that we should be remembering to give thanks for.

Sometimes though life might throw you a curve ball or two or ten, and you can’t claim to have your health, job, family, etc… It is then I would suggest that Christ is there for you more than anyone else. He has stepped into the gap, washed you clean, and provided you a chance at salvation. All you need do is believe in him. Believe that he was, who he said he was. Believe that he was persecuted for you, and that he died for you. Christ died for each of us, while we were still yet sinners. He did not wait till we got things right. So when things are a mess Jesus is not revolted. He is there, ready to welcome you with open arms. If you have turned from those arms, run back to him today and wait for his warm embrace. If you have never known the love of God, and want to accept him, I am here to pray with you.

Happy Thanksgiving

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

***What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?***

As always please feel free to share or any post if it has touched your heart in anyway. I appreciate the support that you show me by sharing my posts with others. Thank you.

 

The Blessing That Was Cancer

Today’s post is one that I have thought about before and often rejected writing. So often, when I state the words that my experience with cancer blessed me it brings out the hate in people. I get it, I do. So today I ask if you are still battling cancer, have a loved one who is still sick, or perhaps it is still recent for you, consider skipping this post. In no way am I trying to minimize anyone’s pain. These are lessons and reflections from my journey with cancer.

The Blessing That Was Cancer

I remember asking at least once after my diagnosis, “Why me?” Not long after that I began reading many different stories from people who had battled cancer or been by the side of someone battling cancer. One story stands out in my mind, I don’t remember what it was called or even what it was about. What I do remember is how the author said they had a choice. They could ask, “Why me,” or they could ask instead, “Why not me?” I contemplated this question, and I prayed over it. And yes I concluded why not me? What made me think that I was better than anyone else? I wasn’t. There wasn’t anything I did that caused this. It was, what it was, and I was no better than anyone else. The way I saw things after this was asking, “Why me,” was part of a whiny self-indulgent pity party. I did not want pity. Instead asking, “Why not me,” helped me to realize this could happen just as easily to me as to anyone else. Let me tell you I have found when I encounter tough moments in this in life, if I remember to keep this perspective then those tough things are just a little bit easier to deal with, because I can tackle the issue at hand and not instead throw a pity party.

It was also during this time that I found myself knocking on death’s door, or maybe instead death came knocking at my door, I am not sure which. Then again I am not sure it matters. Either way this point in my journey found me broken on my bedroom floor. Crying, I prayed to God. I told him I was done, I just couldn’t fight any more. It was then I felt his presence say it was okay. If I wanted to be done fighting I could go home. He nudged me back though with another thought, not just leaving it there. What about my husband, and my family? I answered that I didn’t want to leave them but I didn’t want to fight anymore. In that moment though I became convinced that I didn’t want to fight for myself, but I needed to fight for them. A peace fell over me when I came to that point. It was a peace that said everything would be alright, that with the Lord by my side I could battle through this.

The Gold ribbon is the color ribbon for Osteosarcoma. That is the kind of cancer that I was diagnosed with.

The Gold ribbon is the color ribbon for Osteosarcoma. That is the kind of cancer that I was diagnosed with.

The trust I had in my God in those months is honestly unlike anything I ever experienced before or after that time. I have been blessed to understand and experience a complete trust in our Lord. It is a trust that I can only hope to come close to again. In the meantime I know I have been blessed to know that sort of close connection.

This experience also sent me into early menopause. It was from that experience and the subsequent  miracle of getting pregnant , that I can truly appreciate the miracle that is my children. If you want to read more about that experience you can read about it in last weeks post titled,  From Menopause to Motherhood: The Blessings That Are Children.

If you want to read more about my experience from another perspective, my husband, wrote a touching piece titled, I’m thankful for my wife.

***The toughest moments in our lives can bless us, and be blessings to us if we learn from them. What are some of the lessons/ things you have learned during the tough times?***

If this post has touched your heart in any way, I would ask that you share it today. Thank you.

*** Disclaimer: While I claim cancer was a blessing in my life because of what I learned from it I am in no way wishing it upon anyone. It is one thing I sincerely wish that no one would ever have to go through. It is tough. It can be messy. It is hard. But for me I found there was blessing in it, that is all.***

 

 

Creative K Kids

{Cheri} Under The Sun- Thankful For the Fleas

Rusty and I have moved around a lot in our almost 10 years of marriage. In fact, we have had 7 major moves. (That does not count the moves within the same city or to the next town over.) It is in one of those moves that I met Cheri. Cheri is a sweet lady, who has a passion for the Lord and homeschooling. Even though she and I only spent a short time together we are still in contact, and when I began searching for people to contribute to this month of thankfulness she is one of the people I turned to. 

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Thankful For The Fleas

We’re all thankful for our families, our friends, our homes, and food on our tables. We’re also thankful when things work out the way we want to, when someone we love recovers quickly from an illness, isn’t hurt in an accident, or avoids a disaster of some sort. Most of us can even be thankful by finding the good in a difficult situation – a couple of weeks ago I was grateful that, even though my dad was in the hospital, he didn’t end up needing surgery.

I was reminded recently of Corrie ten Boom’s story about her time in the concentration camp – she and her sister were assigned to  barracks that were infested with fleas.  As they prayed together, her sister insisted that they express thanks to God for everything – even the fleas!  Corrie really struggled with this idea (in the same way I struggle with some of the crosses I have to bear in this life) but ultimately, she did join her sister in  thanking God for the fleas.  You probably know the rest of the story – how it turned out that the fleas were the very things keeping the guards out of their barracks, allowing them to continue to read and study their Bibles together!

I always have to remind myself that it isn’t really about making lemonade when life gives you lemons but knowing that God has a plan that includes the lemons in my life – we just can’t always see it from our vantage point like He can from His. Sometimes He doesn’t reveal the purpose for the fleas in my life and I never come to understand why He’s allowed them, but because I know that He is faithful, I always know that He does have a purpose for them and that He is using them for good in my life.  And, that is what makes me thankful, even for the fleas in my life.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,  your faithfulness to the skies.  Psalm 36:5

 

Cheri Pelic is grateful to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. She lives in Northville, MI with her husband Ed, teenagers Molly and Max, and their dog, Toto.

***Have you ever considered being thankful for the fleas in your own life? What are some of the challenges you have face when trying to being thankful for the fleas?***

Give Thanks

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the holy one, give thanks because he has given Jesus Christ, his son…” (When I think of those lyrics I think of the version by Praise Baby, but Don Moen originally sang it.)

A thank you card I had my 4-year old write.

A thank you card I had my 4-year old write.

Those words remind us how we are supposed to live our lives. Every day we should be seeing the good in our lives. Even if we are on the darkest journey we carry the brightest light with us, the love of God, but only if we have accepted it.

Because we are still human we are prone to wander. When we wander it may not always be far, but it is then we have lost sight of what really matters, God’s redeeming love.

So it is months like November, that serve as a reminder to give thanks. To give thanks to the Lord not only for food, a warm home, health, friends, or family. We should also be giving thanks to the Lord, for the Lord, and for his sacrificial love.

So as it would be  here at {Sara} Under the Sun, I want to share stories of thankfulness  with you  this month. Some from myself and others from friends around the world. Each story is unique. Each person sharing is very different. It is my sincere hope though each one will bless you just the same, and remind you to give thanks each day.

***If you have a tale of thanks and blessing that you can share, let me know. You can share it in the comment section, put it on Under the Sun’s Facebook page, or possibly you could be a contributor here this month.***

Birthday Reflections

Four years ago at this time I was just getting used to my new role as mom, and now four years later I am mom to 3 beautiful girls.  As much as my girls have grown and changed, I have as well in equal proportion. Four years ago I would never have imagined spending half my night awake tending to a sick baby and then awake  writing my blog  and celebrating a little girl’s birthday. Once upon a time I could not function on anything less than 8 hours sleep. Now all I need is a cup of coffee and a little time to re-adjust in the morning.

Birthday Reflections

This is a sweet day for me. My four-year old birthday girl is busy playing with her princess castle. Her younger sister is busy playing next to her, and her baby sister is asleep in her grandmother’s arms.  It is so wonderful to have a houseful, and the mess of children all around.

Before kids I was able to workout and exercise when and where I pleased. Now four years later and after five weeks of The Living and Active Challenge I have learned more about flexibility than just how far I can stretch forward. I have learned that my workouts don’t have to look the same from week to week or even day-to-day. I have also learned how to incorporate preschoolers, toddlers, and babies into any workout.

This challenge has also blessed me through the scripture. I am able to take the scripture and share it with my children. My girls are learning the value of scripture as I learn to memorize it. Never before have I actually attempted to memorize it. I have always taught myself the principles, the general locations of where to find them, but now I am learning the verses word by word and the exact locations. Yes some verses are more difficult than others, but persistence pays off and my girl’s are learning the value of these things through watching me.

Thank you, Lord, for granting me these last four years of Motherhood. Please bless me in the years ahead that I may further learn and grow in my role as a mother. Thank you for these blessing that are my daughters. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

***What are you learning through this journey of parenthood? What so far has been your favorite age or stage your child/ children have gone through?***

Previous Posts on my Living and Active Challenge:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Living and Active

Completion of Week 4 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 4 of The Living and Active Challenge saw more challenges in my house. I struggled with the new rash. Thankfully the Impetigo has healed, though. As I got a better grasp on that rash though and the management of it I found myself better able to focus. That is until Saturday. Saturday saw the start of croup with my middle daughter, and Sunday saw my husband seemingly catching whatever our daughter has.

Living and Active

Now you think I might be telling you this because I used these things as an excuse not to complete this weeks challenge. Instead I want share that I was able to still fully complete this week’s challenge. In fact this successful completion of the challenge has motivated me to want to carve out thirty minutes each day simply for exercise. I can use and have used: the stationary bike, spent time walking the perimeter of the yard, or I have a book with simple wake up work outs. Reminding myself that getting moving and staying healthy can be easy and enjoyable, helps me to get it in.

I want to encourage you to find something simple and enjoyable that you can work in to your schedule. It will take commitment, and an effort to prioritize this time for yourself. You can do it though. Trust me when I say I know how easy it is to put trivial things first, but this matters. Even the Bible says, ” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)” Read that again let it soak in. Honor God with your bodies. When we prioritize trivial things above this time we are devoting to improving our health we are not showing God the honor he deserves.

I had to spend the last two weeks before this struggling and stumbling to fully appreciate this. I had spent time on Facebook, watching tv,  reading a book, or just poorly managing my time, instead of  exercising. I am not saying the internet, tv, or books are bad. I am just saying a little less time could be spent with those things and a little more on us and our health.

I have also put a priority on memorizing scripture. It is something worth tucking away in my heart. The verse for this last week was, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well-spring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)” If you would like to join me in memorizing scriptures, here is the verse for the next week : “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)”

Living and Active

***What are your favorite things to do to get active? If you are not as active as you like what are some activities you might like to work into your days?***

I Stumbled in My Third Week of Living and Active

So another week has passed in The Living and Active challenge. I have to say this was another bad week again for me. This is not to say the desire wasn’t there, it was, but rather I was distracted. While my loving husband seeks to encourage me and remind me, there is still only so much he can do when my priorities are not in line and I am distracted.

Living and Active

Please bear with me for a bit while I explain what has happened here this last week. As I explained in my post last week I developed Impetigo. On Monday I sought out the doctor to help clear the infection. As it turns out the medication helped to clear the infection, but left me with another itchy rash. As I simply try to remind myself that this to shall pass.

Monday also saw something else unfold. Our national government shutdown. The shutdown has had a very personal impact on my family. We  are a one income household as many of you know, and until the government reopens my husband is without work. He and I have been busy looking at what we can sell, and where he can find temporary work until such time as he can return to his job.  Last weeks verse has been sort of a mantra running through my mind. Then again I have reflected on a larger section of Matthew:

“25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

As I reflect on this I know my family will be fine. Still I find myself worrying, and distracted, either with worry or with a task set in motion by my husband being out of work for now. Each time I start to worry though I am diligently trying to lay them down at the foot of the cross and just let go of my worry. I also want to note that this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time, while I am not doing as well in it as would have hoped, I am still gaining much from the scripture. I am also learning about letting go of my worries, getting priorities in order, and perseverance.

Now for what I did accomplish this week:

I worked out for a half an hour on two separate days. One day I rode a stationary bike the entire time, and on other I focused on core work. As much as strong legs are nice, I need to remember to do more core work, because without a strong core the rest is of little value.

I tried my usual methods of memorizing last weeks scripture. I have to say after a week I didn’t even come close to actual memorization of it. There were great lessons to learn in the verse though, and reflecting on it multiple times a day I was still able to learn and grow from it. I was able to memorize the location of the verse, that way if I need to look it up at the least I can find it (1 John 2:16.)

This week’s verse is: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Living and Active

Getting to Know Me: Questions and Answers

One of my blogger friends, Adelien, received a nomination for the Sunshine Award. In turn for her nomination she had to nominate 11 other people, I was one of them. While this struck me as a bit of a chain letter, I saw value in sharing a little bit of who I am with you. That seemed to be, to me, the most important aspect from the whole thing.

Getting to Know Me

11 Random Facts About Me:

  • I love to read!
  • Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo and I was born there! (I know many of my Michigan friends are rolling their eyes right now.)
  • Despite living in various cities for the last 9 years, I am loving the country life more than I can describe.
  • The only time I have ever traveled out of country, I was detained at the border upon re-entry.
  • I bake all of our bread from scratch.
  • I have an Associate Degree.
  • My husband feels I am a very good Momma.
  • In December I will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary
  • I was a Navy Wife for 9 years
  • I married my high school sweetheart.
  • I spent the first 5 years of my marriage afraid to try baking from scratch. (I was just sure I couldn’t do it, and it wouldn’t be tasty.)

Questions the Nominees Need To Answer

1. Give 3 reasons why you blog, please. I want to encourage other women. I enjoy using my blog as a vehicle to share my life, my thoughts, and my feelings. I also started this to share recipes.

2. Do you have any schedule of blogging? Please share how it works. The only schedule that I have is that I post Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Most weeks it looks like this : Monday is Marriage, Tuesday is Parenting and/ or children, Wednesday is recipes. Recently I have deviated from that a bit though.

3. Have you been to Indonesia? Which part of Indonesia would you visit or have you visited? No I have not been to Indonesia, and honestly I have never given travel there a thought.

4. Do you play musical instrument? What is it? (if you play) or What might you be interested to play? (if you don’t) I might consider learning to play the piano.

5. If you have children, what is your favourite time to spend with them? If you don’t, what might be the favourite time to spend with children? If by favorite time you mean time of day it is a toss up between time spent doing arts and crafts or reading a book together. If by favorite time you mean favorite age since each child is so different from the next and the stages don’t look the same from one to the other I am just trying to enjoy where they are, instead of always looking back or always looking forward.

6. What are your 2 favourite Fiction books? At the moment I would probably just say I am loving the Divergent series.

7. What are your 2 favourite Non-fiction books? I read a lot of nonfiction but I don’t really have a favorite book. Although Women Living Well the book I reviewed recently is excellent.

8. Whom do you think is the best blogger mentor for you and what is his or her website? I honestly do not know

9. How do you usually spend your weekend? cleaning, playing, shopping, going to church, cooking, yard work

10. Which part of your country do you like best and would like to promote? I love that in Michigan I can get the 4 seasons and be near family. I love that in Virginia we were near the ocean and were able to visit it often. In Alabama I love the hills, the country side, and that it has the lowest cost of living over any other place I have lived.

11. What is your favourite food you cook? Either my Grandmother’s cheesy potatoes or Spaghetti Carbonara

 

***Do you have anything about me that you want to know? If so, fire away, I would be happy to answer your questions.***

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Yesterday kicked off Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge. My first week did not go anything like I imagined it would when I started the week. I pictured being able to carve out 25 minutes a day 4 times a week easy peasy to do the routines suggested at Peak313. Instead I found myself getting creative and doing things that involved the kids and things they could get excited about.

My first day we went for a long walk. While a walk may not sound like much of a workout at first blush, I would say that it all depends on what you do to challenge yourself during the walk. I walked with the 16 lb baby strapped to my chest, while we trekked up and down hills. So with this walk I was really able to get my blood pumping. Also on the first day I spent a couple of hours in our garage lifting and moving  boxes. While the work in the garage was not a set routine it was still just one more way to be active.

On my second day of working out for the week the girls and I held a dance party. I set up some music and for 30 minutes we moved and we grooved. There was lots of fun and silliness to be had. 🙂

My third day of working out last week was on Saturday. Since Rusty was home I was able to find time alone (at least for part of it) to workout. Still instead of doing a prescribed routine I made up my own. I marched  (knees high) around the house for 20 minutes. When I was done there I did crunches, scissor kicks, and honestly I can’t remember all that I did. I know I did calisthenics and stretching though.

Sunday, my 4th day, I got to the end of the day and I realized I had not done a workout routine up to that point. I had a decision to make. Go to bed early, and give up on successfully completing the challenge before the first week was even up.  I decided it was only 25 minutes I was just going to go for it. My workout  was the same as the day before.

By the end of the week, I had got four workouts in. I was sore and exhausted. Not only had I done four workouts I had been busy in the yard most of the week.

The verse for this next week comes from Matthew chapter 6 verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

*** How did your first week of  The Living and Active Challenge go? Did you complete all four workouts? Did you memorize the scripture verse?***

Living and Active

 

Previous posts in this series

Living and Active Challenge Week 1