Monthly Archives: January 2011

How are you inspiring other bloggers?

** 30 day challenge @ bottom of post;)

Personally – the idea of inspiring or LIFTING UP others has my heart stirred up.  I was thinking how that would translate over to blogging…to my blog.  If we are upside down bloggers how can I/we lift up other blogs this year? How could I/we ENCOURAGE other blogs?

NOW – this is not about how BIG the BLOG is, it is not about being listed on the top referrers of the year;) this is about blogs/bloggers  that truly LIFT UP up others.

I immediately thought of this woman…she is strong. she is brave. and YES she is beautiful…but what attracts me time and time again is her HEART. Her heart for her readers, her family and most importantly her love for God.  The heart is always the most beautiful thing to make beautiful…do you agree?  That is what our Father sees anyway:)


Tara @ Between You and Me…you just CAN’T HELP falling in love with her? Why? take a look around but before you do – grab a hot cup of will need it

Her first year anniversary is coming up this February...I think?:) right Tara

I went back through her blog and she has LIFTED UP so many other blogs like

Life{ in} Grace

The Lettered Cottage

Humble Pie

7294 Cottage Way

Farmgirl Paints { check out her cuffs..amazing!}

Enjoying the Small Things

Chatting at the Sky

August Fields

and that is just a few…We will have to name the rest on the next post.  I DISLIKE leaving anyone out:)

Here are her beautiful children

She homeschools

She makes things like this

and her latest this

she will make you one of these subway wall art signs.  Truly the best I’ve seen so far!

when I first found Tara…I clicked this post.I am going to make a dropcloth bedskirt.  I loved it.

no words…love it:)

May I please plant a little seed? what are some creative ways we could begin to LIFT UP each other? SUPPORT each other to be humble and authentic women?

Guess what?  Tara will be guest posting for me this WEDNESDAY!! I know her story will bless your heart.  If you want to know more about Word- women Wednesdays click here. If you would like to share your story click here for more information.

See you soon

living fearlessly



30 Day Challenge

It begins today ladies!  From now until February 10 NO SUGAR!  Tonight will be the test!  It is always the hardest in the evening.

We can email or comment back and forth if you want to.  My email is  Tell me more of what you are giving up or doing more of or WHATEVER:)  I’ll post at the bottom each day as to how the previous day went.  Sound good?


building a strong – real family – on limited budget

There are, indeed, good reasons to believe we won’t go back to the old ways. But this new normal doesn’t have to be a time of chaos and decline. Instead, many Americans are building stronger families and communities, rejecting the waste and greed that made our economy implode, and turning instead to self-reliance and the sort of neighborliness that embraces diversities of all sorts. taken from Pioneers of the New Normal.

this is made of 16 old vintage scarves!  I would LOVE this…it is sustainable…! click:)

Will YOU JOIN with our FAMILY in living 2011 with a new focus? ASKING yourselves why you are living the way you do.  In December I will have our answer for you.

I will be posting throughout each month on our progression in living with less.

As a commitment to weed out anything that takes from our family -  We have joined in the NO IMPACT experiment for the month of January.

It will not stop there for us. We are a real family…on a limited income…and what we share throughout this year will be very authentic.  We are searching.  This is our WAKE UP CALL.

Day 5 of 30…OVERVIEW of the LAST 5 days

We are not eating out for 30 days = me cooking…not only that - we are moving towards WHOLE foods and ones that are minimally processed.

Pictures of Grace’s lunches for school { Monday was a holiday }


We chose 4 dinners from Cooking with my Kid { check this out..awesome photos..good instructions..worth your time }

broccoli & bowties { substituted rice pasta and used Costco’s organic frozen spinach }

tacos con papas

cheater Italian wedding soup

pasta with turkey bacon and peas…{ I am putting the bacon on the side }

sprouted grain tortilla pizzas { I only had veggies and cheese no meat option } ( our recipe )

Here are a few pictures to prove to all that I DID COOK.  My husband and 16 year old son are having the most trouble with the changes.  We are only 5 days in.  I did get them some cardboard pizzas and shells and cheese…just in case:)


I am borrowing this book from the library first. I LOVE Jamie Oliver and all the work he does to revolutionize our food industry. I want to LEARN to COOK..for real. Lots of us Americans are so used to opening boxes or eating out we have lost the Art & Love of cooking.  If I love the book I can buy a used copy through AMAZON.  Click here to buy now:)


We currently use our trash service offers a recycle program but it doesn’t take that much and we are still filling up our big trash container.  Not good…need to change.  This weekend we are adding bins to recycle more things.

I have carried these in my car all year…I am committing to use them every time now.


We are not buying “new” things without checking all other options first.

I went into a thrift store today to look for a church outfit and came out with a bag of pj’s for Grace!  I got 4 pj pants, pj set and a nightgown…all for 10.27!  No church outfit:(


I am beginning … if I had a lots of extra cash/credit I could go buy out Target and put everything in cute labeled container.  I don’t.  So I use what I have and will work toward getting containers etc. as we go:)

Here are some photos of my refrigerator.  I wiped down the shelves and reorganized.

I want to get a bunch of clear containers to organize snacks and fruits. Like this


I am spending this weekend going through the house purging. I am using the GIVE, SALE or THROW AWAY system.

We are testing the reality of really living with less.  STOP CONSUMING!!

I’m thinking that ANYTHING is worth

having more sanity

more time with my family

more time to find out what I/we ENJOY in life…


I called our cable company and as of JANUARY 26 we just have BASIC Cable….2-23 channels.  SAVINGS = 100.00 a month!!

what are some things you and your family are doing to live with less?  I’d love to hear it:)

What do you pack your kiddos lunches?



For Further Reading

** 10 Tips for Real Food Newbies…very helpful:)

**10 Natural Parenting Goals for 2011

**man builds a cobb house.….very interesting reading!  This guy lives in Missouri!  MY cool:)


Swedish cottage:don’t fight it-just pack your bags!

The other day Blomsterverkstad ... or Minna… posted this little cottage and my heart was captivated.  I have dreamed for years to get away to some enchanted…fairytale place…where your dreams and God dreams mesh.

Now – I think I would love to have a few WORD-women come along.  I think it would be trip of a lifetime. I don’t think we would come back the same women…I picture a retreat of some kind.  The purpose being to reconnect with our authentic selves that the world and flesh and time has taken from us.

Here’s the enchanting little place…adorable right?:)

Here is her blog…just click on picture to take you there..She is so endearing you just want to keep perusing.  I then proceeded to the blogs she followed and was raptured. Anyone else think this about Swedish blogs? They are delicious…one of my new favorite things.  Admittedly, I’m new to the blog world so I am sure most of you have already been there, done that right?  That’s OK:)


Ok – back to the cottage…

Here is the vision

We are arriving..just us girls..with NOTHING to do but enjoy each and every moment of everyday.

I think we may even have a maid and a chef.  { that only cooks whole, minimumilly processed, fresh from the garden food of course }

Every little indulgence is taken care of.  NO HURRY here this week.

No car pools, no dance class, no cooking , no changing diapers, putting the toilet seat down before sitting ,

no getting out of our pj’s, the hottest, freshest coffee served on trays brimming with ripe fresh fruits…..


time … to ask the questions that are in our hearts

be open

time to look at your self in the mirror and see who you have become…and is it what you thought it would be or not?

time to reconnect with who you dreamed you would be … years ago...

to listen…really listen…can you hear it?  He’s calling…the time IS COMING friends…things are changing.  God is moving…will you follow?

time to reflect over the last year and resolve once and for all…to let all that go…only taking the the treasures…to quit listening to the world

turn away and turn to the ONLY ONE who has ever loved you perfectly…

time to connect with other soul sisters who only want the absolute best for you … God’s best for each other.

No hidden agendas.  100% authentic.  No manipulation.  No jealousy.  No game playing.

Just real souls who LONG for more…for themselves…for each other… and their families.

What do you think….wanna go?

You can rent this summer house in Sweden…I’m living in my dream world today.

I shyly admit I live here once in awhile.  I remember watching Oprah when she interviewed Tyler Perry.

He was severely abused and he would go to ” a place” when things would happen…in his mind.  I’m sure not so healthy but for some that is the way you deal with such pain.

I know it is not real but I REFUSE to believe it couln’t happen someday!

P.S.  Do you think I could bring these shoes too? They just came out at Anthropologie...I have NEVER bought a pair of shoes from here before have you?

A girl can dream though…right;)

And I’m wearing this on the plane:)

Humor is good…I’m laughing at myself with this post but I had fun and that is what matters.  Laughter, daydreaming, releasing our  hold on the possibility…it’s all good.

once in you ever daydream?

Taupe-Tied BootiesTop-Drawer Lace-UpsCorn Lane Slingbacks




a warm thankyou to all of you who shared yesterday.   a heart felt thank you to Jen and Craig…:)


Other Links I enjoyed enjoyed yesterday


WORD-women Wednesdays {Linkup Party!}

WORD-women. Hoping your day is full of awe and wonder and let us pray as Isaiah 57:14….to remove the obstacles out of the way of us and our families…

I’m giving the post over to my WORD-sister Jen from Finding Heaven and our Father.  He is the one who sets the captives free and may our naked eyes see Him high and lifted to scoop up a crumbling heap of a mess…taking us into His hands…hands that heal and will NEVER let us go.

Here is Jen’s story of captivity…she is a brave Word-woman and she is jumping naked for sure!!xo

My husband is a recovering porn addict.  I am a recovering trying-to-control-my-husband’s-every-last-move addict.  His captivity provided monstrous amounts of fuel that powered my desire to cure him, rehabilitate him, to help him become consumed him with anything but porn.  I bought him books.  We arranged counseling.  I monitored his email accounts, his web browser history, his time on the computer.  I drilled him, I questioned him, I cried out to him – How could you do this to me? And before I knew it, we were both enslaved.  We were trapped by different chains, but they were chains nonetheless.  They held us back from Jesus.  They held us back from each other.  They threatened to keep us seated in our own personal prisons forever.

As much as I prayed that God would heal him from his addiction, and as much as I knew that he could be set free, I simply could not let God handle this one on His own.  There were too many things at stake – my marriage, my husband’s life, my children, my self-respect, his self-respect. Somehow, I had fooled myself that becoming the porn police was going to ensure successful recovery.  Somehow, I had fallen into the trap of believing that if I said and did the right things, healing would take place. I couldn’t help but try to orchestrate the whole thing, because I felt that if I didn’t get control over this situation, everything as I knew it would fall apart.  Crumble.  Cease to exist.

I focused all my energy on what he was doing and why he was doing it that I simply forgot to do two very important things:

Trust God.

Love my husband.

See, in my attempt to control, I forgot to surrender.  I forgot to let God work.  I forgot to let God heal.  I forgot that Craig belonged to Him and not just to me.  In the end, I became blinded by the enormity of the problem instead of boasting of the immensity of God’s power.  Chains have a way of making you forget the power of the One you serve.

And I lost sight of my husband.  I began to define him by what he was doing instead of who God created him to be.  Whenever I looked at him, he was either a project or someone who had been disloyal and hurtful.  There wasn’t a whole lot of loving in the mix, except for those times when God used me to show him how much He was calling him back into the fold.  I did have a few moments of clarity and wisdom.  A few.

Through the whole process (we’re talking years here) of confession, unearthing, and recovery, God has broken the heavy chains of pornography in my husband and the heavy chains of a controlling nature in me.  Sure, every now and then, I have the urge to check up on him, just to make sure that he’s not falling back into old habits.  And sometimes, I wish this whole ordeal had never happened.  But, there is such beauty in broken chains.  There is freedom from the bondage itself, but also freedom from all the shame and guilt associated with it.  I wouldn’t know the fullness of freedom if I hadn’t first been enslaved.  And I wouldn’t understand the power of light to pierce through the darkness.

A note to the readers:  My husband has read every word of this essay and I have his full permission to publish it.  We feel that pornography is a huge problem in our society, one that is rarely spoken of, and usually filled with shame, especially when in the context of marriages.  We seek to be a resource, and as such, have become willing to share our story.  If you need to talk to someone or have specific questions, please feel free to contact me at jenfergie2000 {at} me {dot} com. I’m no expert, but am happy to help and pray.


Today, if you’d like to share with us on any area of captivity you have/or are struggled with … just enter in the direct URL to your exact post….. If you share –  we would love you to help us find each other by sharing our WORD-women button{ I am working on the button for next week…so until then just link back here in your post somewhere} thanks so much:) Read HERE about WORD-women Wednesdays and what it is about.

The linky will be open until Thursday evening for your convenience.

WE WILL have it setup for your picture to post with your linkup also…next week:)

If you don’t have a blog and want to follow along you are always welcome to leave a comment and someone will get back with you:)

If there is anything we can pray for you about please email Jenn at or myself @  You don’t have to be specific..God knows those things.

We are glad you stopped by and pray that 2011 be a simply abundant year to be savored.  FULL of captives set free…giving Him glory…and stopping to help others who are in chains with grace and love.  We hope we can become a woven net underneath you.




I’m sentimental….


my Lover…it is a Divine Romance

He is wooing me…

He captivates me..I can think of nothing else



with YOU there is safety

buckets of freely offered grace

His LOVE doesn’t run

arms that won’t let go

whispered words that stir

being stripped bare

building altars

life story woven together with others

my heart-aches…daddy?



He STILL acts…on behalf of those who love Him



letting go


everything but


Shall I bring to the point of delivery and not give birth?

Isaiah 66:9

would you please follow me to link up over at Sit Relax & Read?

living fearlessly this Sunday


Sit Relax and Read

and my friends over at Soli Deo Gloria or SDG!  Come visit with us:)

Finding Heaven