Word women wednesdays & LinkUp

Meet my friend Amy over @ Amy Sullivan…what consumes you? She makes me laugh with almost every email..I just love her..I see her as my teacher in some way..what more can I say?  Her heart is gripped by God to write…I love that about her and I pray her words seep into your soul…deep down.

Tiffini challenged us; What keeps you captive in your own mess? Tough question, but I immediately knew the answer.

See, my mess doesn’t look like this.

My mess looks more like this.

My room of captivity? Perfectionism. Perfectionism and performance.

I can give you a laundry list of reasons why my self-worth is tightly coupled to these ugly words, but shiny people don’t list the origin of our flaws, and we certainly do not wallow in them.

I’m sorry to hear about your problems. Head up, shoulders back. Brush it off and march on.  The ground may shake and the walls crash, but when the dust clears, you need to be standing, and preferably with a smile.

At times, being a perfectionist serves me well. I succeed, often, and that feels amazing.

The not-so-great part? I can’t stop trying to prove myself, and that feels sickening.

And here’s the real downer, friends—you can’t be a perfect writer, ever.

Do you know how many times I’ve reread a submission, post, comment, or email only to find it full of errors? Um, countless times.

Any idea what I want to do about these simple mistakes I’ve made? If you guessed smash a coffee cup into the computer screen, you guessed correctly.

Writing is full of mistakes and rejection, and I’m not talking about the kind of rejection that comes in a stamped envelope or a “maybe next time” email, I’m talking about the kind of rejection that comes from friends and family. Yep, the kind of rejection that comes from people not understanding what you are doing, or the kind of rejection that comes from blaring silence.

So why would God, who knows perfectionism is my issue, give me the insatiable desire to write? Writing, a calling that demands I deal with my flaws, daily; a calling that allows people to deem me less-than perfect, often.

The obvious answer? Because perfectionism is my issue, and that sickening feeling that propels me, will also haunt me until I learn my worth isn’t tied to what I achieve, publish, or accomplish, but my worth is found Him.

I must grasp tightly to what I know to be true—

I don’t have to be shiny. I can be flawed. Achievement doesn’t equal worth. I don’t earn more love based on more accomplishments. My value isn’t in thoughts scribbled across blank pages. My true worth is with Him, and I’m pretty sure He doesn’t care about a few grammatical errors.


Amy – I am STILL trying to wrap my head around YOUR question

why would God, who knows perfectionism is my issue, give me the insatiable desire to write???

You took a HUGE area of captivity and just put it in a nice little package…easy to open and turn over and over…thank you.  I wish I could reach out and just hug you!

Go visit this girl…she lets her daughter Amelia guest post every now..under My Girls View and she is a DOLL!  Amy’s destination is GRATEFUL GIVING.


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 – please provide a link back to thehouseofbelonging.com.


tara - I read "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore last year, and in it she dealt so perfectly with perfectionism…she said the root of it is insecurity….and it resonated with my soul…and kept me on this journey toward freedom from the grips of it.

beautiful post.

jill - My husband has this same stronghold. I often thought POOR YOU>>ALWaYS BEING SO PERFECT. In the past, it was really hard to live with and I know it is even harder on him. He has overcome a lot , through God's grace and deliverence, but I know as with any stronghold, it is a battle for him.
prayers to you. You are awesome and so beautiful in God's eyes.

Jen Ferguson - I don't know if you can hear me, being that we live in two different states, but right now, I'm standing up and applauding you.

And, you see, I've never seen flaws in your writing. There have been no blaring grammatical errors that I've seen. And, I think that is not because you are perfect, but because the Holy Spirit flows through your writing. And I am so caught up in His ideas that those little typos don't even register.

You are amazing. Imperfectly amazing.

Kate - Thanks so much for the thoughts. I have linked up and blogged about it on my site today as well…

"keep charging forward"

always, Kate

tkilgore - Imperfectly amazing…yes Jen – she is isn't she? I always come away seeing Him…

eileen - oh boy can I relate to this post! (Not the perfect tidy house part) but the constantly analyzing what I am writing and trying to do it perfectly. I think many us perfectionists are called to be writers so that God can constantly remind us the our identity and worth need to rest in Him and him alone! Thank you for your honesty!

Amy Sullivan - Ladies,

Thanks for all of the encouraging words and comments.

T, thanks for being the hostess with the mostess. I know I'm only the third to share in this series, but I feel as if each week we are going to see parts of ourselves in all the women who post here. What an amazing feeling to see we aren't alone in our struggles!

Kim - Love this, Amy! Sharing your heart in the brokenness of words, beautifully as usual.

Melody - What a great post Amy! Love this and can relate all too well. You inspire me!

kendal - if you want, i could give you some pointers on NOT being a perfectionist. since i'm not one. my husband doesn't understand me!

tkilgore - we want Kendal:)

Abby - Amy, did you read 'Good. Better. Best.'? It was my poem submission for RAP at the high calling about…you guessed it…perfectionism! I still have to hear others who really aren't perfectionists (kendal!) to realize that this isn't how everyone thinks! oh my…love all of it and can relate to all of it…and linked 'Good. Better.Best.' to tiffini's super new link-up!

Amy Sullivan - Abby,

No, I didn't read it, but yes, I want to! Heading over now.

laura - Amy,

Thanks for bringing me over here, looks like a neat place! When you said, "I just can't stop trying to prove myself" it stopped me dead in my tracks. I have never associated this quality in myself with perfectionism…more like low self-esteem, or something. But you've given me something to think about and thank you for that. And also, thank you for being so transparent in sharing. We need to do that more.

Stephanie Clayton - Amy – I loved this post! And I am way too busy being captivated by your amazing heart, and your daughters heart for that matter to ever even notice a grammer error! You are such a beautiful person :) Remember Jesus came to set the captives free, but Satan came to take the free captive, don't let Satan bind you up in perfectionism, throw a little messiness right in his icky face!

Genevieve Mama Natur - LOVE this post. Perfectionism is a beast! I like this saying… perfectionism leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis.

I often delay doing what needs to be done today because I think it won't be PERFECT!

I just had a son in September and was flooded with gifts and abundance from all of our friends, family, co-workers, etc.

I started feeling obsessive about sending thank you cards… and it was like a heavy weight that was always on me. I starting feeling that the thank you letter thing was a silly ritual that didn't mean anything when I do it out of obligation.

Sometimes, I'd rather just call a person and thank them or give them a hug or be imperfect and not send a thank you card at all! LOL! To just RECEIVE and not have to work at returning the favor.

Any ways, thanks for sharing. Really spoke to me. BTW, is that your house? That room is beautiful! :)

Amy Sullivan - Genevieve,

My best friend (from years ago!) was also named Genevieve. Love it. Your name reminds me of a princess.

My house? Um, no, no. Just one fab picture. If I lived there, multiple coffee stains could be seen on the couch!

a frozen banana & reading

This is what Grace has me make her




it is that easy…

:: Ingredients::

2 frozen bananas…sliced

about 1 tsp. Powdered PB2  { optional } either way is good

just enough unsweetened almond milk to make it creamy


I put the PB2 in first…a little bit  of almond milk then the bananas

that way I can add almond milk to desired consistancy

I use a VitaMix

Put it into a bowl…sprinkle a few dark chocolate shavings on top

and enjoy.

SO good…you will not even miss ice cream AND you know every single ingredient in it:)

hangin this post out with Jen and the girls today @ Finding Heaven


What I’m reading…

here I shared what was on my bedside…still waiting on house to know whether I can plant a garden.

This just came for me ( at the library ) I LOVE it.  I am cooking 3 things out of it this week

I have placed a hold on this one.  I t came highly recommended by Meg @ Sorta Crunchy. I’m the last one who hasn’t read it..have you?

Redeeming Love


WORD-women Wednesday

Word Women Wednesday :  This week Amy Sullivan will be my guest poster for the day…she is my buddy that

called me T – and I LIKED it:)  I know we will ALL relate to her post.  She is a beautiful heart bent on giving.

She is ALWAYS encouraging to us fledgling writers…she gets it.  I love her and I can’t wait for you all to meet her.


30 Day Challenge

My friend Jen @ Finding Heaven has an eye opener of a post for those of us who suffer with the can’t sit stills..:)

Tara – I worked out today…check.  Thanks for your support:)  Loving my friends!

My goal is 5 but I often only get to 4 too:)

If you can’t eat it— post about it right?:)


Lori H - That dessert looks delicious! I need to try that out. I just got Jamie's book from the library too! I would love to know which recipes you are trying out and how you like them. If I get the time to try one this week, I will let you know. It will be hard to choose :0)

kendal - haven't read the francine rivers. i started ann voskamp's 1000 gifts this morning and am having a hard timne putting it down. but i have to go to work….

Kate - This looks yummy in the tummy. I will have to try, but I do have one question though… (this may sound silly), but what is PB2?

tkilgore - pb2 is a great powdered peanut butter. Here is a link in my blog that shows a picture of PB2:) NOT a silly question @ all Kate:) I ought to have explained that.
Hope this helps.

tkilgore - I SO want to read that…:) I WILL read that. Keep us posted!

tkilgore - I tried the cracking burger last night and AWESOME! I used Kashi crackers instead of his suggestion…couldn't find them.
I bought organic grass fed 96% ground beef and I had my husband and Grace ask me what kind of meat it was…it was SO
good! I am sold from now on. We don't eat beef often so not a bad tradeoff.

Also tried Cilantro lime rice…wonderful…taste like Chipotle's. Trying Cauliflower Mac & Cheese…will let you know:)

Andrea - Redeeming Love — good read. It's one of those I return to every now and then. And that dessert? Yes please. Can you just box some up and ship it south? :)

Amy Sullivan - I've wanted to read Redeeming Love forever, but somehow I always miss it! Yummy, yummy banana treat. I'd want it every day too!

Danielle - I haven't read redeeming love yet either! That "ice cream" looks delish! Thanks for stopping by today :)

Jen Ferguson - Who knew that PB came in powder form?? I learn something new every day! I can't wait to read Amy's post. I'm linking up tomorrow with something I wrote about food addiction for Blissfully Domestic.

tara - this made me smile….
keep at it, friend.

is it ok to copy?

Ok..a long awaited “home decor” project…I was just wondering if you could have a blog outside of home decor…wink.wink

I dream of this…@ City Cottage

love the wallpaper…sigh!    the pillowcases…the mismatched drawer pulls…

a momma must come back to reality:)

I am finally able to focus on Grace’s room… after the paint and trim.  Here is what her room looks like now.

I don’t know what the heck I am doing…I’m sure not going to fake it!  I can’t design anything without having inspiration from someone else.  OK – I have to copy…I said it!  Is that OK?  Thank you -Thank you girls for sharing your love of design with the world...  Us girls who don’t have this gift…wouldn’t know what to do:)

We just sit here day in and day out and ooohhh and aaawww over your amazing houses full of beauty:)

I’m not jealousreally I’m not.  Envious perhaps:)…you all work hard and deserve those beautiful things.  I’m really happy

for you.  It gives me something to dream about:):)

But seriously – just on a whim the other day I asked Grace if she would draw me a picture of what she wanted her bed to look like.

and SHE did!

Her dad won 500 from Home Depot so he was able to get her wood…yippee!!

SHE designed her headboard..and gave us instructions for her bed to be higher and she wanted steps.

Her wish is our command of course…not really…but she is the baby of five children.

MY question is:  what color to paint it…the bed?

I’ve included some picture inspirations to help YOU help ME!

white…the color of her bottom walls


a muted color and distress the heck out of it?

{I am loving the calming purple and the crocheted sham…


pick a color out of the material I will use in the sheet curtains..and just lightly distress it?

I am using Meg’s curtain idea…love how “easy”  AND cheap { 4.00 each } { that is only 16.00 for the curtains! }  Certainly doable for the budget.

I went to Wal-Mart today to buy the twin sheets and they had ONE left. Ugh!! did everyone run and buy sheets for Meg’s curtains I asked??

I found Meg’s blog Whatever from The Lettered Cottage’s my favorite room redo’s

Now – I am in love with Meg’s love for color!..it is so bright and fresh…airy!

You will not be disappointed in visiting any of these women…promise.  You will come away inspired, encouraged and will have laughed a bit too:)


Also from Layla’s same post I also simultaneously fell in love with Ashley @ Under the Sycamore Tree. OK ya’ll -I really am NEW to blogging.  So while you all already know about these women…I don’t.  I’m learning AND since I am not very creative on my ownI have to copy to get started:) Grace loved the tissue flowers and such hanging from her daughter’s room.

Truly, I do not know how you girls can put such beauty together…it amazes me.

My friend Lisa suggested I paint the ceiling with the color on her wall. Grace LOVED that idea.  As soon as we know our position on this house I will paint away…and tear the carpet out!  I HATE  that carpet.  Keeping our fingers crossed.

I am also making her duvet from Meg’s instructions. Not sure what we are doing with lighting.  I know we are painting the chandelier we have in there…we are recovering a chair and making pillows.  That is what I will be spending the next week or so on.

She also had dad build her a ” corner ” desk!  I don’t know where she comes up with these ideas…not from me anyway.

We have some other cute ideas…can’t wait to finish it and share with you the finished product.

Could I just take you shopping with me? Since we are choosing to only buy new when absolutely necessary…. I am going to do her room all from recycled and thrift store finds. { Except for the curtains and sheets }

guess that is it for now…

fearlessly…or not



30 Day Challenge { weekend edition }

I have come very close to cheating!  We went to Whole Foods and they had cookies in the case and I wanted it BAD…I chose a cup of fresh fruit.  Just NOT the SAME!

I didn’t exercise this weekend…boo!  BUT…today is a new day and I am doing 5 days in a row of exercise…anybody want commit to 5 days this week to encourage each other??

My mom asked me this over the weekend – I cut out all cookies, cakes, sweets of any kind.  Chocolate chips…my favs!  There are some sugars in the things I eat..like my Chobani Greek yogurt.  That kind of thing.  It is the sweets that do me in…like one a night.  It is a BAD habit.  I just wanted to clarify…mom:)xo

What’s up with  you all??  Give it to me!:)


Tara - love what you are doing in her room…
love the color of that 2nd bed….the light turquoise.

I'll exercise 4 days this week with you….
kudos to you for not eating sugar…getting a fruit cup instead of cookies…you are a STRONG woman!!!

Jen - Grace is coming up with some really creative ideas! Show her some choices, and with your input, let her decide…just an idea!

Thank you for clarifying the "no sugar" challenge Sweetheart! Love you too!! :)

Amy Sullivan - Oh…beautiful! Seriously. I love the distressed look!

Jen Ferguson - Wow — Grace has one awesome mom and dad! I can't wait to see the finished project!!

I can't commit to running 5 times this week, but I'll do 4 with you! :)

LLH Designs - Love the distressed turquoise. Hate exercising. I haven't gotten to the bottom of why I hate it so much, but I really do. So five days isn't happening for me. Not even one this week, but i admire your persistence and discipline!

Have a great week!


tkilgore - I HATE exercise too…never had to do it until 40! It is disturbing that I have to do it if I want to "maintain" health..ugh:)
somedays I feel as if I could just eat every sweet thing in sight and just NOT care…lol

tkilgore - I will take the company Jen…I usually end up with four anyway:)

praying pictures for your children

I’m happy your here:) whew!  Life can be tiring can’t it?  are you up to your eyeballs in life?  I know.  Stop right now & breathe

that’s it…simple:)

How do you pray for your children?  maybe at church?  when they get sick…or maybe frightened of the dark?  Before they head out to drive at 16?  If they are searching for a job…having money trouble… and so forth

that is most of us isn’t it?  Me too.  Remember when I said I left something and I am going back to get it here?  This was one thing I left back there

Praying for my children … daily … as I go through my day…communing talking  He always is there to listen:)

this is how I tend to talk with Father about them…

I do it first thing – I breathe

:::I picked this book back up

when my heart is in such pain I can’t find my words…this helps

:::I pray His words back to Him …. for them.

His words are alive words…they breathe too…did you know that?

Grace draws me pictures…often.  It reminded me of what I do when I pray for my children.  In my mind I am drawing word prayers.  Pictures of what my heart breathes for them.  A word prayer.   I have lots of word prayers written over the years.  Words that will not come back void and words that live on long after I’m gone.  Wonder who prayed word pictures for me when I was a child?  Wonder if anyone did?  Wonder if I look like any of those pictures?

You see – our prayers are our heart breathed out into words..sometimes audibly ..sometimes not.  The words do not hinge on us to carry them out. He then takes those heart words of breath and cups them in His Spirit hand and holds them …coloring all of eternity with them.  The prayers are SAFE.

:::How or What word pictures are you praying for your children? Doesn’t matter if it is scribbles or colored outside the lines.  Each is unique.  What matters is that we pick up the breath… and breathe.

our prayers help shape…protect…remind…humble…depend…trust…battles…deepen…heal

Please click for a printable copy of Amy Carmicheal’s prayer for children.  I have this taped in my Bible.  I find it beautiful.



They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

Jeremiah 17:8

I can see them now…majestic on their banks!  each tree a different set of leaves…it is in full bloom!  my children…I long into eternity…waiting to welcome

they NEVER stop producing eternal fruit

in His name…

Need Prayer..praying for you by name @ Brooke McGlothlin


30 Day Challenge

Day 4 thoughts – thanks for the banana and supplement ideas!:)  I am feeling a little depressed … maybe lack of sweets?  I have a really fun super easy banana ice cream recipe that is all natural that I will share tomorrow.  { here in the challenge area }  Grace LOVES it and it replaces her ” sweet ” before bed. OK, she begs me for it!  I skipped workout yesterday.  Feeling yuck.  Plan for today is going for my 5 mi. walk.  We’ll see.  It is FRIGID here.

How are you all doing?  I heard there was a serious competition going on between husband and wife?;)

**everything is going to work out….keep the faith**


Amy Sullivan - T,

Beautiful post. You have inspired me to get my dusty copy of Power of a Praying Parent off the shelf and get to it.

Andrea - I'm not sure why I don't own this book yet, but I need to get me a copy!

And I'm still winning. ;)

Abby - oh Tiffini this is beautiful…and so good for all of us…never too young to start praying BIG prayers for them and never too old to stop…

we have said Psalms 23 over each of our children since they were newborns and we insert their name and then pray 'it be so' and I just let my heart go from there, usually that they will be fearless and rise up in their generation and be counted, that He would make their roots deep, that they'd never spend a day in the 'far country' of Prodigals and that, phil. 3 image of their 'shining as the stars in the Heavens'

thank you for sharing your heart so palpably…xo

Stephanie Clayton - What a beautiful post. I have been convicted a lot about this lately, as I know I don't always pray for my kiddos like I need to! Thank you for the reminder! Blessings! Stephanie

Melissa - This is fantastic!! Love your post!

Are YOU a pessimist?

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.

–Helen Keller

What is one change you are not going to run from this year?

It’s time we put thoughts of lack behind us. It’s time for us to discover the secrets of the stars, to sail to uncharted land, to open up a new heaven where out spirits can soar.  But first we’ll have to makes changes. And lasting change does not happen overnight?  { Sarah van Breathnach }

Is that what scares most of us away?  It’s HARD? SO – we don’t open ourselves up.  A couple of week’s into the NEW YEAR…2011. We’ve had time to think and settle in.

What uncharted land are you going to pioneer?

What or Who are you going to RUN TO?

Would you mind sharing with me today?  JUST ONE:)

fearlessly living-

T { I promise I am working on a signature…:)

I LOVE all of you…thank you for your hearts, your bravery…vulnerability…fellowship and your friendship…xoxo

{top image credit}


30 Day Challenge – Day 3… I’m stressed and PMS is raging and I could really use some chocolate!

Day 3 – note to self: do not open your reader..there are pictures of food there.  Brownies, orange brownies, cupcakes…my weaknesses.  I haven’t had anything cakish, cookieish or gooeyish for 3 days!

I did however have 3 mints…gosh does that count?  30 days without eating out…30 days without sugar…was this my crazy idea?  I think I am eating more of everything else…sigh!  I did make some rockin Chicken Ranch & Rice soup from Picky Palate.  Only I substituted brown jasmine rice.  The Tabasco added that kick...It got a thumbs up … even from hubby and Dakota!  It is a keeper.   To sum up my night:  All I can say is it is a good thing I’m not keeping junk in the house right now because I would be sitting in the bathroom shoving my face so  no one would know….and that is the truth!


Cha Cha - Your soup looks yummy!!!!!

I will be emailing you later today, I hope.

Cha Cha

Jamie - That soup looks yummy! Chocolate cravings during PMS actually come from a lack of magnesium, so if you're staying off sugar try taking vitamins with high doses of magnesium . It's not the same psychologically, but it quashes the physical cravings. :0)

Cath - Have a banana!! That may help curb those sweet toothie needs and PMS!!

I love this post…the top image is just beautiful!!

Keep up the good work!! I'm with you all the way!



Andrea - Hmmm, I've never thought of myself as a pessimist, but I can tell you I run from real change in how I honour God with my body because I am scared. Silly. Not this year, though!