books, books, and more books

Below you will find a list of books that have helped shape our marriage and who we are as parents. Some of the books are written from a very conservative point of view; others are not. While I do not agree with everything written in every book, I have found their teaching to be thought provoking. They have guided Greg and I as we formulate our family vision. So in the words of a good friend, “eat the meat, chuck the bones” hear the heart of the author, don’t make rules out of guidelines…just let them guide you.

Click on the title and it will link you to Amazon – Enjoy!

Baby Wise-parenting

To-Train-Up-A-Child-parenting

What Every Child Should Know Along the Way-parenting

Making Room For Life-family

Romancing Your Child’s Heart-parenting

5 Love Languages-relationships

All Is Grace-life

Abba’s Child-life

Grace Walk-life

Healing For Damaged Emotions-life

Created To Be A Help Meet-marriage

Holy Sex-marriage

Total Money Makeover-finances

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-food/eating local

New Laurel’s Kitchen-vegetarian cooking

Charlotte Mason Companion-homeschooling

The Well Trained Mind-homeschooling

Educating the Whole Hearted Child-parenting/homeschooling

yes, it has been a very long time…

I haven’t blogged for a very long time now. Not that my life hasn’t been interesting enough to write about; quite the contrary. Life has been very full. Full of changes and blessings; heartaches and joys; miracles and struggles…

I haven’t known how to put it down into words. Maybe a little frightened of what might come out. I often wrestle with the balance between being real and being too real. But, I am back. We will see what comes out of this and where the next leg of this journey takes us.

For a small recap:

My oldest son moved 3 hours away to do an internship at Church On The Move

I was given brand NEW FORD FLEX


My husband and our church released our very first LIVE worship album

I began a career as an Independent Distributor for
Young Living Essential Oils

I am teaching 2 classes at our homeschool co-op
and…

My middle son got his driver’s permit

That’s just a few things to get you caught up!

re-invent, re-do, re-organize, re-focus…

Ever feel like everything in your life needs a makeover? Greg and I have been talking a lot about change. He has become keenly aware of how life is in a constant state of change. The garden where our tomato plants used to flourish now is shaded by the Crepe Myrtle. Beautiful, glorious flowering trees, but change none the less. Teens start to drive and aren’t always home at meal time. Body parts creak and fail. Hairs turn grey. Songs of our youth are now on the oldies station. Husbands leave wives. Parents die. Daughters decide that they are no longer satisfied with a plain biscuit from Braums! She now wants a sausage egg and cheese like her brothers; the audacity! It is everywhere – change. Maybe that is why every so often I feel like my life is out of sync, out of date… Everything is changing and if I stay the same, there is unrest.

So I am on a quest. I am seeking peace and a less stressed routine. I want my life to flow and have margin. I want what I eat and what I do to produce a healthier me. I want to feel God more. I want to be listening to God speak in quiet and profound ways. I want my spending to reflect my priorities. I want to create a sanctuary in our home and in our yard. I want to challenge my children in their learning with real life changing literature and rigorous academics. I want scripture memory to once again be a part of their daily routine. I want to rid this place of clutter. I want to fully embrace the three words I felt drawn to a few moths ago:

Capable
Confident
Thankful

This is what God is doing in me…

As the world around me changes, I find comfort in the fact that the one changing me is always the same…

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

Greg said he never fully understood the power of those words until this point in our lives. This place of change.

marvelous Monday…

While I could get on the Monday morning moody blues if I wanted to, I have chosen a different path. I believe that while we all have things we could complain about, we also have things to be thankful for. It is perspective. I have been in a funk lately and more prone to list the complaints… that is changing. Once again I am drawn to the power of giving thanks. I am committed to counting the gifts, even if I have to dig through some rumble to find them.

Gifts of this day:
homeschooling

smiles from my husband
a body strong enough to work out
walking into my daughter’s room & finding her on her “made” bed with Bible & journal open
piano practice done; and done well
bass playing teenage son
the thirst for knowledge
3 teenagers
a girl who motivated herself to study Spanish today
a husband who can back a truck… just a little thing I appreciate!
gluten free food
essential oils
a house that is slowly becoming a well organized home
clean towels…this is a biggy around here, remember the 3 teenagers…
grace
promise
hope
my oldest son preparing for his future
Internship applications turned in… it is God’s hands
text messages that make me laugh out loud

my word of the year… a few months late

Last year my word of the year was QUIET. It came to me during the 2010 Christmas holidays, and it rang true on so many levels throughout the year. So as I approached 2012 I was anxious to find that word; the point of focus for this year. I waited, I prayed, I read, I discussed… At some point in January Greg came to me and stated in true “man, leader, see-the-hill, take-the-hill” fashion that the word of the year should be RESULTS! Now, I agree with him, we could sure use some results around here at the Erway house… but, was it my word? Could I see myself focusing on RESULTS? I guess my innate fear of failing took over and I couldn’t allow myself to proclaim that truly this would be the year of RESULTS.

I am working for results
I am praying for results
I am trusting God that results will happen

But where is my focus?

I am happy to say that today I finally feel like I have my word. STREAMLINE.
Ya know what? STREAMLINE is the key to RESULTS. God is cool like that!

So, here is to STREAMLINE – Let the purging begin… did I just say that? I know some will be painful, some will be liberating, all will bring about RESULTS.

How about you? Do you have a “Word of the Year”? I would love to hear what God is doing in you life.

it’s a wild and wonderful thing…

Raising kids is wild and wonderful. The sibling fighting, the crazy schedules, the piles of laundry, the mountains of dirty dishes, the emotions, the research papers, the piano practice, the ski trips, the all-nighters… that’s the wild stuff. I don’t even dare to try and list everything that is wonderful. The wonderful list would fill pages, and books full of pages, and libraries full of books…
Here is just a small sampling of the wonderfulness of raising kids:

being called mom
goodnight hugs
bedtime prayers
text messages of love
hearing them laugh
teaching them to read
teaching them to drive…
seeing them prefer others
watching them dream
watching them find their voice
seeing them excel in their art
listening to questions of faith
being needed by them
no longer being needed by them…

It is wild and it is wonderful, and I am so thankful to be their mom

the blog post I shouldn’t ever write…

If I were brave enough to type the words that are running through my mind, it wouldn’t be pretty. That’s real life though. We all have days and series of days where our emotions, physical limitations, and our humanity get the best us and we crumble into a heap of ugliness. The cool thing is that it doesn’t have to last forever… Learning to give thanks and looking for the gifts in my life can help lift me above myself. So, maybe I should write this blog. Maybe, just maybe, this is the healing process. Sharing my thoughts without writing them down. I think we all can relate. No need to give the nitty gritty details. The details and names change, but the story is the same: we are a people in need of a savior… Grace is our only hope, and grace is all we need.

Saturday: sights and sounds…

As I was working in the kitchen I thought about all the different activities going on in our home right then. I wanted to capture the real life moments; the living of life going on around me. Here a few of our sights and sounds…

prepping veggies to be stored in mason jars for the Daniel Fast

working out guitar sounds for the new worship songs he and Greg wrote

new strings on his acoustic bass

staining the frame he built for a friend’s painting, in the living room, because the garage was too cold

and, there always has to be a dreamer…

What sights and sounds are filling your home today?

the days are filled with deep breaths…

I am learning to embrace the moments as they fly by.

My oldest drove to the city (an hour and a half away) by himself for the first time. It was raining; I felt that was appropriate. As the 4 of us who were left behind sat around the kitchen table, the middle child verbalizes what my heart knows all too well, “hey, this is what it will be like when Ethan goes to college.” I take a deep breath…

My mom sends me a text, “I am having stints put in my heart this Wednesday.” I take a deep breath…

I go for an early morning walk. It takes me 30 minutes to walk around the neighborhood instead of the normal 20. My knee is doing well, but my steps are measured and controlled. I am exhausted when I get back home. I take a deep breath…

I sit in choir practice next to my girl; songs of gratitude are on our lips. I refocus my heart to see the blessings all around: my handsome husband, my beautiful girl, my gifted middle child, my first born spreading his wings. The music swells and I take a deep breath…