Category: Testimony

How “A Simple Life Too” Almost Became A Beast

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I have lost my way.

Somehow, over the past year, my blog went from being about how I can help others’ live a simpler life, sharing what my journey to simplify has been like, and what God is doing in my life, to being about how to make money with my blog.

A Simple Life Too became a “Beast” when I stopped blogging about my heart and what I wanted to write about and it became about “how can I make some money.”

I am sorry.

So, I am sort of starting over again.

No, I won’t get rid of the content I currently have, as some of it really is useful. But I am going back to why I am writing in the first place – by making sure everything I post is because I want to post it, because I hope it really is something that might be useful to others, and / or it is something that truly brings me joy.

I also am not going to fight my life to post more often.

I have a baby. I have three other children. I homeschool, nurse the baby, clean the house, spend time with my husband, and have quality time and  conversation with the folks in my church community.

I live, then I write. I can not continue to live to write.

I will write about our homeschool experience, from the humble perspective of what I have learned so far and what God is showing me WE should do.

I will write about what God is doing in my life and speaking truth. I will probably write about the Biblical holidays.

I might write about how I am working with my children and trying to encourage them. I might also write about our issues with food and how we are trying to eat healthier… and sometimes failing miserably.

I might write about how I really want to go to Disneyland / Disneyworld or some other aspect of my desire to travel. I might still write about trying to work from home… and what has worked and hasn’t worked for us there so far.

I might even come up with something new. We will see…

I would love to hear from you. What did you like and/or did not like from A Simple Life Too this year.

A Simple Life Too Gives Thanks

What_A_Simple_Life_Too_Is_Thankful_ForI am thankful for SO MUCH and I hope to encourage others to take time this year to think about what they are thankful for – so along with my list, I am participating in a link-up AND co-hosting the link-up with some other very grateful ladies.

I am thankful for…

  • God’s provision this year in the midst of job loss – now my husband has a better job.
  • The freedom to homeschool how God has shown me to, not someone else thinks I should. This is good since we are doing more delight directed learning and unit studies this year.
  • Blogging as a healthy, personal time outlet.
  • My girls and especially for my new baby at 45 years of age!
  • God, my husband and my community for getting me through a tough pregnancy.
  • Having place to live that we can afford and flexible landlords (who we are also blessed to call friends) that understand our rough time this year.
  • My husband, who is working hard to overcome much.
  • God who is helping me to overcome many struggles and issues.
  • Our church community, who has walked with us through all kinds of things and has loved and supported us.
  • Kind neighbors and friends for our children.
  • Grasping the understanding that God is good, that He wants what is best for me, and what Grace really is.
  • A fun provision in our family’s (the girls and I) pet sitting business.

There are probably more and I reserve the right to update this post as I think of them 🙂

Now for the link-up. Please share what you are thankful for this holiday and/or any Thanksgiving related posts you would like to link with us. Please also visit all of the hosts and some of the other link-ees. Sharing posts of others is always a blessing.

Thankful

Alisha @ Alisha In Progress

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April @ A Simple Life Too

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Hannah @ Shining Stars Magazine

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Joy @ Artful Homemaking

Connect at: Facebook | Google Plus | Pinterest | Twitter

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Joy @ Blog Of Joy

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Leticia @ King Maker Blog

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Naomi @ What Joy Is Mine

Connect at: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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The Ladies @ Radical Femininity

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Mercy in the Midst of a Miscarriage

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God is Good,” I said after the Ultrasound Physician informed me that they could not find the heartbeat of the baby. They also had just told me that the baby was much smaller than the 10 – 12 weeks gestation that I was supposed to be at.

However, the truth of my heart would be revealed a week later when the baby passed. I then had a moment (the moment lasting a few weeks) in which I was not so sure that God was actually good. I was hurt, angry and felt like I had failed – or He had failed me

A little seed of bitterness would take root and it would be the mercy of the Lord to remove it as the weeks passed by. Instead of focusing on what was lost (although I did take appropriate time to grieve), the Lord revealed to me his mercies during the time of the pregnancy and subsequent loss.

It was God’s mercy to provide people grateful to help.

I had been sick, very sick for most of the pregnancy. I learned that people want to give and serve when given the opportunity. Many people helped me during this time. Some provided emotional support, some brought meals, some helped with housekeeping, and some provided a little childcare relief – I have three living children that still needed my care during this time. I was very grateful that people gave up their time to help our family. I was convicted that after this, that I wanted to be more purposeful about helping others in my community.

It was God’s mercy to teach me that we are created to serve others, not self.

I also learned that my children could do more than I allowed them to do – and it was good for them. My eldest daughter, all of seven years of age, was able to make breakfasts many mornings, heat up some lunches in the afternoon, do some laundry and dishes, and clean up the kitchen after meals. My five year old could be my “gopher,” getting whatever was needed, help pick up after her younger sister, and help with cleaning the kitchen and putting away laundry. Even my three year old helped to set the table and go get things for mom. 

The girls thrived in their productiveness. They still had play time and sometimes, we would just watch videos, so life wasn’t just work. But they seemed to take pride in their usefulness. They found joy, grace, strength and maturity in the help they provided to the family.

It was God’s mercy to provide productive outlets for the children.

In the end, I was able to rejoice in the blessings, see the layers of God’s mercy surpass the suffering, and I can say – “God is Good!”

Three Real Secrets of Weight Loss

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I confess that I am one of millions who struggle with my weight. I have played around with radical diets and have clicked on more than a few “Lose Weight Now” links on the internet.

But, these are mostly from mans’ wisdom and they may work for a few, but they don’t work for most. Here are three things that God has shown me about my weight loss, and when I practice them faithfully, my weight goes down.

1 – Serve Others Instead of Self

God recently showed me that my weekly menu planning was completely self-serving. I was picking meals that I loved, was craving, and that I would want to eat a lot of. I was putting my pleasure before the desires of the rest of the family, before our nutritional needs, and before what was best for all.

Having tried an experiment before, then stopped (and gained weight), I am going to try it again: I will only put a couple of my favorite meals on the menu. The rest are going to be nutritional staples (i.e. salad night, smoothie lunch, etc….), other family favorites and frugal, simple living meals.

The truth is, I simply won’t eat as much when I make rice and beans for 3 meals for the week, but a couple of my children and my husband really like it. Same with chili. Husband loves it! I don’t. I won’t each much that meal either, just what I need to keep going.

One other variation of serving others – I find that when I really take care in serving the family first, I will eat less. When I try to eat while serving, I find myself feeding my entitlement spirit and eating more than I need.

2 – Portion Control

I simply need to stop eating so much! Yes, it is so simple and we all make it so complicated.

The truth is, we (and I) lack self-control and make 1000’s of excuses for not controlling self. When I pray for help to control myself, I receive more grace to do so. When I confess why I am not controlling myself and repent, I also do better.

When I am not asking for God’s help and I try to hide the reasons I am overeating, or think I am entitled to eat – I only hurt myself. I have to pray before every meal, while I am cooking, and sometimes during the meal. But, when I control my portions, I lose weight and I feel better.

Yes, I have a dilapidated past and there are underlying reasons why I struggle with food. It is good to work out these things. However, one of the biggest things a godly women taught me this past year – that I can’t keep using that as an excuse to do things like overeat.

3 – Get Moving Doing Real Things

I most likely will never be seen at a gym. I have many reasons to avoid them, one being that the whole thing is very boring to me.

But I do have children.. and sidewalks… and music.

So, we take walks, we dance, we play, and we keep active. When I don’t get up and do things like this with the children, they get crazy and I start gaining (or at least stop loosing) weight.

When I get moving, even for 15 to 20 minutes a day, I can feel the difference – the first day. Sedentary living is not what we are created to do.

I hope something in this inspires you, helps you, encourages you and that you can overcome overeating. If you found it useful (or not) let me know. If you have a secret that has really worked for you, please share.

There Is A Limited Place For Weight Loss Supplements

Understanding that weight loss supplements are only a temporary help, I do want to share with you April’s Sunshine Weight Loss Products and their Holistic Weight Loss Plan (click links for more information). If you do decide to use their products, please support this blog by using my Rep ID: 3383365 when you purchase. You are also welcome to contact me for more information.

My Testimony Part 2: How I Graduated High School With Almost No Practical Skills

2013_Spring 133 I was raised in the suburbanite, public school system. I was encouraged to excel at academics, participate in extra-curricular activities, maybe get a part-time job when I was older, and spend the rest of my time playing, which became partying when I got older.

In my earlier years, I was not encouraged, nor taught how to: cook, clean a house, manage and wash laundry, grocery shop, budget, plan, and other homemaking skills. I eventually learned a few things by watching my parents. I do remember going to the store with my mom and watching dad cook on occasion, but other than that, I have little memory of any education in this area. Oh, there was a Home Economics class in 7th grade. I got a C, one of my worst grades. When I was a teen and my parents did make some attempts at showing me some household economics. I rejected it and them.

When I graduated from High School and was on my own, I really didn’t know how to take care of myself. I had mastered french toast, and could make mac and cheese and hamburger helper, but that was about it. I learned how to run the washer and dryer, but many items of clothing went into wrong cycles or didn’t get pre-treated for stains. I honestly though that I would eventually pay for the things I purchased on credit, and thought nothing of the constant piles of clothing, garbage and junk that laid around the house.

A few years later, I was married to someone without any better skills than I. We were seriously in debt, we were fat and unhealthy from the constant stream of processed, frozen and fast foods that we ate. The house was dirty and unhealthy and we did not know how to fix it up, and we lacked any motivation to keep it really clean.

When God got through to us, we were in bad shape. There was much to be convicted of and to redeem! But, God is capable, and so started the long haul to showing us how to have a better life. Shortly after we gave our lives to Jesus, we were convicted to stop preventing pregnancy and have children. However, I knew NOTHING about being a mother.

God knew what I needed and what I could handle. He provided people, books, the internet and the library as sources to teach me everything from “What To Expect When You Are Expecting” to how to cook, how to manage laundry, how to use the attachments of a vacuum cleaner (people really go around the edge of their house with that edger attachment???), and so much more.

It has been 7 years since I had my first child. I now have a weekly menu plan and shopping list, I know how much laundry I can get done in a week, I know how long before the toilets need to be cleaned, I know how to stay within a budget, and I can cook some really great food from scratch, including grinding my own wheat and making my own bread.

I praise God for what He has done, a great work in an entitled, lazy, disconnected woman.

May you find something in here to encourage you today.

My Testimony Part 1: Overcoming Anxiety & Depression

I have been planning on adding my testimony to my blog for awhile now. The problem is, every time I sat down to write it, I felt overwhelmed. There is so much God has done and changed in my life, how could I get this into one short (or even fairly long) blog post. So, I decided to break it up over a couple of posts and focus on various subjects or areas of what God has done in my life.

My past is a sad story, but unfortunately, so is most of humanities’ stories. There is abuse, addiction, divorce, more abuse, craziness, death, the public school system, social awkwardness, and very, very little life. In fact, even though I went to church most of my life, I did not know Christ was Life. I never even knew that I needed life, as living in death was the norm. But let me get a little more specific if this isn’t making sense to you.

Through a series of life events, I was pretty close to a basket case by the time I was in my late twenties. I suffered from depression and anxiety, in continuous cycles. I used drugs, alcohol, food, parties, men, television, music and whatever else would work to feel better, not think about how I felt, numb the feelings, get going when I couldn’t, and basically exist in this totally broken world.

I could hardly sleep at night and then when I finally did sleep, I would sometimes sleep for a day or two, if I didn’t have to get up and work or something. I was wound up like a top, continuously stressed and fretting about everything. I needed help, but I didn’t really know I needed help.

My father had been baptized and born again in my late teens and started to walk with God. He and his wife (who is really my mom now) found a great group of people and they prayed for each other and their families. And (unfortunately, I think) I was one of their major prayer topics, for many years.

I stopped doing drugs and ended up back with my family for awhile and going to church. Things stabilized a bit, but I ended up walking away from God, my family, and church after about a year. I was able to go to college, get a job, get married, and live a “normal” American life. But I wasn’t satisfied and I still suffered form a lot of anxiety and depression. So, instead of illegal drugs and alcohol, I turned to the legal ones – anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications. They would help for a few weeks or months, and then I would find myself in worse shape than before. I gained weight and stopped caring about how I looked. I just kind of slumped into a funk.

Then we found out that one of my issues was that I had sleep apnea. Getting diagnosed was a good thing, and getting the help of a CPAP machine improved my sleep and made some improvement to the anxiety and depression issues, but it did not cure them. The anxiety and depression didn’t go away until I really met God one day. I spent a whole weekend in repentance and connecting to the Spirit of God. That made a major breakthrough in the healing that I needed.

My anxiety and depression, at least partially, were the result of my disconnect with God. I was empty. I did not have Life in me. I was full of wanting this world and people in this world to fill me, but alas, it and they can not.

As I learned of God, studied His Word, learned to pray, learned to spend time hearing Him, and learned to submit my will to His will, my anxiety and depression faded away. And as I continue to walk, and learn, and grow, other issues in my life are also fading away.

I never, ever want to go back to the drug taking, party girl I once was. I never, ever want to go back to the depression pill popping, American Dreamer I once was either. I am grateful for where God has me now. It is such a simple, beautiful life.