Christmas Cheer – Lifestyle Post Roundup

Between helping with (and having kids involved in) children’s choir, teaching a preschool class on Wednesday nights, teaching piano lessons 3 out of 5 evenings, and all the holiday buzz in general, my December plate is pretty full!

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Chaos and Light

I admit, this holiday season has felt pretty chaotic, and it’s been difficult for me to find time to simply sit and dwell on God’s Word. Time seems to fly right out the door with this arctic tundra wind.

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Homeschooling: Our Beginning

Although my go-to posting fodder tends to be food (okay, food involving chocolate, let’s be honest), I’ve missed writing about teaching, something that is so very dear to my heart. And right now, I’m teaching at home.

I’d love to share a little bit about why we’re currently homeschooling and why we love it!

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My Story: Part 5 — Refined by the Fire

If you look closely at the cracks in our sidewalk, you will see three things: bugs, weeds, and teeny tiny shards of shattered glass. Glass that couldn’t be gathered by professional emergency clean-up crews. Glass that still stands as a reminder of our broken lives and the fire that destroyed so much.

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My Story: Part 4 — Unexpected Healing

As the scarlet and golden hues of fall turned into crystalline frost, I saw God’s plans evolving before my eyes. Living in my own home and working part time was a divine gift.

In the last year, with the help and prayers of many, my depression had morphed from immobilizing to manageable. Fall festivals were attended, holiday dinners were hosted, Bundle’s first sentences were witnessed with joy. I could feel my body and mind gaining their health back. I felt more like myself every day.

But the promise of a pure and joy-filled spirit hung just out of reach. Could these happy moments really be my life? I’d been living in darkness for so long it felt like life was too good to be true.

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My Story: Part 3 — Regaining the Loss

We finally hit move-in day. The house wasn’t completely finished, but we could at least set up a bed or two and utilize our kitchen.

This is now our dining room, the same area pictured in Part 1 of My Story.

It was during this transitional time that I resigned from my job as a full-time public elementary school teacher. As mentioned in previous posts, I had THE dream job. I loved my school, administrators, kids and co-workers. But God clearly had other plans for me. I could feel Him every day, even at my work desk, quietly showing me that I could still have a fulfilling life. That I could heal. That opportunities for healing at home and enjoying my family were possible. And most importantly, that He never left.

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My Story: Part 2 — Transition

Board by board, nail by nail, and layer by layer of paint, our house was rebuilt. Those days in late May and June were agonizing, just waiting to be a resident of my own home again.

During this tough time I was finally able to come to terms with my depression as an illness. I began steadily taking my medication and practicing coping techniques. Occasionally, I felt like a child going through the motions of a silly song, but the truth is, these things helped.

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My Story: Part 1 — From the Ashes

By now, surely, the flames have spread to the living room. The Christmas tree with twinkling lights, the heirloom harp, our wedding photos and Bundle’s baby album…where is the cat?! Why aren’t they here yet?!?!

A million thoughts zapped through my mind like electricity, shaking my body, as I waited for the emergency responders to pull up and blast our home, our new-to-us, perfect, ready-to-grow-in home we’d purchased six months prior.

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My Story: In Five-Part Harmony

It happened in seconds. It felt like years. My finger fumbled around for centuries before I could dial the right numbers: 911. The flames completely had engulfed every part of our kitchen. I could see the smoke pouring out of our garage and leaking through the roof.

This is not happening. This kind of thing does not happen in real life, not to us!

But isn’t that the thought that always enters our minds when tragedy strikes?

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