Monthly Archives: March 2012

Raising My Very Own Wonder Boy

I find it equally humorous and humbling to realize the difference in perspective I’ve gained since becoming a mother. I just don’t believe it’s possible to truly NOT judge a parent whose child is throwing a screaming fit in the grocery store until you are that parent.

As we plod through the toddler years and into the preschool ones, I discover daily how crucial my reactions to Dash are in really teaching him how to act justly, live humbly, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8 paraphrased)

Check out the analogy that gets me through the especially tough days over at one of my favorite blogs, The MOB Society where I’m honored to be guest posting today.

Also, be sure enter the giveaway that’s going on right now! Go ahead! Check it out!

Mothers of Boys

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

The Quest for a Happy Haven

Here’s the deal. I am not an organization queen. I am so unsure of whether or not a paint color or new arrangement of furniture looks good that I get at least 15 different opinions before I commit to it. I currently have playdough stuck in my carpet and don’t know what my dresser looks like without clutter adorning the top of it.

My house is a work in progress, and I’ve found peace in the fact that I will never have an immaculate home. It’s just not who I am, no matter how hard I’ve tried. I much prefer to live in a house that feels like home because it looks and is lived in.

As a stay-at-home mom who rarely has possession of our solitary family vehicle, I don’t get out much. I mean really. I have to explain to my son that there are other places to go besides church, Wal-Mart, and Grandma’s house because he rarely sees anyplace besides those three buildings.

So since we are in this house pretty much all of the time, I think it’s of great importance that all of the members of our family feel comfortable here. I also pray that each guest who enters our home feels cozy and at-ease as well. That goal doesn’t happen without effort.

In the Quest for the Happy Haven series, I plan to address some of the things I’ve learned along the way to make this humble little house we’ve worked to make our home and refuge a place we can take pride in and enjoy.

I’m telling you from the beginning that I do not have it all figured out and I am far  from an expert. If you’re wanting mind-blowing transformation ideas, keep tuning in to HGTV. They know what’s hip, and I do not. I’m just inviting you along to figure out together what does and doesn’t work. Believe me, I could use the help!

One thing I’ve realized is that homes and all that do (or don’t) come with them are an easy means for women to fall into the rut of feeling mediocre. We know about the nooks and crannies no one else does. We know how long it’s been since we last cleaned said nooks and crannies. Oh and let’s not even start on the lack of space! The discontentment only intensifies after seeing a more new, clean, organized, and chic home while picturing our dirty walls and ancient carpet. (Thank you, Pinterest.)

It’s a dangerous game females play called Comparison. I’ve played it far too many times, and I’ve yet to come out a winner. After ending up with a bruised ego enough times, I’ve come to find that God knew exactly what He was talking about in Hebrews 13:5, Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.‘”

So how does one keep from comparing and ultimately coveting without becoming stagnant and unable to improve upon what she has been given by God? It all comes back to balance in our perspective. We must be content with what we have, but when God, Who actually owns all that we have, provides the means for us to take good care of the home with which He’s blessed us, we can’t sit around unwilling to change when necessary. I’m all about embracing the fact that we can be average, as in being willing to relate to others, without being mediocre – unwilling to accept God’s call on our lives to be His exceptional, lovely, and empowered daughters.

I’m so excited to share the resources and practical and frugal tips I’ve discovered along the way in my quest to make my home a haven. I also need your help to make this an awesome series. Come on now: you have your own tricks up your sleeve, and I would love to hear them! Be sure to send me an email (kwesterf@gmail.com) or leave a comment with your own ideas of how to have more than a house you exist in, but rather a home where you can take refuge from the crazy world surrounding it.

Have you entered the giveaway I shared with you on Tuesday? If not, be sure to check it out!

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Rising from the Pit of Mediocrity + Giveaway!

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Do you believe that you have an incredible amount of power? I mean do you really believe it? You. have. power.

Or do you feel inadequate? Insignificant? Inferior?

One message I want to make unmistakably clear on this blog is that, if you have a relationship with Jesus, you are one beautiful powerhouse in the kingdom of God. I realize that you may not agree with that statement. I still struggle to believe it about myself far too often, but every time I turn to God’s Word, He says the same thing. He intentionally wove me together in my mother’s womb. (See Psalm 139:13)

The complex reality is, in our humanity we want to be more than just the average person just as badly as we want to avoid being an exception to every norm. I’d like to propose that we shift our viewpoint a bit when it comes to being average.

Being average doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can mean that we embrace the fact that we relate to others. It can mean that we accept that Jesus is the only reason we are extraordinary, that He is the exceptional in our average. (Thanks to a good friend for putting this phrase into words for me!)

On the other hand, we can use this “acceptance of average” as an excuse to not challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones. Don’t let yourself go there! It will only cause you to sink into a pit of mediocrity. Mediocre is another thing entirely from average. Mediocre means we’ve become lukewarm, that we’re just existing.

Mediocre is miserable while average is relatable. Mediocre is ineffective while average is working alongside other like-minded believers to live lives that honor God.

I spent many years of my life being mediocre, and I’m going to be honest. Sometimes I find myself slipping back into that slippery mindset. It’s something this sinful body and mind will always battle, but that doesn’t mean I should just let the enemy win. My life has had so much more joy, hope, and meaning since I’ve chosen to not dwell in the land of mediocre.

Photo Credit

I pray that you will seriously consider climbing out of the pit of mediocrity. If you’re serious about stepping out of the comfortable yet dirty home you may have made for yourself in the land of mediocre, I’d like to offer you a resource that has been an encouragement to me. Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore is a book that God really used to encourage me a few years ago when I was in a dark place full of anxiety, depression, and despair.

It breaks down these beautiful words from Psalm 40:1-3 into a practical plan of receiving God’s deliverance rather than continuing to exist in whatever pit may be holding us back.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.

If you would like to own a copy of this book, I’m giving one away! Be sure to enter to win at the end of this post!

My prayer is that you will find the deliverance that only God can give you from whatever pit you may be struggling in. May I challenge you to join me to strive to rise out of mediocrity? It’s not God’s best for any of us. I’d also like to invite you to join me and some of my friends as we spend some time over the next few months discussing issues that make us feel mediocre.

Now on to the giveaway. If you would like to own a copy of Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore, or would like to pass it along to a friend whom you know could find great encouragement from it, be sure to enter below! The giveaway ends March 18th.
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Meditation Monday: Encourage One Another

I’m blown away at how God divinely places women in my life just when I need each unique friendship. It’s a beautiful thing, and I’m humbled as I examine how each of the ladies I gratefully consider my friends have touched me in her own special way at just the right time.

One of those sweet women is Jana, author of Grace for my Mess. From day one of launching my blog,she has chosen to encourage me. No, I don’t know her personally, but because of our shared passion of encouraging others through writing, we can be kindred spirits. There’s something amazing about that.

Today, I am honored to guest post at Grace for my Mess. I’d love it if you would head on over there and check out her blog. She’s genuine, passionate, and a born encourager.  She gets what life is all about – to bring glory to God.Here’s the link to my guest post.

This brings me to the focus verse for today’s Meditation Monday. Encouragement is sorely lacking all around us. The news is negative, our lives are busy, and we are just plain exhausted. None of these things should be excuses. Instead, we should be all the more vigilant as followers of Christ to be encouragers. Here’s what God has to say about it.

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. ~Hebrews 3:13

I hope you have an encourager in your life. They are the ones who make all the difference when times are tough and you just don’t trust yourself. My challenge to you is this, be that encourager to someone else this week. It will make a difference.

P.S. Be sure to head back over here tomorrow to find out about my giveaway!

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

 

Five Minute Friday: Empty

It’s time for Five Minute Friday! It’s so much fun to free write for five minutes about the same topic as dozens of other women and then go check out what others are saying. How can we relate? What can we learn from each other? Thank you, Lisa Jo, for hosting such a wonderful, special link up each week! You’re just going to have to try it for yourself to see what I’m talking about!

Today’s word: Empty

Go

I started off the week full of expectations.

There was so much to be done. The house was filled with clutter and chaos from my being gone the past two days, and I knew I was in for a big job in getting it back in order. I expected it to be back in order by 5:00 P.M. Monday. And at the end of the day, it wasn’t.

I rushed to finish making the gift for my friend that was coming in just a few short hours. In my head I had the picture of perfection when I handed her the gift. She would love it, I hoped, and see the thought I put into making it just for her. And as time slipped away and potty training a toddler took up the time I planned to use for this perfect gift, I panicked. No longer was perfection an option. Even the tape was missing so I couldn’t wrap it properly.

I had an agenda since I actually had our one vehicle in my possession. I filled the car to the brim with gas and headed down the road, only to have it die a few hundred feet later. Child in the back seat, rush-hour traffic beginning, no one answering their phones to help me, and a husband hundreds of miles away.

I found myself empty. Unable to complete my plans. I looked up and asked Him to fill me in that moment with peace, protection, joy, and humility. He lovingly obliged after watching me take the difficult road to being empty so that I could be truly complete.

Stop

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Free Advice Anyone?

Today I am honored to be guest posting at When You Rise. It’s a phenomenal blog that deals with parenting issues and also shares ideas for teaching God’s Word to our children. It’s written by my good friends Jen and Desiré. They’re both amazing women who encourage my heart in real life as well as through their writing.

In my post I share about what I’ve learned about unwelcome parenting advice. I’d love it if you hop on over to their blog and check it out. While you’re there, browse around and be encouraged by their ideas as well.

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar. Have a blessed day!

Refocused on the Purpose of Exceptionally Average

Six months ago, I fumbled through the steps one must take to start a blog. I knew it was something God called me to do, but the details were still hazy. All I knew was the title that has yet to blow anyone away.

Exceptionally Average

What’s to love about a name like that? Isn’t average what we’re all striving to overcome? Aren’t we supposed to embrace our unique qualities and strive to not blend in? Of course we are.

So why dedicate a blog to such a mundane mantra? It doesn’t exactly get people fired up, nor does it bring in droves of readers who are dying to find out how to become exceptionally average. We already know how to do that.

Honestly, I’ve struggled with the title and purpose of this blog from the beginning. So I just started writing whatever came to my head. Sometimes it has been inspired by God as I feel Him filling my heart with words to share with others, and sometimes it hasn’t been inspired at all.

Overall, it has been an interesting emotional journey for me. I have learned much, cried in frustration, been humbled, found joy when I wrote something that encouraged someone else, and prayed a whole lot more about this writing thing than I ever have before.

I’ve been selfish at times by suppressing the big dreams God wants me to have for the passions He’s placed in my heart, and after an awkward six months of doing my best to seek Him in this venture, I’m starting to catch a glimpse of what He had in mind when He put the words Exceptionally, Average, and Blog all in my head.

I haven’t adequately worked to share to the heart of the meaning of Exceptionally Average yet. It’s not what it seems at face value, and with God’s guidance, I plan to be more intentional about getting to the heart of what it means to be Exceptionally Average, and how that’s not a bad thing in my book.

So stay tuned for some changes around here. If you’ve been wondering what on earth I was thinking when I went with this title, you can check out the explanation I tried to express in the blog’s beginning here. I’m praying I’ll be even more clear about what it all means in the posts to come.

I’m also looking forward to including more giveaways and hopefully even some posts from guest writers in the not-too-distant future.

I also want to say thank you to the sweet women who have made it a point to encourage me by reading my ramblings as I have tried to figure out what on earth I’m doing. Please note that I am not claiming to have it all figured out now, but I finally feel that I have a focus on a mission that I am passionate about sharing. I could not have gotten to this point in my personal walk without the prayers of the few, brave women who have said just the right thing at the right time to keep me from giving up all together.

Are you officially along for this crazy ride to deal with the things that make us feel like exceptions as we work to overcome being average? I hope so deeply that you are!

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar. Have a blessed day!