Monthly Archives: March 2013

Simple Easter Activity for the Preschooler in Your Life

If you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past few weeks, you’ll probably notice that simple is my motto. The only way that I’ll accomplish anything is if I keep it short, sweet, and a little bit flawed. And I kind of like it that way.

With it being Holy Week this week, I wanted to do at least a couple of things to make the specialness of Easter stick in Dash’s head. Based on the sweet fruit I’ve seen come from our simple activities and conversations, he is starting to get the true meaning of Easter. My heart could not be more full as I listen to the questions he’s asking.

I used to worry so much about trying to create the most adorable crafts and plan the coolest activities the online world had to offer when it came to teaching Dash, but life and grace have taught me something far greater. God truly makes everything beautiful in His time. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for me or my child. That doesn’t mean I give up completely, it just means I stop hyperventilating and teach as we live life.

For us, that’s meant a lot of conversations where I relate something he’s interested in with truths from God’s Word. It’s also meant making sure he’s involved in the wonderful classes and programs our church offers for kids his age. I’ve seen him really flourish from being in that environment. In the end, what I want is for his faith to be real. If that means we don’t have dozens of cute crafts to show how we celebrated each of his early holidays, that is okay.

This Christmas and Easter have been the first holidays he’s acted interested in anything “project” related, so I was very excited when I found this idea on Pinterest. It was something that I could prep as we talked and cut paper together plus I had all of the supplies on hand. (As a side note, don’t you love all of the dinosaurs covering the floor in the background?)

Easter

This project was a culmination of several conversations we’ve been having about Easter over the past several weeks. It was really neat and funny to watch him put it all together here. If you’re in the mood from some adorable 3-year-old chatter, you can watch the video of him telling the Easter story here. I drew some stick men on paper to represent Jesus & the angel. See? I told you that simple and flawed were part of how I roll.

It wouldn’t be a complete Easter story from a three-year-old’s perspective if I didn’t tell you that after I drew the “bad guys” he requested at the end of the video, he proceeded to draw a sword for Jesus to use to fight the bad guys. Or that Jesus then saw fit to knock the poor, innocent dinosaur setting next to him on the table onto the floor. But the main facts have been planted in his heart, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch them come out in the midst of silliness.

Happy Easter everyone! What special thing(s) are you doing to celebrate with your family this year?

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.

Pray for Caleb + A Guest Post

Pray for Caleb

Several months ago, my friend Desiré at When You Rise asked me to share a guest post while she was in the hospital with her new miracle, Caleb. In case you missed it when I requested prayer for him a few months ago, I’ll catch you up. Caleb has a heart condition (actually several) that requires several surgeries to repair. His parents found out about this when they went in for the 18 week routine ultrasound. It’s been quite a journey for them since then as they prepared for his arrival. Caleb was born on March 16th and just underwent his first surgery last Friday. You can follow along to learn about his progress and get specific prayer requests by liking their Facebook page, Pray for Caleb.

I feel honored to not only get to share a few humble words on Desiré’s blog, but to get to see God work through this family. I have held my sweet baby girl many times in the past few weeks with a thankful heart and an extra burden to pray for Caleb. He has a specific plan for each life that He creates, and I’m confident that He has big, big plans for this little boy. Will you please take a minute right now to pray for him and his family?

Without further ado, feel free to read the post that originated from my sleep-deprived desperation for God’s strength during this short, beautiful, and challenging time of motherhood.

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.

 

How to Keep Your Sanity When You Have a Newborn

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Early to Rise Challenge that Crystal from Money Saving Mom has been writing about this month. It’s a great, wonderful, important thing to do if you are in the right season for it. I, however, am not anywhere near being able to participate.

As I read through her posts about it during my late-night feedings, I felt the need to give myself a pep talk. Then I decided to write it down and share it with anyone who might be in the same boat as me.

You can read what I came up with here.

Insert Title Here

You know what I love about writing? It lends itself to learning.

This year, I adopted the word Identify as my One Little Word of the year, and it’s been a word that has induced a great deal of soul searching. Sometimes that can prove to be haphazard since I started out the year ready to give birth and then followed that up with being post-partum…no extra hormones are involved in either of those states of living or anything. 🙂

All of that aside, when I’ve identified my goals and dreams for writing, I’ve addressed the strengths and weaknesses of this blog. This is something every blogger does incessantly at times, I believe. Here’s one thing that I’ve been struggling with for a while and am finally trying to resolve: the title.

I stink at titles. With nearly every paper I wrote as a student, I saved coming up with the title for last. I hoped that by writing I’d be inspired with the perfect words to capture the essence of my body of work. I almost always turned those papers in pretty pleased with the content of the paper, but hoping that the teacher or professor would kindly gloss over the title and not judge the entire thing by the title.

When I felt God prompting me to start this blog, the title Exceptionally Average would not leave my head. My hope was to draw in women who felt inferior or “stuck” by being either an exception to the rule or painfully average. If we’re all honest with ourselves, everyone has been there. Or is there.The purpose behind this was to encourage them to own their current places in life so they could joyfully live out the ministry God has for them right now.

I’ve come to realize something, however. The title doesn’t have the draw I hoped it would. In my head, it made sense because I had worked out all of the sub-points and reasons neatly in there. The rest of the world isn’t in my head, though, and I’m afraid that the title isn’t conveying the ultimate intent I desire. So I’m mulling over some ideas for a new title that better captures the message for which God has given me a passion.

Do any of you master title makers have ideas? I’d love to hear them as I weed through the convoluted jumble of words in this head of mine. My friend Ashley helped me narrow down things a bit. (By the way, if you haven’t ever checked out her blog, you’re missing out! Go read it.)

After our conversation and the conversations God and I have had since then, for right now, I’m claiming the words Embracing Confidence. My prayer for each one of you reading this is that you will look at the place where God has you right now and own it with confidence.

If you have a relationship with Him, own that you are His child and that He has a purpose for you to fulfill right now.

If you are working at a job that is exhausting and thankless, fulfill your duties with confidence that He is using you to shine in a dark place.

If your job is to care for your small children, clean up that spilled milk with confidence that God has placed in you what you need to raise up the next generation to point all glory to Him.

If you are sick or unable to interact with others much for whatever reason, own that you can boldly approach the throne of grace on behalf of countless people in need of your prayers.

If you feel like you’re nothing but an average person who can’t accomplish great things, set some goals, step out of your comfort zone, and begin accomplishing what you never thought possible. God will give you the necessary confidence if you seek to fulfill His plans for your life. I’m living proof.

So there you have it, some of the thoughts going through my head in this baby-induced sabbatical from writing. I’ve truly enjoyed and needed it, and I plan to continue to enjoy it as long as necessary. The only thing is, I’m really missing some of my dear blogging friends. So hi there friends! I hope you’re doing 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.

 

 

 

The Ring

The Ring avg

The pain of removing my wedding band is forever seared in my memory. The reason was legitimate and unavoidable as my ring finger swelled and bled more by the second. The impending stitches, surgery, therapy, and recovery of my finger were dependent upon sliding the band over the exposed and severed tendons and flesh.

As the doctor uttered the words, “You must remove the ring or we’ll have to cut it off,” something on my inside hurt too. I prayed my way through the agony of pulling my ring over my wound so I didn’t have to go through the sadness that would come with cutting off that ring my Love had worked so hard to earn for me.

As my injury healed, my finger remained naked, and a little piece of my heart felt broken as I learned that it would be months, if not a year or more, before I could once again don the diamond crusted band that accompanied my solitaire.

A ring doesn’t make a marriage. It doesn’t determine the amount of love, commitment, and happiness that the couple shares, but it’s a beautiful reminder of the promise we made to weather the seasons, trials, and successes together.

Each day that my hand has remained bare, I’ve thought of how much I appreciate the man who completes me, who has worked so hard to provide for our needs, and chooses to take the high road when it would be infinitely easier to succumb to the easy one.

So I found this simple band to stand in while my scar continues to heal. There’s not a lot of allure in it as it simply adorns my winter and mother-worn hand, yet to me it speaks perfectly of this time in our lives together. Simple without a lot of glory or fanfare, but important and precious nonetheless. Nearly seven years of waking up to new struggles and accomplishments together, and I couldn’t be prouder to make sure the world knows that I am his.

Soli Deo Gloria

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.

Ordinary Ministry

Ordinary

Up again at 6:00 A.M.

I’ve seen every hour of the day.

It’s been a long night and my eyes are bleary, but this is the ordinary I’m learning to embrace.

The nights are long, the days longer, in this season of having a wee one.

I give up on sleeping by 7:00 and turn on the light to better take in newborn smiles. She’s practicing on showing her dimple.

I hear stirring in big brother’s room as I take my cup of tea from the microwave.

Little sister & I go get him out of bed and I prepare our ordinary start to his morning. Curious George, chocolate milk, and two granola bars.

Life is simple. It’s cold outside. I curl up my toes in my slippers and explain why the house is cold to a curious three year old. I peer at the remaining snow through the slats of the blinds.

I wonder at how these ordinary things are the foundation for my little ones. Pacifier in mouth, tucking a blanket around chilly feet, sipping my tea, reinserting pacifier, answering another question about the ducks on the cartoon.

This is my life today. It’s simple, seems so insignificant, yet it’s more important than my weary mind can acknowledge. This is the ministry to which I’m called.

Linking up with Lisa Jo at Five Minute Fridays.
5 minute friday

 

 

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.