Let’s just play catch-up in today’s post. I’m legit drinking an iced coffee right now so let’s pretend we’re having coffee together, getting caught up in each other’s lives. I post fairly consistently on Instagram and daily on my Instagram stories, so that’s a good place to keep more up to date.
Let’s see…Bridget got a puppy a few weeks ago. She named her Crystal and she’s an Anatolian Shepard Guard Dog. She is Lucy, our Great Pyrenees get along well enough. Considering Lucy can grab a skunk, raccoon, or opossum, give it a good shake and kill it and Crystal is still here, I consider that a win!
Our oldest daughter announced her first pregnancy recently so prayers to good St. Gerard for her and baby are most appreciated.
We were supposed to have a huge 90th birthday party for Chris’ dad but as with so many things in the world right now, it was canceled.
Veronica was here from Spring Break through last week. She’s now back at Benedictine and hopefully she gets to stay. The college has done a great job of expressing their passionate desire for the kids to be back on campus. Community is one of its pillars of education. We’re praying the school will stay open and functional this whole first semester and then again for second semester. A couple of weeks before she left to go back, she broke her ankle–just a chipped bone, playing in a rec soccer league. She can now walk without the boot and here’s to hoping she can run without pain before the first soccer game in September.
A silver lining for us in all the 2020 crazy has been that Chris is now able to work from home. Thankfully our home already has a small office so the transition has been fairly seamless. He enjoys getting to look out the windows while he’s working and see his sheep and cows.
I have no idea where we’d be right now without essential oils! Anything and everything from bug bites, to pain relief, to summer colds, to trying to relax during these “unprecedented times” (UGH!) to just keeping the atmosphere in our home light and refreshing.
I’ve been diligently working on getting the Shop here at The Littlest Way organized and up to date with our Bible Studies. I’ve also been focusing more intentionally on our Online Bible Study Community. I know both of these endeavors are filling a much needed good for so many right now. A side note about our Online Bible Study Community. A friend in our community invited a life-long friend of hers to join us months and months ago. Our new friend, Dianne recently passed away. Her friend who had introduced her to our Online Bible Study Community shared with me that at Dianne’s funeral, her pastor referenced one of our Online Bible Studies while sharing her Bible and Bible Journaling notes. I cannot express how much that touched me and overwhelmed me to tears.
The farm that we live on has two houses, we live in one. I’ve set up a small office in the other recently and oh my goodness! The amount of work I have accomplished in a short time is incredible! I have a beautiful view and no interruptions.
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This is what my workspace has looked like the past few days. It's been a nice change. I've been working diligently on, for, and with our Online Bible Study Community. I've been updating the shop at The Littlest Way with new graphics for our Bible Studies–Scripture Writing Plans with worksheets with Journaling and Reflection questions that can be purchased on their own. Next up I'll be writing descriptions for each study–2 years worth–and then sharing them more on social media and Pinterest. It feels big and daunting and scary. Today a friend in our Online Bible Study Community messaged me. She introduced a friend of 51 years–Diane, to our little community months and months ago. Diane died earlier this month, Day 4 of sharing the book Dangerous Prayers if I remember correctly. I remember that bc I was like, "Seriously God?! Days 1-3 and its junk weren't enough??!!?" Diane's friend who messaged me today shared how the pastor had used Diane's Bible and Bible study — , at her funeral today. I cried happy, scared, overwhelmed tears at the message. So often I feel unnecessary here, just extra noise. And sometimes, I feel kind of shakey about what I believe God calls me to here. They both feel equally overwhelming.
I joined a local gym the last days of January and then it shut down in March. It reopened in May and I was back in there the first day. Not only lifting weights but I also started attending Body Pump Class two days a week. It’s a group fitness class that involves lifting weights–low weight, high reps. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my gym time! I go five days a week and did I mention I LOVE it? The other day I was talking to Chris about our upcoming homeschool year. I mentioned there are three things I need to do each day: school/house, workout, and write/work. He told me to prioritize them to figure out how to schedule them. I listed working out as the top priority. Working out helps me feel strong, confident, happy, energetic, accomplished, rested, relaxed, etc.
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Last summer, my year of "grow," was hard. But hard like a good workout hard–you sweat, push yourself, maybe even moan a little under the pressure, but you see the gains and recognize the new strength. This summer, my year of "be," has been painful. Painful like suffering a deep, freak, out of the blue wound–a muscle tear or a broken bone that you just have to sit with while it repairs. Instead of sweat, push, or moan under the pressure, you have to restrain, wait, and wince under the pain. One, you have others around encouraging and cheering you as you build strength and endurance. The other, you're alone, waiting and hoping the repair will make you stronger than before. Both have the power to transform us, to be more like the person for the purpose God intends for us to be and use for His glory! Surprisingly, after I settled into "be" for 2020, God pulled a fast one and showed me how He led me to "be" so He could lead me to "surrender." He knew I wouldn't choose surrender so He tucked it under a spoonful of "be" to help it go down. Good one God. Not funny. But good one! Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. +Romans 12:2