Feliz Navidad 2016

Our family would like to wish you the very merriest of Christmas. God has blessed us more than we deserved. It has been an interesting year for the Dear family.  We have traveled across the South a couple of times to see family and to have a little vacation time.  We entered our 12th year of homeschooling this school year. The older girls split their time between homeschool classes, classes at the local high school, and college classes for Hannah.  I am thankful that Hannah can drive herself to her classes.

Here are a few highlights from our family this year:

Noel is in his 11th year as senior pastor of FBC Heath. God is blessing our church and looking forward to the new year. He is also half way through having is doctorate degree from Southern Seminary.  I am very proud of how far he has come in his education, and we can’t wait to see him walk across that stage one day.

Hannah is a senior in high school this year.  She was co-captain of Granville High School girls tennis team and also earned her varsity letter playing first doubles. She is still excelling academically having been inducted to Cum Laude Society at GHS as well.  She is busy with her all of her classes and as well as working on all her college applications. She is excited to be accepted into one of her college choices – University of South Carolina. Hannah is still active in her musical pursuits of piano, flute(where she made district honors band), piccolo, marimba ensemble, jazz band, homeschool band, and steel drums.  Another activity Hannah is pursuing is journalism. She is the new editor of the school paper, and has had several articles published on their website as well as in print form.  One big this she has coming up is the Ohio Distinguished Young Woman scholarship competition in February.  She is representing Licking County and is very excited for this opportunity. It is just hard to believe we will be planning her graduation party soon.

Emily is a sophomore.  She just recently got her driving permit and will beginning to drive – watch out! She is keeping us busy with all of her bands.  She still loves playing her trumpet and is becoming quite accomplished with it.  She is currently playing in two bands – Granville High School Symphonic band (3rd chair) and homeschool band(1st chair). As if these two were not enough, she is in the jazz band for both Granville and the homeschool jazz band. Like Hannah she is in the steel drum band as well too.  As a result of her love for music she has been accepted into two honor bands this year – Ohio University and Cedarville University.  Currently she is working diligently on her trumpet solo she is taking to solo & ensemble this January.   In addition to all the music, she is also on the GHS girls tennis team this year as well.  She got a lot of playing time this year in singles and doubles and earned her varsity letter as well.  She would also like it to be noted that she did challenge up to and make 2nd chair in band, but because of a minor technicality she is still at 3rd. She is happy at 3rd though. One other exciting thing Emily was part of this year was spending 6 weeks of her summer with the IMB’s Endeavor program serving in Southern Mexico.  She really loved her time there serving God and ministering to the local people. She is hoping to go back this next year.

Rae is still making great strides in her reading and math.  She still works with a reading specialist and math tutor. She may complain about having to go, but she looks forward to Fridays with her friends there. She has really developed a love for science and looks forward to her little science co-op.  She is also enjoying her art co-op with Ms. Lynd and Ms. Krumm.  She is quite the artist and loves to draw manga characters.  This school year she was able to start beginner band.  Rae is learning the clarinet and is doing really well.  She has had a challenging year medically with the increase of her seizures.  This month she had epilepsy surgery to help reduce or eliminate her seizures. Everything went well, and we are happy to be home recovering.  We are thankful for how well everything went and praise God for it.  It will be at least 6 months before we will begin knowing how effective the surgery was.  That had to be the scariest day with any of our children. She went back around 7:30 am and we saw her at 6:00pm.

I have had quite a busy year between homeschooling, photography, and doing the farmer’s market.  HER Baking Co or also know as “cinnamon roll lady” had another great season at our local farmer’s market with many repeat and new customers.  I was blessed to have several weeks where I sold out.  I am teaching art again to our teens in our homeschool group. It has been a great year with a smaller group where we have been able to focus on making art as well as art and music appreciation.  Like my girls, I am still involved in our homeschool band playing the clarinet as well as our adult steel drum band, Pandamonium.  We are all looking forward to going to Virginia Beach in May to an international competition. I am still accompanying different people and choirs as well as still playing on the praise band at church.

This year we have learned to trust God more, and that He is bigger than anything we can ever imagine.  We praise Him for all things great and small.  He is truly a Good, Good Father.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and that you experience the joy of this season and seek Christ more in the coming new year.  

Rae Update

Here on World Adoption Day I thought I could give you a little update on the little.  This summer we spent a week in the hospital to see if Rae would be a candidate for epilepsy surgery. This was scary because, how do you decided to allow your child to have brain surgery. In addition, to the stay in the hospital, there were many scans and testing.  As the doctor called it – “million dollar testing”.  After all the testing was done, we had to wait for results.

All of Rae’s info for testing was presented before a room of doctors to see if she could have the surgery. There were so many questions. Would we? Would we not? How do you make that decision if it was left to us?

We chose to seek the one who could best help us make the decision – GOD! We put our faith in Him. My prayer was that the decision would be black or white – yes or no – simple.  God has gotten us through all the ups and downs of all of Rae’s needs – why would He not be here for this decision.

It was time to meet with the doctors to see what their recommendations where. God came thru – after meeting with her doctor the decision –  as hard as it was – it was basically made for us. We said yes to the surgery.  Are we happy our daughter has to have surgery, no, but it is the best for her.  Is she happy, no, but she knows it will either eliminate or greatly reduce her seizures.  The surgery is to help save her brain function and to improve her memory.  As she has gotten older, her seizures have increased in amount and frequency.  As we discovered, each seizure was actually doing damage to her already damaged brain.

The surgery will be done at Nationwide Children’s Hospital next month.  We are nervous, but we have so placed our faith in Christ. Whatever happen, He is sovereign and will get us through it all. Our prayer is that God will be glorified through this.

Hello

Should I sing the Adele song? I know it has been so long since I have posted, but I just haven’t found the time or been motivated to. We are doing well and ready to take on our summer. I thought last summer was strange with our sabbatical, but this summer may top it. Our family will not be all together for 7 weeks this summer.

This summer Emily will be spending 40 days in Oaxaca, Mexico with the IMB Endeavor program. She will train in NYC for 5 days before flying to Mexico to help the Zapotec people in the mountains of Southern Mexico. She will be sharing the love of Christ with the people as well as encouraging the current believers. God has provided much of the funding for her trip, and we can’t wait to see what God will do through her and the team. Thank you to all who has support her. Please pray for her and her team as the prepare. Pray that her team will bond together and be effective.

Hannah will have a busy summer as well. This summer she will be working on getting her college applications ready to submit this fall. That is her main focus this summer, and I can’t believe it is time for that already.  She is also doing some traveling. She is one of the girls representing Licking Co. American Legion at Buckeye Girls State. She is looking forward to meeting many other girls from all over the state and to participate in a mock government for a week at Mt. Union. She is also getting to go back to Super Summer at Cedarville. It is her 3rd year to go, and it has been one of her highlights of each summer. I’m excited about it as well, because I am going for the first time as well as a family leader. We are also going together on our church’s youth group mission trip as well to Cleveland. I am looking forward to spending these two weeks with Hannah. Hannah is also one of the captains of the tennis team, so she will be busy running some practices before the season starts in August.

Rae’s summer is a little less busy. She is hoping to get to play some tennis and do some swimming. She is only a little excited about getting to go to summer camp. She was accepted to the Flying Horse Farm Camp for Hematology/Oncology Week. She has not been away for a camp like this, but it should be very good for her and very fun. It is not far from where we live, so if there was a problem we would not be far away.

I will try to keep y’all updated on Emily’s trip as well as our other adventures.  Here’s to a great summer!

Merry Christmas

familypicChristmasOur Dear family would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

It has been a year filled with ups and down in the Dear family, but one thing we do know is that we have been blessed far more than we deserve.  As we get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I am humbled that our Father in Heaven would do this for me. Why would He choose this way to save His people? He sent His Son to be born in a lowly stable far away from the crowds without any fanfare. A Son that was born to die for me.  It is something that is hard to wrap my brain around. For this,  I am SO thankful.  He loves me more than I can ever love Him back. He deserves more praise and glory than I could ever give Him.

May you experience the wonder of Christ’s love for you. O Come Let Us Adore Him! Our Redeemer has Come!

Hello there…

I know I have been a little absent around here, but I just have not been able to think of what to write about.  We have not done anything too exciting. Here is a quick list of what has been going on with us.

1. high school band concert  – It was Emily’s first concert with Granville High School. They did an awesome job, and we are looking forward to the next one.

2. last week of this session for the little one’s swimming lessons.

3. hematology appointment for the little one – standard appointment with nothing new to report. numbers are good.

4. pain clinic for Hannah – not too encouraging but I did make her happy with a strawberry & creme frappuccino.

5. Friday night fun with the little one – they big girls were at teen night and we took the little one out for dinner and games.  we tried a new food for us – guacamole. i know, we really liked it.

6. Emily and I were back at the farmer’s market. She had been off because of various commitments and I took off for the little one’s birthday.  We had a good week. Emily learned that granola sells quick at the market.

7. Hannah was inducted into the National Honor’s Society. She was not sure if she would make, but she was very excited that she did.

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I picked up these shoes for a steal this week. They remind me of shoes my dad use to where when I was a kid. It was a sweet memory.

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Emily in her dress she was so excited to wear at her band concert.

 

 

Quick Health Update

I thought I would give you a quick update on the little one’s and Hannah’s health.

At the beginning of the summer the little one started on a new medication called Sirolimus to see if we could prolong the time between IVIG treatments and hopefully eliminate them.  When I talked to the nurse they told us that they were getting good results with this medicine. We were nervous about trying something new, but we knew she was ready for a break from all the sticks and hospital stays. So far it seems to be working.  She is not needing weekly finger sticks unless we think there is a need for it. We do know she is not a therapeutic level yet, but she is on her way. We go back in a week to check to see how it is working.

Her seizures are still pretty much under control as well.  She has had 2 episodes since we have gotten back from our trip. We think they happened mostly due to her growing up. Sadly, because of this they had to increase her medication. She is such a trooper with all the medication she is having to take.

Hannah is doing ok as well.  It has been a year since we started on the journey to figure out what is going on with pain issues.  A year later, we still do not know.  She works through her pain daily.  She has played through it during her tennis matches. She is also still going to the pain clinic at Children’s. She has good days and really bad days. We pray that God will miraculously intervene and take her pain away. We are not sure why he has chosen her to go through it, but we do hope God will use it in some way. She is doing her best staying active and not letting the pain take over her life.

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My Health Journey (Pt 3)

In January of this year like most people I had decided to give the diet another go. I was not sure what I was going to do, or where to even start. Hubby and I talked about things and discussed what to do.  I had taken a break from the gym, and was not really doing anything. Hubby got on the internet and started looking around and found a program. I looked at it, and we decided to contact them and set up an appointment to talk.  I was a little skeptical, but I was about to the point of desperation.

We went to the clinic and met with one of the directors.  The lady we met with was very encouraging. She explained the program to us, basically told me that I had to want to do it. I had to be mentally prepared to start.  Hubby and I went home and talked more about it and decided that I would start the program. I actually started the program on a weekend that I was going to an adoption retreat out of state.

The retreat was a perfect place to start.  Despite being around all kinds of foods and snack, I stuck to the program.  I was able to have some time to think and jump in with both feet.

The program is called Optifast.  I would have five shakes a day and all the water or non-calorie beverage I could drink. That is it for the first several weeks. I had to check in with a dietician and doctor every week to make sure every thing was going well.  I also had to have blood work done to watch my blood chemistry.   Despite all that was going on around me, I had a schedule of when I was to drink and that never changed. This schedule would be my saving grace when times would get tough.

It was a rough few weeks when I started the program.  I could not handle cooking or going to the grocery store or being around food. I had to learn to change my thinking when it came to food.  It was all going back to the bad relationship I have with food.  God was working on me through it.  He was showing me that I was addicted to food – it was my idol.

Each week I was seeing success in my weight loss. That weight loss fueled me. Hubby was my biggest supporter. I would text him every week after weigh-ins, and he would cheer for me. When I hit a milestone, he even brought me roses to the clinic. All the people at the clinic supported me as well.  They never let me give up.  I loved meeting with my dieticians.

All I can say that God gave me the program as potentially my last shot to get healthy. He has been the one to get me through all these past months.  There have been some very rough times when we were dealing with some major health issues with our children.  Those shakes and eventually bars and soups were my saving grace you could say.  They were the one constant in my life when everything else would be going crazy.  In the past, I would turn to food to get me through.  When the food was not there, there was only one thing I could do – turn to God and pray. God was also changing how I acted around food in social situations. Meeting with friends didn’t always have to revolve around what or where we ate.  It was more about the relationship with the person than the food. It did make for interesting looks when hubby and I would go out on dates. He would order a nice meal, and I would ask for a cup of hot water, bowl, and a spoon.  There were so many things mentally that were changing.  I did loose my desire a little for food and especially for certain foods.

One thing did grow – my relationship with God.  He has worked on me these past 8 months to where I am now.  I desire Him more than anything.  I live to worship Him. Many of you know that our family went on sabbatical this summer.  I was trying to figure out how to handle the diet because I was not at my goal.  I took the advice of my doctor, and I did not quit – I stayed on it all through the sabbatical. I did cheat one time, but it was our 20th anniversary and how many times in your life do you get a chance to eat at the Biltmore. It was some of the best food I had ever put in my mouth. The next day I was right back on my shakes.

During our time away, God showed me so much more. Yes, there were tough days when I wanted to eat and give up. But, I had 3 girls that were depending on me. I could not give up till I met my goal.  The little one was my little policeman. She would get on to me anytime I joked about eating food.

So, here I sit 6 pounds away from my goal of losing 100 lbs.  It is something I could never do own my own. I have a much healthier relationship with food. I feel stronger and able to handle things without turning to my olds ways. I am eating 2 meals a day in addition to my shakes. I crave vegetables and healthy foods. I have started eating so many vegetables that I have never eaten before. It shocks my mother. I have gone from pinning desserts and junk food on Pinterest to pinning different ways to cook zucchini and cauliflower. I also look forward to exercising again. I love getting out in the mornings to walk and run.

Please know in no way do I deserve any of the credit for this weight loss. God is the one who gave me this plan and helped me to stick with it. The old me would have given up a long time ago. He has changed me physically, mentally, and most definitely spiritually.  I am also trying to figure out how to accept people telling me how good I look.  I have never been on that end, and it is kind of weird. I am also trying not to see myself as that fat little girl anymore who was made fun of for being overweight.

In all the time I have been losing, I was trying not to purchase a lot of clothing. This summer I had the opportunity to do some shopping for some much needed clothes since I was not too far from my goal.  I was trying on jeans at a store I had always wanted to shop in but was unable too.  I put the pair on and was not sure if they fit well or it they would stretch, so I asked the salesclerk.  She suggested I try a smaller size.  I was just shocked in that suggestion. So, I did and they FIT!! I just stood there and looked at myself in the mirror.  I was wearing clothes in sizes I had never remembered ever wearing.  I almost just sat there and cried. I am excited to go clothes shopping again (sorry, Hubby). God is so funny!

I have thought, why didn’t I do this earlier. What have I missed out on because I didn’t do this earlier. But I can’t do that.  I have a new beginning and I need to run with it.  Move on because there is no need to look back.

In no way do I have it all figured out, but I pray that God will be my focus for any problem that can come my way.  With all the weight that is gone, it truly does feel like a burden has been lifted.  When I look at pictures from just last year, I see someone who was miserable and unhappy.  Now, I have a new life and my joy has returned. I almost forgot – that blood pressure that was high – now so low that my body has not figured it out, and I have to be careful and not stand up too fast.

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This one on the left is when I started and the one on the right is about halfway thru the program.

 

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Here I am now.

My Health Journey – Pt 2

A few years ago, I tried once again to get on the diet train. Hubby was wanting to go on it with me due to his weight issues as well. He had decided to start running again and to work toward running a marathon.  I was not a runner and had never thought of doing it, but I decided to give it a try and join him.  We picked a race, and started our training.  In addition to the training we we watching what we ate.  I was truly losing weight again, and I was feeling better and stronger.  I was running/walking 3-5 days a week and taking long runs on Saturdays.  I was enjoying the time out on the trail.  One day I did hit a wall and could not run any more, but I didn’t want to give up.  I knew my body just could not run a marathon.  We talked and decided to train for a half marathon, but hubby kept training for the full.  All the time the weight kept coming off. I was happy. We trained all the thru the summer because our races were in the fall. Hubby was running the Marine Corp and I was running the Air Force Half. It was such an accomplishment to finish that race.  It was one of those experiences that a chubby little girl never thought she could do.

After I finished, I didn’t want to give up and put the weight back on. Sadly, it was to no avail. It eventually crept back up.  Not long after this we decided to adopt. In China, you have to be below a certain BMI to be able to adopt. Thankfully I was but not by much. I tried to keep it off, but with ups and downs and the stresses of doing paperwork and waiting – I was stress eating. I will say that I was still exercising some, but not up to the level when training for a marathon. All those feeling were coming back.  Food was making me happy – not the true source of happiness. I was trying to fix myself.

Hubby had told me that I could find a trainer to help me. We would make it work in the budget in order get healthier.  I needed to do this. I had three girls, and I needed to be around for them. I searched and talked with a couple of people and decided on Carmen.  We were members of the gym where she worked out of so it was pretty easy to go.  I enjoyed the workouts, and she also gave me great info about eating healthier.  She was holding me accountable, and she was someone I had to check-in with every week. I had to send her a list of everything I had eaten that week.  I would have good weeks and bad weeks, but I kept getting frustrated. I lost weight for a little while, but then I would stall out. I was still battling with myself.  I kept going because I didn’t want to give up. She would not let me give up.

Thru this I did develop a good relationship with my trainer, Carmen. She kept me encouraged and helped me thru some tough times and she didn’t let me give up.  I was really enjoying the workouts, and I eventually moved to her bootcamps. I was getting stronger, but still not much weight was coming off. I was not fixing my problem – I loved food. Food was my go to for any problem I was having.

After the little one’s adoption and we were home, we started a rollercoaster of health issues. We were in and out of Children’s dealing with various appointments, ER visits, and surgeries.  Times were stressful, and despite my trying the weight was coming back on.  I was going up and down.  In addition to this, so were my bouts with depression. I was living under a dark cloud that never seemed to go away.  Rae’s health issues weighed heavily on me a well as my own. It seemed we were going from one crisis to another, and I was always waiting for what felt like the other shoe to drop.  There were days that I never thought I was going to dig my way out of all of this. I was truly not seeking the truth of who I was, and who could truly help me.  I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t like who I was becoming. I was miserable and made everyone around me miserable. I didn’t know what do anymore, and I had just about given up.  My body felt like it was falling apart – overweight, bad ankle, high blood pressure(untreated remember – burying my head in the sand), depressed, and miserable. I truly hated the way I looked. I would buy clothes to hid me much like I was just trying to hide from the world and all the problems.

I just kept wondering what was it going to take for me to figure it out. When was I going to seek it out the only One who could help?

 

 

 

 

My Health Journey (Pt 1)

I have been hesitant to share my story, because I have been battling this issue for most of my life. I have been overweight for most of my life. I even joked that I came into the world overweight. In school, I remember always being the chubby kid in class.  I even had a name that kids called me that stayed with me thru jr. high.  There were some really tough days of being made fun of by kids at my school. One of the kids in my class even asked the Spanish teacher during class what that name was in Spanish – more humiliation aimed at me.  One thing I remember is that I didn’t get to wear all the cute clothes my friends were wearing.  It was no fun.

Thru high school my weight didn’t go up too much, but I was no where near thin. I pretty much stayed the same size thru high school and college.  I would try different things to lose weight, but I just began to live with it.  Food made me happy. It was comfort and would always be there for me. I really started putting on weight after college.  I moved home, and met someone who became my future hubby.  He introduced me to new foods. We loved to go out and try restaurants, and that is when it started.  Overeating and no exercising.  My weight was creeping up.  Luckily it was not too bad for the wedding, but it was starting to climb.

Over the years my weight began to come on.  I would diet, and then I would put it back.  I was an awful cycle.  After a year or so of marriage, we started trying to get pregnant.  Me being overweight did not help in my struggle with get pregnant. Likely due to my weight, it made it very difficult to get pregnant.  It was a very tough and emotional 2 years before we were to get pregnant with Hannah.  Again, I was not doing much exercise and that baby weight stayed around.  Food was still my comfort and “healer”. I loved to cook, and we loved to find new foods to try.  Two years later, I got pregnant with Emily and after giving birth to her, a lost a lot of my weight.  I was excited, and I wanted to keep it off.  It was all for nothing, the weight eventually crept back up.  My weight continued the roller coaster of up and down.  I tried different things, but I just stayed overweight and all of it continued to weigh on me emotionally as well.  It was not good.

We had a time about halfway thru our marriage that was very difficult for us. We had multiple family health issues, things were stressful at our church, and our house had burned down. The only thing that I could find solace in was food.  Food was never angry with you, it was there to listen, and you could eat it when no one is looking.  This started a bad cycle of eating. Food made me happy.  I was not realizing just how bad it was, it was food – food is harmless – RIGHT? I didn’t really go to the doctor, and I was not seeing being overweight was doing to me.

I have tried so many times to lose the weight, but I just couldn’t keep it off.  I needed the food, and it was my answer to all my problems.  I was in denial about it all. I had buried my hand in the sand with anything that dealt with my weight or my health.  This continued for many years. It was not a fun roller coaster, and it wasn’t fun for my family either.

In addition to my weight issues, it was starting to cause physical and emotional issues.  My joints were starting to cause problems as well as elevated blood pressure. I just ignored it. Emotionally, I was a wreck as well, and I just kept turning to food. I was not turning to the one who could help me.  I would pray for a quick fix, but I was not truly seeking the one who could help and heal me. I was trying to do it all on my own.

The Fringe Hours

This summer I picked up a book called The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner.  I had heard about it thru social media and decided to pick it up to add to my summer reading list.  Little did I know how much God had to show me in this book.  I have been telling my friends about it since I had started reading it, and since I have finished it.  I would pass the book around, but I have taken so many notes – you need your own copy.

The main focus of this book is about making time for yourself.  It has been a theme God has been showing me thru multiple things He has put in my path.  I am important. If I don’t see that, then I am no good to anyone.  Some of this started with my journey I started this past February (more on that later). I pray He keeps me on it.

We need to find balance. Jessica Turner in the book say, “Balance isn’t easy, but fighting for it is alway worth it.” We get caught up in being busy, and we are proud of it.  I feel it has become an idol for so many people. When we get together with other people, we try to out do one another by how busy we are than others. Why? Is this something really to be proud of? I have been guilty of this.  No more. Let go of it! God did not call us to be busy.

This book helps you work thru different steps where you can take back control of balance.  It will help you find that time for you and let go of what is not important. Give yourself permission to do it. We don’t have to do it all, and we can’t do it all.  Why would we? We need to take care of ourselves, mentally, physically, and spiritually. All three of these work together hand in hand. When you have that time to do something for yourself whether it is getting a massage, going for a run, learning a new hobby or revisiting an old one, or just meeting with a friend for coffee you can be better prepared for the rest of what God has you to do. You are important.  I do love in the book how she stresses the importance of your quiet time alone with the Lord. All of the other cannot work unless you have that time with our Creator and seek what He wants for you.

You may wonder why she calls it the “fringe hours” Fringe is what we use to make things more beautiful. It that extra something special.  We do have those extra times that we can find to make our lives more beautiful.  I didn’t think I had, but you know what – I DO! We all do, and you need do seek it out and treasure it.  You cannot most likely do it alone.  Enlist the help of family and friends so you can.  You can do more in community than not.

While in the fringe hours you can get many things accomplished for you, but sometimes you need that time to rest. God wants us to rest.  Jesus took time to rest. God commands it.

The parts she works thru in the book are:

  1. Explore – what do you want to do for yourself? where to find balance? getting rid of the guilt.
  2. Discover – changing your perspective. how to care for yourself and how to find the time.
  3. Maximize – steps how to get there. how to ask for help. how to overcome the obstacles(my favorite part of the book) – YOU ARE WORTH IT!
  4. Living Well – when you can get there – how sweet it is. it is ok to rest.

Everyones fringe is going to look different. There are times when it is hard. Just keep going.  Give yourself permissions to enjoy the fringe.

Here is one thing in the book I love –

Once you have discovered the importance of taking fringe hours to take care of yourself and steward your passions you must also make room for rest. The practice of Sabbath might not be easy at first, but through quiet moments, simple enjoyment creation, and prayer you will discover abundance peace.  That peace will center and invigorate you to live a more balance life.” 

This is so true, and I am starting to realize this in my own life. God has repeatedly shown me this in the past couple of months. For instance, I needed to get some writing done while the little one was at her reading class and Emily was at band.  I usually take this “fringe” time to get blog work or pictures done.  One day this past week I decided to take time away from the computer. It was a beautiful day, so after I dropped them off at their locations I found a nice park bench in town and sat and read.  I gave myself permission to enjoy my book.  I enjoyed it so much, that I did it the next day, and actually finished this book.  Doing this gave me new life for that day, a sense of accomplishment, and some rest. It allowed me time to finish this book, so I could share my thoughts with you.

I have read many books in the past, but this books has had such and impact on my life and hopefully will echo into to my friends and family’s lives.  I just had to write and share about it.  Every woman needs to read this book.

In the end she shares this –

“The real point of making time for you isn’t about what you do during that time as much as it is about how it makes you feel and the ripple effect that has on the rest of your life. Truly is is about living well… everything comes back to three core questions:

  • do you choose joy

  • will you celebrate your victories?

  • are you thankful?

Please pick up this book and take the time to read it.  There is so much freedom in these pages. I leave with this verse –

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness: his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

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