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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week (+ win a stack of books from me!)

Welcome to my weekly Sunday post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

What I’m Loving

I got to have peanut butter toast for the first time in half a year this week, so of course I had to take a photo!!! I may have been just a wee bit excited that my nutritionist put this on my eating plan this week!

I’m loving getting to add new foods back into my diet and getting to eat a much more varied diet — while still feeling great!

I’m also loving Instastories. I started trying it out two weeks ago and am just loving it!

If you have ever wanted to see a peek behind-the-scenes into our every day, I’d love for you to follow me over on Instagram. And then look at the top of the page when you have your app opened for my icon. Click on that to see the “stories” I post throughout the day. I’ve been sharing snippets from every day life, cleaning and organizing projects I’m tackling, outfits of the day, and much more! I’d love for you to join me there!

I also adored this beautiful video. If you need a pick me up today, be sure to watch it.

What I’m Celebrating

23 years ago this week, Jesse had his second brain tumor surgery. Because the tumor had grown back again.

He shouldn’t be alive today.

He survived being born as a 27-week-old preemie, his parents’ divorce, his mom’s death, and two brain surgeries.

This week, we celebrated the incredible goodness of God in allowing him to be brain-tumor-free for 23 years!! I never want to take his life for granted. I never want to forget to say “thank you” and “I love you” and to show my love and gratitude in little ways and big ways in the everyday-ness of life.

Earlier this week, I came home from Bible study and lunch with a friend to find him cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Something he often does, just because he knows that a clean kitchen makes me so happy!

Simple things, but profound things. Not only because they show so much love to me, but because the doctors never would have expected him to get to experience these simple moments of life.

I don’t ever want to take it for granted. Every day is a gift.

What I’m Laughing About

Silas came down with a low grade fever on Thursday. I wanted to make him something special to eat. He requested mac & cheese, but then quickly asked, “Do you know how to make mac & cheese?”

The question made me laugh because he’s been our resident mac & cheese maker for the past few years so he doesn’t remember that I used to make it all. the. time!!

I assured him that I could, indeed, handle making mac & cheese. However, he wasn’t completely convinced so he said that, just in case I wasn’t sure, he would go over the details with me.

He then proceeded to take me to the kitchen, get out all of the items I’d need to make it, and go over every single detail of the recipe three times… I guess in case I didn’t get it the first or second time! 😉

When he noticed we were almost out of milk, I said, “Oh don’t worry, honey, I can just use half & half!” He gave me a horrified look and said, “Oh no! You can’t do that! It calls for 2% milk!”

Oh child of mine, if you only knew how your mother cooks and how she substitutes things, rarely measures ingredients, and changes things around in almost every recipe!! She firmly believes that recipes were created as guidelines to be creative from not strict rules to be followed to a tee. 😉

(Or maybe he does know this about me and thus the reason he gave me incredibly detailed instructions for making mac & cheese three times!)

I’ve also laughed over many of the comments posted last week here. If you need a laugh today, be sure to go read some of them!

What I’m Reading

I feel like I have not been doing a good job getting through the books I’ve been hoping to get through recently. But I have been reading a little bit every day. This week, my goal is to make reading for longer than a few minutes at a time my goal.

Because I’m itching to dive into a fiction book with a great storyline — but I’m the kind of person who only likes to read fiction if I have time to read at least 30 minutes to a few hours at a time! 🙂

I did finish three shorter books on the treadmill this week: The One Minute Cure, The Virtual Assistant Solution, and Travel With Kids (which made me super antsy to plan more trips this year with our kids and I started working on our South Africa trip dates as a result!).

This week, I’m reading: Thou Givest, They Gather (an old Christian reprint), No More Faking Fine (a spiritually encouraging book), and Chasing Slow (a book on life improvement). And I’m wanting to read one fiction book — I just haven’t decided on which one I want to read yet. (Leave a comment and give me your best fiction recommendations!)

I’m hoping to finish No More Faking FineChasing Slow, and one fiction book this week. I’ll let you know how that goes next week! {See my Reading Goals for 2017. Also, see the 24 books I’ve read so far in 2017 here.}

I also loved reading these articles this week:

What I’m Watching

I loved this video of my brother and his friend playing the trumpet and the piano at the same time!

We watched two very interesting shows this week JFK: The Lost Bullet (we watched it on Sling, but the full show is available on YouTube here) and Killing Reagan.

I also started watching Victoria after hearing RAVE reviews of it from a number of people. But sadly, I only got about 15 minutes into it (I was watching it on the treadmill and my time was up!), but I’m hoping to watch at least a few episodes this week. We’ll see. Have you watched it? (You can watch full episodes on Simply June.)

What I’m Listening To

This week, I did get quite a bit of listening in and especially loved the following:

And I was honored to be interviewed on the HeyLove podcast with my friend Karthi Masters. In this podcast, I share more of my personal faith journey, how I broke free of the lies of legalism I was entrenched in in my early marriage, the two women who have influenced my life the most, how I deal with negative comments, and more. You can listen to the podcast here.

Note: This podcast was recorded a number of months ago, so some of the things I mention on it — like drinking coffee! — are now outdated. Because you all know I up and gave up coffee like the crazy woman that I am! 🙂

What I’m Learning

I used to have visions of hot breakfasts like cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs or pancakes and bacon while we all sat around a beautifully set table and read the Bible together every morning.

I’d feel frustrated when my big plans and dreams got thwarted yet again by a baby who didn’t sleep at night, a toddler who was really needy, or children who were “interrupting” my plans.

You guys. Do you realize how crazytown that thinking is?? These kids are not interruptions; they are my LIFE, my calling… and investing in them and being available to them is WAY more important than a hot breakfast or a beautifully set table!

So I’ve changed my perspective a lot the past few years and stopped beating myself up over how I thought it was “supposed” to look and instead embraced what it really looks like… Usually cereal or toast. Maybe eggs or oatmeal some days. Mismatched plates and bowls. Lots of talking. Kids who need oversight and encouragement. On most days, at least 5-10 minutes to stop and read a few verses and point their hearts to the Gospel.

But mostly, just allowing the hour around breakfast time to be devoted to loving them, pouring into them, being available to them, and letting go of perfect!

What’s On My Heart

I want to share something personal with those of you parents who have ever felt like, “My child is the only one who doesn’t know how to __________.”

Silas knows all of his addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts and can remember just about every stat related to every sports team he follows. But he has struggled in many other areas.

He just learned how to read and tie his shoes this year. (He’s 7.) And he’s still working hard at learning to ride his bike without training wheels.

As the years have gone by and he’s stayed “behind” what is considered the “normal age” for learning these skills and been way behind where his sisters were, I’ve battled a range of emotions as a mom.

Some days, I’ve wondered if it’s my fault and have heaped on the mom guilt and stressed about needing to figure out some solution ASAP to help him pick up these skills.

Other days, I’ve tried to explain to yet another well-meaning person who has said something about him not knowing a certain skill, “Yes, but he can do this and that and this and that!” Like, I need to prove that my child really is smart and that I’m not a terrible parent.

But most days, I’m just good with it. I know that he will learn in his time and I don’t need to push him too hard just for the sake of what other people think. Because every child is different.

And it’s also given me a much more compassionate spirit for other moms who are struggling with similar situations.

Moms of children who are “behind”, know this: you are not alone. Your child has amazing gifts and skills. And maybe not everyone can see them like you do, but they are there.

Hold on, don’t stress — and don’t beat yourself up if your child is the only one in your friend group who isn’t potty-trained, or sleeping through the night, or reading, or excelling at school.

Keep loving your child well and being the best mom you know how to be. No one will ever love your child like you do. It’s going to be okay. {I took this photo earlier this week while Jesse was patiently demonstrating to Silas — yet again — how to ride a bike.}

In Case You Missed It

My Posts From This Past Week:

My YouTube Videos From This Past Week:

Want to win this stack of books?

I thought it would be fun for me to do a giveaway here every once in awhile on Sundays — giving away some of our our products, items I’ve been sent two of, books I’ve already read and want to pass on, or other items I have that we no longer need and would like to pass onto a great home!

Today’s stack includes an old copy of Trim Healthy Mama, an issue of The Magnolia Journal, a used copy of Bread & Wine, one of Jesse’s Gratitude journals, a blank journal, a read aloud we loved together as a family, a coloring sticker book, plus two books I was sent by authors that I wanted to pass on!

To win this stack this week, leave a comment telling me about your favorite fiction book or give me a recommendation for a fiction book you think I’d love to read!

I’ll choose one winner from all of the comments and will email that winner personally + post the winner next week on my Peek Into My Life This Week Post.

Congratulations to Jaimie (jaimie.ramsey@) who was the winner of last week’s stack of books giveaway. Jaimie, you should have received an email from me asking for your mailing address!

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