Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Link Love :)

I've been loving keeping up on Feedly more recently.  Here are some more posts I've really enjoyed:

1) When my kids embarrass me in public (I Take Joy)

2) How and why to listen with your full attention (The Better Mom)

3) 4 Questions for the tired mom (Making Home)

4) How do I get my toddler to listen to me (The Better Mom)

5) What moms do (Finding Joy)

Does this give you a glimpse at what I'm struggling with/where my heart is these days?! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Desperate Chapter 11

Chapter 11 has been, by far, my favorite so far!

It speaks directly at what I freely admit I struggle with the most -- guilt.  Mommy guilt, work guilt, wife guilt, daughter guilt, food guilt.  Me and guilt are intimately equated, and I've kind of always felt like this was just a part of me, and that I'd struggle with it all my life.

The longer I read the chapter, even though it didn't specifically say these things, I could feel the Lord gently prodding me to grace and freedom, not bondage.

The main focus of the chapter is recognizing that we need to listen to God's voice, His call/leading on our lives and not the voices of everyone, everything around us.  Everything has a voice -- media, culture, well-meaning family members, but if we're listening to those voices, "leads to legalism and starves the soul of grace freely given by God."

The verses they picked for the chapter also spoke to me directly. Galatians 5:4 says, "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law (or rules, or formulas!); you have fallen from grace."

Proverbs 29:25 -  "The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted."

Romans 12:2 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Maybe the chapter won't mean as much to you as it meant to me.  I'm beginning to think God intended it solely for my benefit.  ;-)  But, if you read it and are freed for a bit (or a lot) of bondage, please let me know!  I'd love to hear of the Lord's faithfulness to you as well.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Desperate Chapter 10

Continuing on with the book, Desperate with Chapter 10 entitled, "Finding it out new."

I liked a few things Sally said in the video at the end of this chapter.  One of the things she encouraged us to do was to get away for a night at a hotel once per year to re-group, and re-evaluate what you're plan is, and what things you'd like to work on with your kids, what values you want to focus on.  I love that!  I feel like without a sought-out plan, I flounder through my days feeling like I'm not making progress.

The chapter was also full of hope that God is in the business of making things new.  That these desperate times are just a season in our life, and that we should enjoy them fully without guilt, not looking to get past them, but to truly live in them.  But then, it was also a reminder that some day we'll be on the other side -- able to help a young mom with laundry, or child care, etc, so she can breathe a bit.

So good!  Are you reading yet?   This book has truly been so very helpful to me, and I'd love to send you a copy, if you're wanting to read it!  Let me know! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Desperate Chapter 9

Chapter 9 of Desperate focuses mostly on logistics and how you can and need to find a system that is reasonable and works for your family.

But, what I took from it, is that it is less about my systems, and more about my attitude.  Some of Sally's quotes that really spoke to me:

"The attitude I adopt every day has the potential to affect the whole demeanor of my home...Consequently, a vital part of maturing is deciding to be content through obedience, and to cultivate a spirit of joy by choice...Learn to be faithful and choose to be content."

Man!  Quite the call to holiness, I think.

As far as systems go, though, it was nice to hear her say, "When it got to the point where our everyday habits were insufficient to keep up with the messes (and this happens in every home, no matter how organized), we would stop everything else and get our house back to normal."

I had a sinking suspension that this might be true, that routines don't always work, but I had kind of been buying into the lie that if I were better, or my system was more seamless, then there would never need to be moments of catch up.  It's pretty freeing to see it in writing -- that everyone struggles from time to time, in every day life.

I know I tend to say that comparison is the enemy of contentment, but I think in this case, I like to be reminded that I'm (at least somewhat, in this area) normal!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Rockstar and Genius

I couldn't get a great picture of their shirts not blurry, but Myrick's says, "I am the rockstar of the family." Matt says, "I am smart one."

Friday, June 07, 2013

Desperate Chapter 8

On Escaping

This chapter addressed the addictions moms tend to have -- things they use to escape they're reality with kiddos, house work, etc.  Things like the internet, television, drugs (Dr. Pepper?), or even vain imaginations of how things could be. 

Kind of depressing, actually!  But, as always, there were a few really encouraging nuggets, including:

- Sally's call to, "Learn to put your finger on your deep felt need and then write down how this need can be met in healthy ways."

- Sarah Mae's realization that, "I don't want to escape; I want to trust Jesus with the life He has given me."

- Sally's reminder of truth that, "feelings do not equate worth."

There was also a section that I marked for future reference, even though it's not a particular need of mine right now, that a woman must take care of her own heath.  "If we are feeling lonely, then we need to figure out ways to find like minded friends...if we are weary, we need to build rest into our schedule..." etc.  A good reminder, for sure.

Sally also admonished us to not judge other women who are struggling.  She gave a great alalogy about how we do not fault a person for goingv to the hopital with they're ill.  "It It is sad that many Christian moms are so focued on their rules and standards that they forget that Jesus looked out on the multitudes and felt compassion because they were like a sheep without a shepherd."

That last one was VERY convicting.  I tend to be so judgemental, and am feeling the need to appologize to a few of my friends because of it.  Bummer.  :-/

But, is God not good?  I'm so thankful for the picture of redemption and forgiveness we have in Jesus.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Desperate Chapter 7

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.   - John 15:13

Well, since I kinda fell off the face of the earth there for a bit, I am kind of out of practice journaling my read through of Desperate. But a girlfriend encouraged me recently to keep at it - so here goes!

Chapter 7 is entitled Sacrifice in the Mundane and centers around selfishness. My did it hid a chord!

I've always heard people joke about not knowing they were selfish until they had kids, and I've always thought that was funny....until I had kids. Oh the ugliness of my own sin, all of which seems to center around selfishness. And, oh the loving kindness of The Lord to use my two sweet little boys to chip away at me.

The letter Sally wrote to Sarah Mae in response to her declaration of her own selfishness was a light bulb moment for me.  She said (among other things), "Nothing excellent is ever accomplished by being lazy or selfish. Once I got over my pity party and decided that I was willing to do whatever it takes to build excellence into my life and home, my motivation increased and my vision for what I could accomplish stretched, and as I look back, I am now amazed at my capacity to work so hard and to get so much done."

It wasn't until I read that that I realized how far I've come. There have been many times in my life where I've felt like the tasks at hand were insurmountable. And yet, here I am, standing on the other side of many of them. Praise be to God! He certainly has equipped me for every good work.

Monday, May 20, 2013


If these aren't the cutest handymen you've ever seen - you're probably lying. :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tonight's dinner

Was a bit bland looking, but tasty :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We have...

A four legged "friend" living with us this week.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

So, I've been feeling super guilty lately for not keeping up w/ the Desperate book club. I got half way thru chapter 7 three weeks ago, and haven't picked it up since. But I'm sitting here reading it and crying tears of thankfulness for/to the Lover of my soul. This chapter is exactly what I needed to read today.

Part of the reason I had put it down a few weeks ago mid-chapter was because I wasn't getting anything out it. That seems silly now, since it's so applicable today, but isn't that just like God to draw me back to it when He knew I would be ready to glean from its Truth? What a faithful and loving Savior.

So -- Chapter 7, Sacrifice in the Mundane (on Selfishness)

I can't remember if I've mentioned in past posts that each chapter begins with a portion of a letter Sarah Mae writes to Sally, and then Sally's letter in response.  A lot of them are good, but I REALLY liked Sally's response to Sarah's laments over her own selfishness.

Sally writes:
Nothing excellent is ever accomplished by being lazy or selfish. Once I got over my pity party and decided that I was willing to do whatever it takes to build excellence into my life and home, my motivation increased and my vision for what I could accomplish stretched, and as I look back, I am now amazed at my capacity to work so hard and to get so much done.  The end result is that my labor has been rewarded and I have felt the job of building something of great worth.  So develop a willing heart and become the best mom you can be by getting rid of the destructive attitude that we all have -- that of selfishness -- and decide to be an overcomer! I believe in you!

What a pep talk!  I loved that.  I so desire to "develop a willing heart."

The chapter focuses on John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."  It is a call to put aside selfishness, and to serve sacrificially, especially in the lives of our children.

Sarah has some really good quotes, too:
You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings.  We would die for them.  But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, or fill their souls with life.  Every day.

Oh, man was that convicting.  There are so many times in my every day life that I view my two sweet blessings as a distraction from what I want to do.  I want so badly to flip this thinking in my head.  To view the laundry, the e-mail, the work as the thing that should be put on the back burner for my kiddos.  I love that I have seen God do exactly what Sally said could happen in my own life.  It seems that most days, when I choose to sit and build legos, read books, or go play somewhere, that He multiplies the time I do have to sit down and work.  It's like my own personal fulfillment of Malachi 3:10.  I hope I'm not taking too many liberties with that passage, but I feel like in this season, in this area of my life, He is whispering to me to test Him in this.  It's like He's saying, "Dear sweet Magen.  I'm going to care for you.  You devote your time to me.  You serve Me by serving these little ones, and I will repay.  Test me in this!"

I do, by the grace of God, succeed at this mindset every so often.  I fall into guilt sooo fast, though, when after a long day, with many successes (and many failures!) I just desire a break.  Both ladies address the need for "me time" in this chapter, but the passage that I should pin up somewhere is, "When we choose to give the best of ourselves to them, we will need a break, or we will break."  Gotta love the permission to not feel guilt!! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Myrick's birthday

We got to do a lot of fun things on Myrick's birthday.

For starters, he got to spend the night before his birthday with cousins. Waking up with cousins not still around after date night is always a bit disappointing for him, so this was fabulous! Plus, Aunt Jessie made cinnamon roll waffles for breakfast. Can't get much better than that!

We left their house and headed straight for the Discovery Center where we met some of his good friends Emma and Thomas for playing and lunch.

I didn't get many pictures there, but I did get a few.

After loooong naps, Myrick got to go with daddy to get us pizza before a concert with lots of friends. Fun day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Big helper

Myrick loves having grandma's dog with us this week.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My baby is 3

And putting a candle in his piping hot pizza wasn't my most brilliant idea.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Oh, and a snow cake too. That's normal, right? It was, after all, the snow man's birthday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Last one

They had a pretty sweet outdoors area too that I can't wait to explore more this spring and summer. Complete with tricycles too, from what I understand.

Ok, I am officially out of pictures for our one trip to the Discovery Center. I was starting to feel bad about spending so many days on this til I remembered that its my blog, and that I intend for this to be a pretty thorough picture log of our days. So, hope I didn't bore you too much. :)

Friday, March 08, 2013

While Supplies Last

Do you think Dillons will run out of eggs anytime soon? If they think they might, I wonder why they would give them away for free!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Wood working

I was very impressed by the wood working area at the Discovery Center. We probably won't be able to do it every time, since it requires 1 on 1 adult supervision. But, it was certainly a sweet daddy-son time. =)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Myrick the vet

Can you tell we loved this place? We will probably buy a membership.

Monday, March 04, 2013


In case you were wondering, Matt was at the Discovery Center too. He was just so pleased that there were so many chairs he could climb onto himself, that his pictures are a little less eventful.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Desperate, Chapter 6

So, in case you haven't noticed, I've been blogging through this book for the last few weeks.  I'm doing it as part of a "book club" of sorts over at the blogs of the authors: Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

In the book club, they're already done with Chapter 9, with Chapter 10 slated for Tuesday.  But, I'm not -- I'm on Chapter 6.  And, if it's ok for me to be that far behind, then it's totally ok for you to be too!  Jump on in.  I'd love to hear what you're thinking about it!!

Chapter 6 -- Lack of Training

I can totally relate with Sarah and Sally, in that I too had very little training on the how-tos of being a "keeper at home."

I have a very sweet, very loving mom.  She did so much for my brother and I growing up.  Both of my parents did.  My dad started working road construction when I was just a baby.  That meant a lot of long hours, and a lot of time spent out of town.  That also meant my mom was essentially a single mom.  (Except, of course, for the extra paychecks!)  They both worked very hard, and sacrificed a lot so that we could have a good education, complete with sports, dance and scouting.

But, one thing I didn't really know I was lacking before I got married, was the training.  I didn't know how to cook.  I often share this story about when I learned how to (or, more accurately, how NOT to) hard boil an egg.

I knew how to cook pasta.  You wait til the water is boiling, dump the pasta in, and the set a timer and drain.  Simple enough.  So, how do you hard boil an egg?  Wait for the water to boil, put the egg in, and set a timer.  Easy peasey.  In case you don't know where this is going, I'll go ahead and tell you -- the egg explodes.  :)  There, now I've trained you!  Put the egg in before the water gets hot.

I also didn't know how to clean.  My poor mom would work all day, run us around to our activities all evening, and then clean -- when?  I can't remember.  I know she did it.  But, I was very rarely apart of it.

None of this is meant to shame my parents.  In fact, if anything, it's meant to shed light on my sin.  I've spent a long time making excuses about what I've never been trained to do, instead of just availing myself of the training that is available.

And, that's exactly what Chapter 6 is about.  Sarah Mae says at one point in the chapter, "I have a will and a healthy body and mind that give me no excuse for choosing not to train and discipline my children...and myself."  Talk about summing it all up.  I'm without excuse!

That's one thing I learned from this chapter that I hope to apply to my life.

Another quote that was so good, I'm not sure where to cut it off.  I'll just give the whole thing!

Feeling condemned for not getting it all done can be an immediate source of depression for many women.  We all assume that others can do it better than we can, and also assume it must come naturally to some women.  As I have surveyed the man women I have known in every stage of life, it seems to me that housework is always an overwhelming challenge, regardless of personality.

So nice to hear!  I've definitely assumed those things, and it's glad to be reminded that I'm not alone in the struggles.  Sally goes on to give a solution.  She says, "God has taught me that I need to decide to accept the work as a normal part of life and not struggle with it."

In addition to these things -- that my children and I are teachable, and that we will always have housework with us, Sally urges us young moms to recognize that in general, relationships need to trump work.  A nice reminder that my two sweet, messy boys are not the distraction.  The laundry is the distraction.  The very central reason for doing the laundry (which does eventually need to be done), and all other housework, is to make a comfortable training training ground for my men.  When I'm not stopping to love them, to train them, to correct them -- I'm kind of missing the point.

So many good things in this chapter, and so many things I want to apply to my life this week.  Pray for me, if you think of it!  :)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Friday, March 01, 2013

Myrick the chef

Myrick spent a LONG time in the cafe cooking "soup." Micah had plenty of time to get a bit creative himself.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Desperate, Chapter 5

This chapter, "When the Dark Invades" was very helpful to me.  I mentioned when I first started this book that I've been super emotional.  There have been moments of each day that were filled with Light, but there were also some dark times.

The chapter made it seem completely normal -- that every woman struggles from time time.  What a blessing to hear that!  I know in my heart of hearts that I'm not alone, that I'm not the only one "failing" in this area.  But, my brain needs convinced from time to time.

Their main suggestion for "when the dark invades" is to hide away in God's goodness.  To quote them directly:

Hiding away in God's goodness and protection is an act of the will, choosing to turn my heart away from the dark and towards the light.

It seems so simple and intuitive, but when you're in the middle of the "fog" as I call it -- it's hard to remember.

While seeking the Lord in times like this is the main thing, they also gave a check-list (my favorite!) of how to assess your needs, including things like sleep, and exercise.

Finally, the chapter concludes, like all of them, with a video.  They all do a pretty good job summing up the chapter, but I particularly liked this one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Myrick the mechanic

One of the other things Myrick got to do at the Discovery Center we went to a couple weeks ago was be a mechanic! Micah helped him change some tires. So fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not to beat a dead horse, or anything...

This blog post  by Nicole over at was very timely, with my readings in Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe lately.

It's all good, but one quote:

So when the time came and it really was my kid screaming for Cheetos in Giant Food, my mom’s advice was invaluable: “You shouldn’t be embarrassed when your child disobeys in public” she said. “He’s a child and he’s a sinner. That’s what they do. You should only be concerned if you aren’t faithfully training him to obey in private.”
In other words, we aren’t parenting for the crowd. We’re parenting for an audience of One.

Hope you're having a good week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Desperate - Chapter 4

Chapter 4, entitled, "Oh Right, There's Sin" takes a closer look at parenting the heart issues that I mentioned in my post about Chapter 3.

The main focus of the chapter seems to be Romans 7:19-20:  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

Some quotes from this chapter that stuck out to me:

  • Honey, at what age did you stop sinning?  Because, that's when our children will stop.
  • We need to offer them loads of grace and affirmation, so that they can be confident that we get it and we are on their teams.
  • The home is a battlefield where sin and selfishness must be overcome, and that the taming, subduing, and civilizing of a home will be to a woman's honor.
  • He desires to give us the strength to bring life into our homes and redeem them.
  • But it is a choice you must make to not dwell in guilt, and to instead embrace God's helping hand.  You must choose with God's help to be a victor instead of a casualty.
Such good stuff!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Desperate - chapter 3

Before I start I just thought I'd share that my blog is now recognizing that I want to type the word "desperate" and auto filling it. Oh what it must think of me!! ;)

Ok- chapter 3 is "Formulas Don't Always Work." I kind of felt like last week's chapter didn't really apply to me, but boy oh boy was this one applicable!

I am such a scheduler, list maker, rule follower. To a fault, if I'm being completely honest. I joke about it regularly, writing it off as part of "my accountant brain."

But, in all truthfulness, this attachment to the ideal plan can be somewhat of an idol in my life if I am not careful. The whole, "man can not serve two masters" thing.

So, it was like parts of this chapter were written directly to me.

Sally, in discussing what Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and David were called to said, "None were called to do the logical or expected thing but rather to look to God, listen to His voice, and follow Him."

I love that that is true of my life as well. I don't have to have the whole day, week, year planned out in advance. Yes, it's good to not be negligent, but I need to be listening for God's call on my time and be willing to let go of my plans in favor of His.

But, what really stunk was realizing that I've tried to follow this routine/recipe addiction with my kids as well. In Sarah Mae's section, one quote that spoke to me was, "Our goal is always the heart. We think about how we can help our children understand their sin and then turn and follow good."

I know in my heart that that is my goal, but in practice I feel so far from it some days.

I think a lot of times my actions reveal that my goal is more to train my sweet little boys to not sin - a behavioral issue over a heart issue.

I should pause here and say that I realize they are 1 and 2 and I understand that a lot of what I am doing IS behavioral training, out of necessity. But, my confession is my heart attitude behind those goals. I like to think my motivating factor is because, "obedience is very best way to show you believe." By training them to obey consistently, cheerfully, quickly, and completely, I am preparing them to walk with the Lover of their souls.

But, on the hard days - my motivation is much more selfish. My head is dominated with thoughts of entitlement. I shouldn't have to pick up their toys. I shouldn't have to babysit them while they pick up so I'm sure it gets done sometime this decade. I should be able to have a phone conversation without being interrupted or having to correct. How ugly is that?

In short, I try (in vain) to train them to do the very thing I've not been able to accomplish in my own life - not sin. When instead, I ache to love and serve them in such a way that it draws them to the One who is without sin and can "cure" them, and me!

If you're looking for this kind of brutal revealing of your sins, you can buy this book here. Isn't God good to continue growing us, not leaving me in my ugliness?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Unexpected Museum

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Micah and I got away for an extended date in this post.  But, I never got around to posting any more pictures.  I only have a few.   We hadn't planned to stop at this museum, but, as Myrick says, we were on "an a-bent-your."  Micah was kind of bummed though, because once we got there, we discovered it was closed!  He got out anyway, and walked around the outside of the building.

Then the man who runs the museum saw him and told us to come on in.  They weren't officially open, but they were there getting some work done, so he gave us a tour, and then left us to browse.  It was a treat!
 Crazy James Lane

Like my political rant face? 

This was one of the many contraptions they had in the museum.  I don't know why I thought it was so cool, but I did.  It's not a cooler, it's a "warmer."  Whoever "they" were, would heat that stock pot thing over the fire, and the put it in the "warmer" to keep it heated.  Seems pretty simple, but pretty useful! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

High Waters

And in keeping with the Mall theme...

I don't know why, but whenever we're at the mall, Myrick feels the need to hike up his pant legs. It's the craziest thing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mall Play Date

My post yesterday reminded me of some other pictures I'd been forgetting to post!  Sometime in January we went to the mall with a girlfriend, her two kids, and two of my nephews.

We got there a bit early, so Myrick got to play on the carousel.  And, by "play" I mean, he just kept going from one vehicle to another "riding" it.  If anyone ever tells him these things move, I will be very upset! ;-)

Every so often while he was playing, a sample of the music would play, enticing people to come spend money.  And, Myrick, of course, thought he caused it by pushing buttons -- every.single.time.  "I did it, mommy!  I did it!!"

"Whilst"?  Really?

Lest you think all we did was "ride" the carousel for free:

We also "rode" the massage chairs too.  ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mall fun

Sunday afternoon fun with daddy.  :)