Growing Together A November to Remember

Anastacia_Greyhound_2015November 5, 2015, I stepped out of my comfort zone and traveled by Greyhound bus to Nashville, Tennessee for a meeting with the Ask God Today Ministries team. I’ve been writing with Ask God Today for about a year now and I’m amazed at how God has grown me through being a part of this team. 

I wrote more about that meeting over on today’s Warm Hearted Wednesday Link up which I hope you will check out and join if you have something you would like to share. Link up parties are a great opportunity to meet other like minded bloggers and to share your posts with others. The link up will be open for a week so if you see this a couple of days after it started you can still join in. 

You're Beautiful, Mom!The rest of November just flew by quickly. I am about to launch a new book. If you like the stories I tell about my children and the things they say and do then you’ll really like this book. It’s entitled “You’re Beautiful, Mom! Lessons I’ve Learned from My Children.”

If you would like to help me by being an early reader let me know either by email or in the comments. I will email you an early copy of my book. Some of the things I ask is that you help me catch mistakes if you happen to see any and if you like my book share it with your friends and family once it is available for purchase. 

In return you will receive a free digital copy of my book along with an update to it once it is in it’s final corrected form. You will also be kept in the loop as to the progress of my book and the latest news from my Rock Solid Family.

That has been my work in progress for November. Another thing that happened in November was my agreeing to help coach one of my children’s team in Upward Basketball. I never really imagined myself as Coach Mom before this year. If you remember I also coached in Upward Soccer. Thankfully it’s been the youngest age group so far.

LandofLightsThen I took a break from it all during the week of Thanksgiving. I seriously enjoyed my vacation time. We started our Thanksgiving by visiting my grandmother for Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday morning. Then we went to my parents’ home by way of the Land of Lights in Athens. We enjoyed some special time with my family. 

My husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary together on Saturday. We were married Thanksgiving day, November 28, 1996. It was interesting to think about the fact that I was 19 when I married Scott and we’re now celebrating our 19th anniversary. Of course my birthday is in December so I was just about to turn 20 so I guess I can’t quite say I’ve been married longer than I was single. That time will come soon enough. And now you know my age. :)

wedding2Scott turned 21 the August before we married. (Now you know how young he is too.) I had a fun time teasing him after his birthday that he robbed the cradle because a 21 year old married a 19 year old. Of course I didn’t acknowledge the point that we were only that far apart by a few months. If we hadn’t moved our wedding date up a month I would have been 20 but that would have ruined the fun. :)

I really like our Thanksgiving anniversary. We usually celebrate our anniversary on Thanksgiving Weekend. This year Scott reserved us a hotel room. Before we stopped at the hotel he bought me a new coat and I got him a new electric razor. We bought ourselves some food and reminisced over those early years and how young we were. 

It was funny how many memories we have that we keep shaking our heads and exclaiming, “We were just kids!” It’s nice that we can look back at many of those past mistakes and laugh. Everything in life is a growing experience. I wonder how many things we’ll laugh about 19 years from now when we look back at our time right now.

If we have grown this much in our first 19 years together I can only imagine how much more we will grow in the next 19. We never plan to stop growing and learning. In fact we are still looking to go to Argentina in the near future. I know we will have some major growth going on when that day comes. 

Do you have some special Thanksgiving memories you would like to share? 

Feel free to share them in the comments and if you want to share with even more people you can share your post in our Warm Hearted Wednesday link up, where our Ask God Today MinistriesContributing Writers and followers can read your post as well.

I’ll be sharing more about my book in an upcoming post.

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Choose Wisely

I really wanted to get a blog post finished this week. Perhaps doing a quick Five Minute Friday post with Lisa-Jo Baker would help me get out of this horrible case of writer’s block. So here we go. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat. No editing. No overthinking. Just write. Then link up and encourage the blogger in front of you. Today’s word: Choose.

I’m setting my timer and …

HannahBasketball

Go!

Today I am choosing to do Five Minute Friday. I haven’t blogged in so long. This month was so busy and I chose to take my daughter every Friday to her basketball practice. Then I chose to attend her basketball games with the whole family. We loved watching her play. With a family of 8 you always have a large cheering section.

In basketball my daughter wanted her friends to choose to throw the ball to her. Sometimes she was chosen and sometimes they chose to throw it to someone else. No matter who was chosen she still got excited whenever they scored.

I want my children to make good choices in life. I want them to choose to follow God. Right now my husband and I make the decisions for them but one day they will be on their own and I hope they choose to do what is right even when we, their parents are no longer watching them. I need to teach them now so that they are prepared for that day. I want them to choose wisely.

Stop.

Ooh… This was good for me. This helped open my mind and unlock the writer’s block.

So if you will bear with me I’ll continue my above thought a little bit further. :)

I have been wanting to write about friendship. But every time I tried it seemed to just fall flat. Now I know what it is I’ve been wanting to say.

I want my children to choose their friends wisely.

How do you choose your friends? Friendship doesn’t just happen.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

                                             — Proverbs 18:24 KJV

You have a choice. Who will you lead? Who will you follow? Who will you defend? Whose team will you choose to be on?

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

                                       –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 KJV

Will your friends lift you up when you fall? Are you willing to help them up?

“Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

                                                        –Proverbs 27:10 KJV

With whom will you choose to be friends?

Five Minute Friday

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Not Why but How I Love My Husband

I’m excited to be taking part in the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  

“Why do you love your husband?”

Our Newest Addition in 2012

My husband and I pose with our 6th child Elisabeth in May 2012

That is a very interesting question and if I were to answer quickly I would list all the wonderful and amazing traits my husband has.

I would tell about his patience, support, encouragement.

I could tell you about how good a father he is. How much he loves our children and all the times he tells them he is proud of them.

I could tell you about his devotion to God and how good he is at searching for answers in the Bible. I would show you his artwork and how talented he is.

But is that really why I love my husband?

Those are all traits my husband has that I truly love. However, that is not why I love him.

If I said that was why I love him then I could come to a point of not loving him should he suddenly stop any of those things. No! “Why” is the wrong question.

That’s like asking, “Why do you love a newborn?”

Newborn babies do not show love. They spend those first few weeks crying, eating, and sleeping. They are not born giving their parents hugs but yet we still love them. Love is action. The more we love our children and give them the things they need the more our love grows.

The real question is not “Why do you love your husband?” but “How do you love your husband?”

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV)

Love suffers long and is kind… 

I love my husband by being patient and kind to him.
Kind? Yes. Kind as in “Here let me help you with that!” 

Love does not envy…

My husband is very good at art. Much better than I am. I love him by not being upset when he is better than I am.

Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…

Both my husband and I have strengths and weaknesses. In many cases his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. I love my husband by remaining humble and not declaring myself better than him just because I have strengths.

Love does not behave rudely…

I love my husband by being polite. I can’t just think that since we’re married all manners are no longer necessary. How would that look if I were rude to my husband and saved all my best manners for company? I must never take my husband for granted. I love him by being polite.

Love does not seek it’s own…

In other words, Love is not selfish. I love my husband by putting my own selfish ambitions aside and making sure I take care of him. That may mean putting aside my writing and being fully present. It may mean giving up something I want in order to get him something I know he would like.

This does not mean that I am walked over and allowing myself to be a doormat. It means I love my husband so much that my desire is for him to be happy. When he is happy I am happy. Even though some may argue with me, putting my husband first is not self-depreciating. 

Love is not provoked…

I love my husband by not being easily angered. Whether it is something he says or does that tries to provoke those emotions or someone else that tries to provoke ill feelings for my husband. My love for him will not be easily provoked no matter how hard one tries.

Love thinks no evil…

I love my husband by not thinking evil thoughts about him. How can a person love someone that they think badly about. And the reverse how can someone hate a person they only think good thoughts about.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth…

I love my husband by not rejoicing when something bad happens to him. I won’t say, “I told you so!” nor “See I knew that would happen! You should have listened to me.” No! True love only rejoices when something good happens. When my husband is rewarded with a compliment for something he does right. I rejoice in the truth that he is the best! 😉

Love bears all things…

I love my husband even when the going gets tough. My love is strong and will bear the burden with him.

Love believes all things…

I love my husband by not doubting or second guessing him. I believe what he says and not question his integrity.

Love hopes all things…

I love my husband by knowing that the promises he has made to me, he will keep. Hope isn’t a wish. It’s knowing that something will be the way it is suppose to be.

Love endures all things…

No matter the circumstances, I love my husband by enduring whatever trial we must go through together.

Love never fails…

My love for my husband will stand the test of time. It will never fail.

Do you love your spouse? Feel free to tell me how you love your spouse in the comments

I bet you can guess how I know that my husband loves me. Perhaps that will be my next blog post. :)

HWClub_BlogButnB_700x175

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer.  You can check it out and grab a copy HERE.

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Five Minute Friday: Fight

I have a lot going on this month. Did I mention that I joined a 31 day challenge to write 500 words everyday? And today it was suggested that those of us doing the challenge try writing freestyle. That is no editing or correcting. I thought of how I used to do Five Minute Friday just for fun and decided I would go to Lisa Jo Baker’s site and give her Five Minute Friday a try. Since it is Friday and all.

The rules to Five Minute Friday is no over thinking and no editing. Today’s word is “Fight”.

christiansoldiers

Jonathan, Hannah, and Elijah dressed in their Christian Armor during our Vacation Bible School in 2013.

Set the timer and GO!

Fight. When you can think of anything else to do.

Fight. When the battle seems too hard.

Fight When you know you need to work on a task.

Fight. When you can’t see the end.

Fight. When you know you are right.

Fight. When you want to be heard.

Fight. When you can’t see the end.

Fight. When you can’t think of anything else to write about. Fight. This isn’t working for me.

 

What am I doing. I feel like I’m wasting time trying to think of something to say about Fight. Hmmm…

So I’m aimlessly typing to see how many words I can type in 5 minutes. I don’t think I’m doing to well.

 

I need to just forget Five Minute Friday and just write something that I was thinking about today. Like Childhood memories. That would be interesting.

 

I can’t think of anything fight related right now. I reckon I might could think of something if I really tried but we are suppose to be writing this without over thinking it or editing it. So I may not post this anyway..

 

I will not fight the words that are coming out of my finger tips right now. I will not fight the urge to just type aimlessly and I only have 47 seconds to go. I will fight and move on for all of the 29 seconds remaining.

I will never give up. I will not surrender. I will fight writers block. I will win! And…

STOP!

Yep, that was all I had. I tried it again and it only got worse. So I am giving you my first unedited complete with typos post. It’s better than nothing, right? However after I wrote this post I decided to go ahead and write on that childhood memory. I will share that story later after I have a chance to actually edit it. Today’s post was just a freebie. I thought I would lighten things up a bit and do something fun.

If you would like to read other Five Minute Friday posts you can check them out here.

Thanks for following my blog. What would you like to see from my blog in 2014? I will be writing 500 words everyday. Some of them will be blog posts and some will be towards books.

For a little added fun, (I like to have fun.) is there something you would like me to write about? Tell me any subject you would like to see and I will do my best to write something for you. It may be serious or as silly as this Five Minute Friday. Go ahead leave a comment and give me a try. 

I’m just a little excited about this little experiment. :) Happy New Year! 

~~ Anastacia ~~

Linking up at:

Five Minute Friday

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Embracing the In-Between

I had to fight back tears yesterday. My husband and I were talking about possibly letting our 15 year old son ride his bike a mile down the road where he works as an apprentice. There are days that it would be nice for him to have his own transportation. There are days when I can’t take him or pick him up. We talked about the possibilities and like any good father my husband also pointed out some of the risks.

Elisabeth has some big boots to fill.

Elisabeth has some big boots to fill.

I cried… just a little. I mean do I have to let my little boy grow up? He wants to start taking driver’s ed. If I’m afraid of his riding his bike down the road will I be able to handle him driving? 

Then I looked over at my baby that has just started walking this past week. I asked my husband, “Why do we even teach them how to walk? Before you know it they want to drive.” And my heart aches.

I  just read a book entitled “In Between” by Jeff Goins. He talks about treasuring the moments of waiting. The moments in-between now and the next big thing. Then I realized…I am there right now.

This is my “In-Between” moment. I’m in-between milestones. In-between stages of my children’s development. 

One child just started walking. One is about to start driving. And I can only stand here and watch as all this happens around me. 

I cannot slow down time.

My husband tells me that all of this independence and growth is a good thing.

I hear what he says. I know he is right… But… It is so hard to let go. 

The-In-Between-211x300

I must let go though. No more worrying over the inevitable growth that must happen. Instead I will embrace these moments in my children’s lives.

I am blessed to be able to watch them turn into the fine young men and women God has designed them to be.

How about you? Are you at an In-Between moment in your life?  Please share with us in the comments.

I highly recommend you read In-Between.  Learn more about it at InBetweenBook.com

 

~♥~ Anastacia ~♥~

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A Brave Experiment

It’s that time again! I’m joining the Five Minute Friday link up again. This time I’ve been asked by my friends the Cash Cow Couple to try adding a new challenge to my 5 minutes. What if I wrote without any pause or backtracking at all in my writing?

Normally I have brain freeze while I’m trying to write. It is also hard to not back track while typing. So I’m going to try this time to meet the challenge.  I have absolutely no idea where this may lead as I will be completely free writing.

Here’s the rules from Lisa Jo’s site:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

 
Alright, I’m a little scared to start but today’s word is…

Brave.

Brave Jonathan

Timer is set… 

GO!

It is very fitting that today’s word is Brave. I have actually been having a lot of conversations this week with different people about fear. Okay… It’s hard to not erase).  I have had to face some fears this week in that I submitted three articles as possible book contributions. 

I was afraid… What if they don’t like it? What if I’m the only one not accepted. I wanted to hide and sometimes even wanted to quit trying. But then I was brave. There was nothing to lose and I submitted the articles anyway. 

Now I had a verse that I wanted to blog about and it just happened to be about fear as well. It tells how that if we do what God says then we have nothing to fear. We won’t have to be afraid of evil things that might happen to us. I like how comforting that is. God is here for us and will protect us every step of the way. There isn’t any reason to not be brave when we remember that.

I thought about how my own fears get in the way of doing what I know would be good things.

Stop

Hmm… I tried harder this time. I am either a slow typist or not doing very well at not stopping. And it’s almost impossible to not delete typos. How long is five minutes of writing suppose to be? I might try that again.

Do you mind waiting 5 more minutes while I experiment? Okay, I know it’s a bit cheating but I’m going to try again but this time I’m going to try not to stop at all for the 5 minutes. That may mean I type “Brave, Brave, Brave” over and over during the hesitating moments and there will be a lot of mispellings but here we go.

This is hard!

Timer Set…

GO!

Okay, writing for 5 minutes and not hitting the back botton is realy hard. Here is an example of beign brave. I am sharing every typo and mispelling while writing for five grueling minutes. Even though it is hard and I won’t stop I’m doing it anyway. That is being brave. I could easily give excuses to not write today. I’m on vacation. I could say. But I’m not backspacing and I’m not quitting for five minutes. My spelling is atrocious but I’m bravely moving onward anyway. Oops. I backed spaced fo fix the word anyway. That’s okay. I won’t do it again. I just want ot know what it loos kike to write witout stopping at all for Five minutes. How many words shoutld that be if I’m just wriing and not correcting. This is looking really ugly now. Everyone might laugh. You mihgt wonder how I could possibly write with that many terrible spelling. Wow! She can’t type at all. No wonder her words are so short when she types on here. But I don’t care. This is an experiment. My firends will understand that this wis what it will look like if I didn’t ocrreccct or edit at all. For a very very very long five minutes. Thies is a very brave moment for me. I am wondering if the time is up. Normally the time is up much faster than this. Normally it goes off as I’m typing my thoughts and I wonder if I’ll ever get a complete thought out there. Now I’m wondering will 4 minutes ever end.. Yes that was suppose to say 5. I am doing an aamazing job not overhtingk.

STOP

Ha ha! Okay, see what I mean?  LOL It wasn’t much longer than my first try where I hesitated and corrected things. 

I’m not exactly sure what that means. 

Alright, what do you think? Do you like my free write without corrections? Or the more thought out hesitating one where I tried to keep my free flowing thoughts somewhat neatly arranged? Let me know in the comments. Your answers could affect my future Five Minute Friday posts for better or worse. 😉

Now are you brave enough to try Five Minute Friday? Let me know if you participate and I’ll check out your post. Thanks!

Five Minute Friday

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Here For My Children

photo (1)I am linking up again at Lisa-Jo’s for another Five Minute Friday.

The rules are

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Today’s word prompt is “Here”. 

My timer is set.

GO!

Here I am with a baby in my lap. Wondering if I can have a few extra minutes for typing a little encumbered. But I won’t I’m sitting here thinking about why I am here.

I am here for a reason. There is a reason I choose to type. God gave me my beautiful family. I have many friends online and in real life.

I am happy here. I have my baby here sleeping in my arms. I like having my children here with me. Even when they try to distract or draw my attention from what I am doing here. I know they are the reason I am doing this. I remind myself of that and I stop and listen. If I am doing this for them then I can stop typing for them too.

But here in this moment I have five minutes of quiet granted to me by 5 of my 6 children and I type.

Stop

This is my second time to do Five Minute Friday. I did it in one take this time.

Now your turn. What are you doing “here”? 

Please share with us in the comments. If you participated in today’s Five Minute Friday, let me know and I’d love to check out your post.
Five Minute Friday

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Finding Beauty in Imperfections

These are a few bonus pictures that I want to share from the dentist appointment we had the other day.
JonathanThis is 5 year old Jonathan. He is our budding photographer.

2013-03-21 14.35.01-2This is where we can be thankful for modern digital cameras. Back in the day of film developing, I probably would have just tossed these pictures.

Instead I’m embracing my son’s creativity and posting his pictures on my blog.

2013-03-21 14.05.54Sometimes we just have to find the fun in life. And smile.

These pictures may not be perfect but neither am I. However I see the beauty in these pictures despite all their imperfections. phoneThat’s one step in building a strong rock solid family. We need to be able to see the beauty in the imperfections.

Our children need to see that we love them, even when they make mistakes. They need to know we are proud of them even though they are not perfect. We must show them that they are still beautiful, inside and out.

How about you? Have you found beauty in the imperfections?

Feel free to share with me in the comments. If you received this in your email, you may also hit reply and I’ll email you back as soon as I am able.

Today is Hannah’s birthday. Hopefully things run smoother than they did on Elijah’s Birthday last week. At least I have eggs now. 😉  But a perfect day or not I’ll be sure to post about the beauty I find in it.

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Today I’m linking up with Darlene Schacht at Time Warp Wife. for her Titus 2sdays link up party. You can click on the link to read other wives’ and mothers’ posts on marriage and family. 

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