June Goals

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June Goals

I love accountability, so here I go, posting my June goals for all to see! There is something about making it public that adds to the motivation and I can always use an extra push!

I also feel like I’m in a place where life is just ready to burst out of me. Remember my word for the year? Vitality. And that bud in the picture above? That’s how I feel – ready to bloom with possibility! I’m putting goals in place to help this forward momentum have some direction. It’s really exciting and fun and just a tad scary…but that’s really the best combination of feelings!

Her’s my check-in from last month…

May Goals

1. Run another half marathon – check! And with a PR, too!

2. Read 4 books – check! Follow my Pinterest board to see what I’ve been reading this year! SO many good ones!

3. 2 date nights with The Hubby – 1 for 2…unless…Does race weekend without the kids count?! We had a fabulous date last weekend with a really yummy dinner, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and lots of yummy popcorn!

4. Paperwork purge – Um, not as much as I would have liked. Can’t check this off in good conscience.

5. 6am wakeup – nope. Double J has been waking up several times in the night {what is with that?!} and this mama will take every ounce of sleep she can get! And this is not on my June goals because I’m not sure what I want my goal wakeup time to be anymore!

6. Pray daily for my guys – check! I keep going back through Praying for Boys over and over again for my sons. For The Hubby, I love Kathi Lipp’s Praying God’s Word for Your Husband!


June Goals

1. Read 3 books – I’m going for two fiction and one non-fiction this month! I have several on my list, so I hope to read more, but this is my goal!

2. Learn more about podcasting – I am super giddy about learning this new skill and using it for ministry! Watch for details early this fall!

3. Clean out the school room – You guys, I can’t even tell you how bad it is. It’s not functional AT ALL. It needs major decluttering and and rethinking so we can all use it, even if just as proper storage for all our school books and supplies.

4. Plan and host Little J’s 6th birthday party – We’re alternating years for big parties, so this is his year! Tossing around a few ideas in my head, but I need to just settle on one and get to planning!

5. Don’t freak about Big J going to camp – Breathe, Erin. He is SUPER excited and it will all be ok…

6. Take a risk in home decoratingThe Nester is doing her best to make me brave in this area. I want to spruce things up, make it more creative, more inspiring, more welcoming, more US. I also picked Young House Love for some extra inspiration.

7. Keep up the good eating habits I’ve established with the 21 Day Fix…with grace – The eating plan during during the 21 Day Fix is not meant to be kept up for longer than three weeks, but the focus on more real foods and portion control as been GREAT for me. I’m hoping to keep a good eating plan on a regular basis with room for fun indulgences here and there!

8. Make a big decision with The Hubby about our future -Prayers, please, people. All good things, but I’d finding myself praying the words of “Oceans” a LOT lately as we pray and seek God’s will. I’ll share when I can!

9. Spend 60 minutes outside every day with the kids – We started this at the end of May and it might be my favorite goal of the month! I’ve got a whole bunch of activities planned and lots of free time for them to just be boys!

Honestly, I have several other goals in my head, but I think I need to keep the list at this for now so I don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged! Nine goals is still a lot, but some of them aren’t new, so that helps it seem more manageable!

The Tiny Twig

I’m joining Hayley’s Goals with Grace link-up – why don’t you, too?!

What are your goals for June?


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VITALITY in Self-Care + Personal Growth

As I was exploring vitality as the my word for 2014, the areas for goal-setting were clear to me: faith, marriage, motherhood, ministry…

…and wasn’t there something else?

What about exercise? nutrition? rest? reading?

There were all these little but important leftover areas I wanted to see changes in for 2014, but they didn’t fit in anywhere.

Except…wait…they all had to do with ME. My personal growth, taking care of myself, my health and well-being, both physical and mental.

I’m at a place in my life where I’ve finally realized how much better I am all around – Christian, wife, mother, friend, writer – when I take care of myself. DUH!

So that’s where I’m wrapping up my vitality goals for 2014 today: self-care and personal growth…

Vitality in Personal Growth

food as fuel

I really like eating. I am not a dieter and I never will be because I LOVE food and I don’t like being told I can’t enjoy the yummy stuff. But I HAVE to take a different approach with food this year. Since becoming more active, I am much more aware of the effects food has on my body, both positive and negative. On a regular basis, each and every day, I need to think of food as fuel for my body. For me, this means more real food, more protein, vegetables, and fruits, more of what my body NEEDS not WANTS. You bet I will still thoroughly enjoy some of my favorite indulgences, but only in the context of a much healthier diet overall.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

~1 Corinthians 10:31

challenge myself

Last year, I tried several new things in the area of fitness, but I also had a few periods of time lacking motivation and gusto. Not this year. I’ve got a plan to attack my physical fitness and strength, and if I ever feel myself dying off, I’m coming back to this goal. As of now, I’m not planning on any new distances for races, but I would like to set a new PR for a 10K. A half PR? Maybe! I broke 2:00 last year and that was my ultimate goal! We’ll see about getting faster!

And I’m not just challenging myself with events, but with a few tougher or new workouts a week. It might sound crazy, but my Tuesday evening speed work runs at the gym are super hard but make me feel AWESOME. I want more of that this year.

Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. ~Isaiah 40:31

water, water, water

There isn’t much to say here: I just need to drink more water. The winter months have me reaching for coffee much more often, but I’m trying to down a whole Camelbak of water in betweens cups of coffee. I also grab a glass of water FIRST when I feel hungry to see if that satisfies me. Lots and lots of water this year, people. Bring it on.

motivate others

I have seen firsthand what taking better care of myself has done for every aspect of my life and I want to tell the world. Well, really I just want to come alongside other women, especially other moms, to say, “If I can do this, you can do this.” I was not an athlete growing up. I only started running less than two years ago. We have three kids, my husband is a resident, I homeschool and write and… I still find time to workout and my body thanks me for it!

I want to dedicate time this year to cheering on women who want to get started on this path or want to reach a new goal or need to get back on the treadmill or bike or whatever they were doing to improve their health before they stopped. {If you’re one of these women, please email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com and you will have yourself a health + fitness cheerleader!} This may not seem like a goal about personal growth, but I feel more alive and inspired myself when I’m connecting with and encouraging others, so there you go!

Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. ~Romans 15:32

finish more books

I made this big long list of books I wanted to read last year, and I read many books, but not the whole list. I also started a lot of books that I never finished. I’ve started this month with finishing off a few books I didn’t quite finish in 2013. I’m fitting more reading in here and there, keeping books all over the place to grab for five minutes of reading here and there as suggested by Crystal Paine in her book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. And my appetite for reading has definitely regained vitality. And I’m not putting a reading list out this year because new books keep popping up all the time and I don’t want to be tied down!


Sleep. Analog weekends. Family cuddles. Feet up, deep breaths, stillness. I need more rest in 2014. Earlier bedtimes are in order. I take a “quiet time” in the afternoon while the boys do as well and all of me breathes easier for the rest of the day. I’m finding at least one day a week, usually the whole weekend to unplug and just be. Taking time to rest used to seem to me a hindrance to getting all the things done. Life has shown me differently.

And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. ~Romans 12:1


Hmmm…turns out I had a lot to say about taking care of myself!

On the topic of self-care, can I share a few of my favorite reads for moms? Jessi from Naptime Diaries and Hayley from The Tiny Twig have been writing many encouraging things lately in this area. Please take some time to read and be inspired by these ladies.

How are you doing with taking care of YOU? What do you want to focus on for your personal growth this year?


Read more about my goals for vitality…


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VITALITY in Ministry

I’m using the word “ministry” very loosely here, but it was the only word I could think to describe my writing/speaking/online world!

This is not a life I ever envisioned for myself, but slowly, surely, I’m embracing the small voice that says, “This is what I made you to do. Right here. Right now.”

My education and experience are as an elementary music teacher, a job I adored completely. But when one little boy, then another joined our family, the call on my life was to come home. And I started a little old blog to keep our family and friends up-to-date.

I had no clue I would fall in love with writing, and very reluctantly, today call myself a writer. Sure, I wrote “chapter books” with my girlfriends all night at sleepovers in fifth grade. And yes, I wrote for my high school newspaper. But still… I was unaware I would enjoy so much encouraging women through writing and speaking. I didn’t know God would use writing as a processing and learning and growing tool for MYSELF.

This is the first full year I’m really embracing these roles of writer and speaker He has placed in my life. And to be a good steward of these roles, I’ve set a few goals for this year step out of timidity and into vitality…

Vitality in Ministry

write unashamed

There are so many posts I haven’t published – or never even wrote – because I wasn’t sure they would be “good enough.” That ends this year. The words God speaks are always good enough and even if they are just for me, they need to be written.

spread joy and encouragement

I was never an actual cheerleader, but I was always one of the most enthusiastic fans in the stands. Yes, I was even awarded “Fan of the Game” once, complete with a crown, sash, and a couch to sit on during the game. I want to be that person again for you. I want to be your biggest fan and encourager. I want this rediscovered joy and vitality to be evident in every word I write and speak, even when sharing about the tough stuff. That picture above? That’s what I’m talking about 🙂

serve + love others well

I have been so inspired by the women at {in}courage and The Influence Network to use my words and this blog and the social media world to love others well. You don’t have to live next door to someone to serve them or love them. Words have a lot of power and I’ll be asking a lot more this year how I can bless you and others through this space. And you can always email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com if you have questions or prayer requests – I won’t always respond right away because three children and homeschool and ALL THE THINGS, but I will always read your words and pray for you!

glorify Him

Not everything I write is about God, but I want every part of me to glorify Him, including writing and speaking. I’m letting go of the burden that comes with keeping track of pageviews and retweets and asking God that with each post or speaking engagement, His name is glorified. My prayer is that those who need to hear that message or read that post are the ones reached, whether it is one person or one thousand. All for Him. Not for me. There is so much life to be found in doing all things through Him and for Him!

Wow. It felt really good to write all of that out. And in this first month of 2014, it’s felt really good to writing with these things in mind. I look forward to a year full of rich, joyful experiences on this unexpected path from God!

What unexpected places has God taken you in ministry? What does vitality look like for you there?


Read more about my goals for vitality…


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Hello, My Name Is…

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met

Our family has loved the song “Hello, My Name Is” from Matthew West since it was released. Dancing to it in the kitchen, adding it to our running playlists, and singing loudly along with the chorus every time it comes on the radio. It is a fun song!

It is also a really important message and one God has been trying to cement in my spirit in several ways recently.

As I’ve mentioned, the past few years have involved many life changes for our family that left me tired, overwhelmed, unorganized, and uninspired. I lost my spark, but I also let these words become me.

Hello, my name is tired.

Hello, my name is overwhelmed.

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

These have been my labels for myself.

I just started a wonderful new book by my friend Holley Gerth called You’re Going to Be Okay. In the first chapter, she asks us to write down three words to describe who we are based on where we are in life right now. My words were the ones I wrote above, not because I am currently feeling that way, but because those are the words I have used to describe myself the most in the past year. She followed up this exercise with these important words…

Whatever you wrote is where you’re at, not who you are.

BAM. Nail hit on the head, Holley.

But what do we do with those labels, those things that have become who we think we are? Sometimes the labels are too sticky because they have been stuck on us {usually by our own selves} for so long. Pulling it off is so hard because we’re holding on to it as our excuse or we think moving past it might be painful.

In may case, I’ve been ready to move forward in life and joy and vitality, but I kind of forgot about removing those labels first. It’s hard to show who you really are wearing a name tag that defines you based on your circumstances.

That’s where we need God. And a little push from a good friend. For me, that good friend were Holley’s words as I read this weekend…

I love how Hebrews reassures us, “It is impossible for God to lie” {6:18}. Your circumstances will lie to you. Your emotions will lie to you. Even other people will lie to you. But not God. And because of this, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” {6:19}. Your identity is secure. Nothing going on in your life can change it.

I may feel tired, but that is not who I am. I may have let my to-dos pile up, but that overwhelming list is not who I am.

I am claiming myself as who God made me. How He sees me.

Hello My Name Is

So we’re going to do a little exercise together today because I’m feeling like we need to start this week throwing out the lies and garbage and bringing in the Truth.

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

Copy the sentence below and fill in the blanks with what you need to remember about how God sees you, sharing in the comments if you want to join in… {Please share – I want to pray for you and rejoice together in God’s names for us!}

I have been calling myself __________ , but that is not who I am. Hello, my name is _________.

Here is mine:

I have been calling myself tired and overwhelmed, but that is not who I am. Hello, my name is delight to the Lord my God. {Zephaniah 3:17}

Don’t cling to your circumstances and feelings. Don’t be ashamed to claim the wonderful things God sees in you. His Word is true for you and for me. And you are who HE says you are.


You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth releases February 4, 2014. It needs to be on your reading list. I received a copy as a gift from Holley and Revell Books, but I was not asked to write a review. I just couldn’t keep her words to myself 🙂

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Say Goodbye to Survival Mode!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

My focus this year is on vitality. In all areas of life. No longer just surviving, but rather living a full, energetic, passionate life. Choosing a word for the year is not just about having it there to motivate you – you have to do something. And while I was wanting to leave survival mode behind, I needed a plan to jump start my year of vitality.

That’s when Crystal Paine’s newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, came into my life.


I often love the concepts presented in non-fiction books like this one, but I have a hard time finishing them. I get overwhelmed by all of the things I should be doing and put the book away before applying any of the concepts.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a totally different story. I felt like Crystal was telling my tale of being overwhelmed, easily distracted, and just plain tired. As a fellow mom of three little ones, reading about Crystal’s path out of survival mode provided me with a lot of hope!

And along with hope, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode serves up nine strategies for moving forward with intention and life! My favorite strategies are along the lines of time management because that is where I struggle most. A few of my favorite tips:

Record what you do every half hour for 2-3 days.

I actually did this and WOW. So much wasted time here are there! But even just the act of recording what I was doing with my time made me be more intentional. I wanted to make better use of each chunk of time and I stopped doing a few unnecessary things that were showing up too often on the list!

Use those five minutes here and there.

Crystal includes a great starter list of things you could get done in that extra five minutes you have here and there instead of mindlessly surfing Facebook. I’ve started my own list to hang on the fridge to remind me that I own my time and can make it work better for me if I don’t waste it!

Set focused work time.

As an easily-distracted person, I have a hard time using time wisely. I have too many open windows in my browser. Multi-tasking is often my enemy and the thief of some of my vitality. I’ve been scheduling my days better since reading this book, and my writing time has been a lot more productive. Focused work time also means my time with my family is more focused as well.

These were my biggest “aha” moments, but Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is so much more than this. You’ll also find Crystal’s help to:

  • feel healthier and more energetic by setting priorities and boundaries
  • eliminate stress with savvy management of your time, money, and home
  • get more done by setting realistic goals and embracing discipline
  • rediscover your passions—and the confidence to pursue them

I don’t know many women who WOULDN’T benefit from reading this book, trying Crystal’s strategies, and finding life beyond just surviving! I am grateful to Crystal for sharing her life in such an honest and inspiring way and I am thrilled about the direction Say Goodbye to Survival Mode has me moving in for 2014!


To celebrate the release of her book this week, Crystal is offering a collection of amazing prizes for those who buy the book. Simply go to www.GoodbyeSurvivalModeBook.com now for details. And there are lots of special giveaways every day this week as well! You can also pick up the book anywhere books are sold, including Amazon.

Are you in survival mode? What area of your life could use a new strategy?


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VITALITY in Motherhood

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Wouldn’t it just figure that as I prepared to write this post about living out motherhood in a more lively and energized matter that my kids would kick into a mode that leaves me absolutely weary to the bone?!

Vitality in Motherhood

This concept of vitality in motherhood is something I so badly want to experience. Kids are tiring. It doesn’t matter whether they are boys or girls, young or old, whether there is one or ten. When we invest ourselves in the lives of another human being, our emotions will go on a roller coaster and our schedules will not be entirely our own.

Mother + Middle

I don’t want to just barely survive motherhood this year. I want to feel alive as a mother. I want my boys to know that I find joy in being their mother, not because every day goes exactly as I planned, but because they are a gift from the Lord and being their mother is my sacred calling.

Mom + Little Guys

I honestly don’t feel this vitality right now. I’ve seen glimpses of it. And I’ve captured those moments in my mental picture book because they give me hope on rough days. I also try to capture them as an actual picture whenever possible – with my phone or camera – because I see more clearly who they are and who I want to be in those life-filled, photographed moments.

Mother + Firstborn

I’ve also set a few goals to keep my focus on a more life-filled and life-giving season of motherhood…


be present

I wrote about this in my marriage post and the concept is the same here: when we’re together, I need to be all there. This doesn’t mean they all get my undivided attention all the time. That’s just crazy. But when they want to talk, when we’re playing a game, during school time, and so on, I need to stop trying to multitask away my time with the kids! Yes, I need to put away the phone more. Jessica from The Mom Creative just recommended the book Hands-Free Mama on Twitter yesterday and it immediately went on my must-read list this year!



The days I laugh with my kids are exponentially greater than the days I don’t. Laughter doesn’t always just happen on its own, and it definitely doesn’t happen when I’m not fully present {see above}. Already this year, I’ve started more tickle fights, laughed at even the most ridiculous jokes Little J has told me, and made the craziest silly faces with Big J. And it feels glorious to laugh this much. The boys already have silly in their bones, but I’m trying to bring it out and join in more! And have I mentioned Double J seems to be the silliest of all three boys? We’re in for a wild ride with that one!


really listen

My children are talkers. It almost never stops. Even when they are asleep. And, yes, they got the talkative gene from me. And because they talk and talk and talk and often repeat things an obscene amount times…I often tune them out. Guilty as charged. I’m afraid that my deaf ears now are going to teach these boys I don’t care about what they have to say, and when something more personal, life-changing, important comes up, they won’t come to me. I will gladly listen to every word they have to say now to show them I value them, their thoughts, their words, especially if it means they will talk openly about all the questions and problems and decisions they will have as they grow up. But please remind me of this when Little J wants to tell me the same joke for the billionth time…


inspire, encourage, teach, model

I know that heading is actually four headings, but for some reason, they went together as I was praying over this year. I let my life as a mother switch into a mundane, survival mode. And things like projects and hands-on lessons and encouraging notes from mom had completely fallen away. Things like this take extra time and effort, but they add so much vitality to the parent-child relationship! There is life in the words inspire, encourage, teach, model. I want to embrace each of them, asking God to show me which is needed in what measure each day.

Although I started this post as a tired mama, I do not feel defeated. Even as I’ve taken a few days to write this post, I’ve seen the things I’m focusing on this year make small, but wonderful changes in the way I feel about my role as a mother! I feel so much more aligned with God’s will for me as a mom, and I will pray each day He keeps me humble and in tune with His will.

What does vitality in motherhood look like for you?


Read more about my goals for vitality…


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

VITALITY in Marriage

We celebrated ten years of marriage last May. I still don’t have any expertise in the area of being a wife, but I do have ten years of experience, and this last year was one of the biggest years of revelation for me in this area.

I’m not writing a post full of marriage advice today, but a post full of my heart for where I want to grow as a wife this year. I loved The Hubby when we got married, but through three children and job changes and all the twists and turns of life, I didn’t imagine I could love him this much more. And I want to show him that love in the everyday, every day.

Vitality in Marriage

I’ve set goals and made resolutions about writing and motherhood and my time with God before, but I don’t know that I’ve ever really cast a vision for our marriage in this way. God gave me clear ways to add vitality and strength to our marriage this year:


Be Present

The hours we are actually together just the two of us are very few. Those hours often get filled up with online time and distractions and then it’s time to sleep and we weren’t really THERE with each other. This is almost always on my end. I want to show him that I value our time together enough to put everything else away and BE PRESENT. Watching TV is one of our favorite things to do together, but I tend to multi-task during this time. This year, I want to treasure our time, even our moments watching TV as a couple, cuddling or talking instead of tweeting or working.


Anyone want to give me lessons in this area? I’m kidding…mostly…but I really do want to be more intentional in flirting with my husband this year! It’s not that I don’t know what to do – I just need to act on it more! Flirting is fun and definitely adds spark to our marriage, so it is totally worth my attention in 2014! Plus, I think The Hubby is a hottie and he should hear that from me on a daily basis 🙂

Date Nights

Date nights take work and cost money, but I have never regretted a single date night we’ve taken. I just completely love spending time with The Hubby one-on-one away from everything else or even double dating with friends. In 2014, I want our date nights to be more frequent and I want to add some zest by trying new restaurants, doing more active dates, and just having fun being US. I put together a restaurant passport for our anniversary last year that lists lots of great restaurants in our area to try. I want to check off at least ten of those this year! Restaurant dates are our favorites because we love to eat and we love to talk for a long time after we eat!

Vitality in Marriage 1

Look AT Him, Not THROUGH Him

So, this could be an entire post in itself as it was one of biggest marriage revelations since having kids. Like most of you, when my husband comes home from work, I am often working on dinner and trying to keep kids from injuring themselves or one another. I see him when he comes home. We might give each other a quick peck. But I am usually looking through him to what needs to happen next.

In life as a mom and homemaker, there are ALWAYS things that need to happen next. And in my multi-tasking, ENFP brain, I have troubling focusing on the right here, right now. Even with The Hubby right in front of me, right across the table from me, right next to me on the bed, I spend far too much time looking THROUGH him to the things that seem urgent at the moment.

The truly urgent thing is my need to really look AT my husband. To appreciate him, to hear him, to see his needs and wants and dreams. I started to make this shift in December and I found even more love in my heart for him. I found him even more attractive. I saw more areas where I could be his helpmate and partner. This is life-changing, marriage-changing stuff for me, friends.

I also ASKED The Hubby how I could be a better wife this year. His answer was so simple and perfect and totally not overwhelming. Have you asked your spouse this question? It’s a great place to start.

I spent a lot of time praying for The Hubby in 2013 and that will continue, and I look forward to seeing how God blesses our marriage with this vision He has given!

What does a marriage full of vitality look like for you?


Read more about my goals for vitality…


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My word of the year for 2014 is vitality. This is a word I desperately want and need in every area of my life. This is the vision I have for one part…

When you are a follower of Jesus, your relationship with Him affects every other part of your life. I would say this relationship SHOULD affect the other parts of your life, but it just does. Whether you want it to or not. And I want Jesus to affect ALL of my life more in 2014.

I know the first place I need to add vitality in my life is in my faith. When I think of vitality in this area, the definition that speaks to me most is:

the capacity to live, grow, develop

My time with God in 2013 was more consistent, but it wasn’t as vibrant and alive as I know it could be. I long for more growth and vibrance in my walk with the Lord.

Vitality in faith

I envision vitality in faith for me in 2014 involving…

…being immersed in the Word.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active.” The times I’ve spent consistently and deeply reading the Bible have only made me hungry for more. My mind is sharp and focused in the right place when full of His Word. I know my heart, mind, soul need to be immersed in the truth to find the life and growth I’m longing for in 2014!

…worship at home.

Many of the most powerful moments in my journey of faith are marked by music – a worship night at church, the Lord speaking to me through a certain song on a Sunday morning, a worship concert. I feel so full of life during times of worship, but Sundays and special events just aren’t enough. I look forward to adding more times of worship to our daily life at home – to start our day, when we need to refocus, to close out the day.

…active prayer.

I believe strongly in the power of prayer…but I don’t turn to it nearly enough…until I really NEED it. 2014 is the year I get back on the offense with prayer. I want to pray more actively for my husband, my boys, the next step God wants me to take. Prayer is not a last resort. My prayers this year will be strong and active, full of the Holy Spirit’s leading!

…being strong + active in His will.

My steps of faith in 2013 were tentative and shaky. I am not a timid person, but for some reason I was missing that boldness of faith this year. When God shows me my next step this year, I will be stepping out in the confidence that He has GOOD plans for my life. The words “strong” and “active” has been so important to me this year, realizing that being physically strong and active was way more rewarding than being “skinny.” I’m embracing these words in my walk of faith this year, drawing on all the strength and grace God offers me freely.

I’m using Ephesians 4:15-16 in The Message as my inspiration for vitality in faith this year…

God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

What does vitality in faith look like for you?


Read more about my goals for vitality…


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My Word for 2014!

God wanted to grow me in many ways in 2013 and I fought Him most of the way.

Fighting God’s plans for us usually ends well, doesn’t it?

As 2014 begins, I’m thankful for His patience and grace, and for a new perspective on where He wants to take me. I’m grateful for another chance to embrace the ways He wants to stretch and guide and use me, no matter how uncomfortable it may make me in the moment.

This year is not a year to survive. It is not a year to feel safe. It will not be a year marked with laziness or frustration or exhaustion.

2014 will be full of my word of the year…

Word for 2014

When God spoke this word to me several weeks ago, I had to look it up to fully understand, but the more I read, the more I loved the word. LOVED. And the more I wanted to embrace its meaning in every single part of my life.

Vitality has many definitions and each one strikes a chord with me:

  • the state of being strong and active; energy
  • the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things
  • the capacity to live, grow, or develop
  • a lively or energetic quality
  • exuberant physical strength, mental vigor

And the synonyms are fabulous…


Becoming strong and active physically has been a new passion for me in the last year and a half. In 2014, I want this vitality to spread to my faith, my marriage, my mothering, my ministry. I’ll be fleshing out what I envision vitality to look like in each of these areas over the next week, more as a vision than specific goals. And that feels really amazing to say!

Have you chosen a word for the year?

I could think of no better way to commemorate this word and keep it with me all year long than the necklace pictured above from KraftyKash.

Krafty Kash

I adore all of her work, but her Word of the Year necklace is special because it also displays some of the word’s definition, reminding me of where God has asked me to put my focus – force, exuberant, drawing on His powers!

My sweet friend Kashoan has put these Word of the Year necklaces on sale for just $18 right now and use the code ONEWORD to get free shipping! And when you order yours or receive it, make sure you tweet a picture to @kraftykash with the hashtag #oneword or post it on her Facebook page!

Thank you to Kashoan for making this special piece for me in to kick off 2014 with vitality! It is a treasure to me!

Time to share your word for 2014!

Read more about my goals for vitality…


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook