Thursday, January 1, 2015

Why I Left

I am a coward.


A yellow-bellied coward.

A while back, I wrote this amazingly transparent blog post, one of my most popular to date, and I tucked my tail and ran.

I'll tell you why.  I was going through a very trying time with my husband's extended unemployment season and God wanted me to pour it all out

right here

on this blog

for the world (or my little small piece of it, anyway) to see.

He wanted me to share about my joys, angst, teary midnight hours, debilitating fear, and, most importantly, my guilt about not going back to work when my husband couldn't find a job.

Lamb to the slaughter is just not my thing.  I don't look good in bloody white wool.  Sorry.  Let's be real.  That's what would've happened.  A social media crucifixion from those who would've raked me through the coals as a lazy bon-bon eating housewife who was too selfish to go forth and conquer in order to help her husband.  Or, so I imagined in my head, anyway.  But, really.

What kinda woman does that?

This one.

Why? When we knew there was a possibility that he would lose his job due to economic downturn, I cried out to the Father and said, "Lord, it's your girl, Trina.  You know me.  I'll go in and knock it out of the park.  You just say the word.  You told us to homeschool these three boys you gave us, but if you need me to end this season for a while and grab my bat, I will.  I've got common sense, Lord, and if it calls for a game changing play, I'll win one for the team.  Put me in the game, Coach.  However, if you want me here, at home, then I want you to tell my husband.  If he loses his job, I'm going to ask him what he wants me to do.  If he says to stay home, I will know without a shadow of a doubt that you called that play, because we both know it will take an act of the Supernatural to get him to say something like that in such a time as this!"

Then, he came home in the middle of the day.  He said, "They let me go." I held him tight and I said, "Put me in the game, coach." Then, he told me he wanted me to continue to homeschool the kids

at home

as God has called me to do.

My stomach dropped down to my toes.

Try explaining that to people who love you and are concerned about your family.  It doesn't go over too well.  I felt raw.




It was so hard to lean in and trust.  It was so hard to keep my eyes on Him as He led us out upon the waters and ignore the looks, comments, and well-meaning talking-to's.

If I dealt with that in my daily life, why in the world would I subject myself to the type of potential backlash that could occur from posting it in the blogosphere? I ignored the messages from people who told me they were inspired to trust God more because of what they saw us walking through.  I didn't take encouragement from the many who silently supported us and uplifted us.

No, when God wanted to use this little blog as a means to offer inspiration and hope to my very few readers and Facebook friends as I shared about walking through that journey with Him, I panicked.

 And I hid.

And I left the blogosphere.

I dimmed my light and receded into darkness, keeping the many ways He showed up and showed out in our lives to myself.

So, that's the truth.

I left because, in my moment of very broken humanity, I imagined my God too small to fulfill what He said He would do to His glory through my life story.

Don't we all?  At some point, we all stumble and take our eyes off of Him.  Isn't that why we need a Savior?

I left, but I'm back, and I may or may not write later about why I came back.  Thanks for sticking around.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Night of 2014

I always thought the "one word for the New Year" thing was trendy and hokey, until out of nowhere, the Lord dropped one on me on the last day of 2013: "Live," as in the verb. Immediately, the scripture reference came .

John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  

So, I was excited because it was just too weird and yet so promising, and I came up with all these plans and resolutions for what I thought He was referring to. Well, summer came and the resolutions didn't happen and I was feeling down. So, I stopped thinking about "Live" and moved on with my life. 

Last Saturday, as I was driving, the word came back to me and I saw clearly how God meant it when He said "Live." It was like a tape played and He recapped all the ways He has delivered me this year from my stinking thinking that has really held me back and had me bound for years, the issues He's resolved that were past their expiration dates, and the ways he has bound up and healed my emotional and spiritual wounds this year and set me on a new path to really live and live freely in, through, and for Him. 

The visual image I had as the tape played was of buckles popping open 




as the images played and, of course, the praise began. 

So, yeah. 

I'm thankful and grateful to serve a faithful and loving God who stands by His word and promises. When the tape finished playing, He gave me a new word: Release. 

I'm not making any plans for it. 

I'm just going to wait and see what He's going to do in 2015 with that word. 

To God be the glory. 

Happy New Years. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I started some changes back in September and I want to talk about the inspiration for those changes for a moment.  I was walking out of Lifeway when I saw these beautiful journals adorned with jewels and butterflies and I just had to stop and buy one.  They were on sale, too.  Can't beat that! I wanted to write my story and record my journey to wellness and, ultimately, hopefully to a sense of wholeness.

Here's the deal.  I'm 36 years old.  I've spent my entire adult life waiting to be something.  To be thin. Healthy. Happy. Successful.  Accepted. Capable.  Fill in the blank here.  You know, "Once I get skinny, I will ______."  Well, I that got me absolutely nowhere quickly and I stayed there for a very long time.

In September, I had a wake up call.  Some loved ones and dear friends are battling serious health issues.  They have shown me just how fleeting and precious life is and that we cannot take these bodies for granted.  I only get one life and I need to take care of it.  Also, I need to focus on what matters: God and family.  That's it.

There are lots of great things, but sometimes you have to pare down and focus on the majors. 

Most importantly, and I hate to say this, but I saw a common denominator in my research on some of the issues they are facing...being overweight.  Now, don't get me wrong.  There are other factors, but that was the glaring common denominator and the one thing that I share with all of them.

So, I've made up my mind.  I will be healthy.  I am praying for good health and long life.  However, if I want God to bless me with that, the least I can do is take care of what he's already given me.  Also, some things are hereditary, but if I happen to get any of these ailments, I don't want it to be because I didn't do my part.  That would be very hard to take.

So, in this beautiful journal, I've been recording my journey.  I'll share some of the excerpts here as I work out this growth thing.  Some things are just too personal, but I'll try to be as transparent as possible without hurting those who are near and dear to my heart.

It's time. I'm ready.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's Been a While

It's been a while.  Life has changed.  I'm still here.  I wish I had a clearly marked road map for where this is going, but I don't.   I am here.  I am back.  I am ready to write.  Please stick around.  The most exciting road trips are the ones without a clear destination.  I hope we don't run out of gas because that's a whole 'nother story.  Never the less, take this joy ride with me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 2013 Goals

I almost broke out while making this list, because this is so new for me.  I've decided to evaluate my 2013 goals and break them down into monthly goals to help me reach my objectives. During the process, I realized that some goals were measurable and weren't going to be completed until the end of the year.  Others were basically procedures I wanted to implement.  For example, committing to a 30 minute time of devotion in the mornings is more of a procedure.  Here is my list of short-term goals for January 2013.

Personal Goals:
Memorize Proverbs 31:10-17
Complete weeks 11 and 12 of Bob Green's Total Body Makeover
Read chapters 1-18 of Homeschooling by Heart by Kristina Sabalis Krulikas
Lose 4 pounds

Marriage Goals: 
Ask hubby daily how he wants me to pray for him and/or help him

Mothering Goals: 
Finish weeks 12-14 of Higher Up and Further In Year 1 with Man Cub 1
Start ABC book with Man Cub 2 and complete letter pages for A-C

Family Bonding Goals:
Create list of Family Adventures and go on January's adventure
Create list of family field trips and go on 2 this month 
Create list of parks and visit 1 this month

Homemaking and Organization Goals: 
Finish weeks 1-4 of 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge
Cook 2 new meals
Familiarize myself with my sewing machine by working through the guide that came with it
Read and work through the baking section of my favorite Better Homes and Garden Cookbook
Create monthly goal sheets
Create weekly schedule and chore chart
Create daily chore schedules and possibly check off sheets

Financial Goals:
Talk to hubby about strategy for completing Steps 1 and 2 of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

Business/Blogging Goals:
Read website for business I'm considering investing in
Read website for dream business
Talk to hubster about how much to invest in setting up shop for third business venture

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Goals for 2013

Inspired by Money Saving Mom's Crystal Paine, I decided to jump in and share my goals for 2013.  In the past, I would try to remember to create new goals around my birthday in June, but I would always forget.   However, I haven't really been feeling like I'm accomplishing as much as I would like to accomplish, so I thought I would use her categories to help me organize my thoughts on what I hope to implement this year. 

This looks like a staggering list, but not when you take a closer look.  Honestly, I'm at a point in my life where it's either get some of this stuff under my belt or just continue to let life pass me by.  I'm not going out like that, so I guess I'm going to just get 'er done.   I'll keep you posted on how it's going throughout the year. 

Personal Goals:
Give 30 minutes to God every morning so I can have time to let Him guide my devotions
Memorize Proverbs 31: 10-31
Memorize 1 Corinthians 13
Memorize James 1
Read 3 personal development books related to spiritual growth and apply them
Return to using my categorized prayer lists to rotate specifically praying for myself and others daily
Complete Bob Green’s Total body Makeover Beginner Level (2 weeks left!)
Complete Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred
Complete Couch to 5K in the spring and run a 5K
Get at least 7 hours of sleep at least 5 days out of the week
Wake up at 5 am, have devotion, exercise, and dress by 7 am
Read 24 books and apply them
Reinstate 1 Saturday a month for Mom’s Day Out
Reach my end-of-year weight loss goal

Marriage Goals:
Work through Stormie O’Martian’s Power of a Praying Wife 3 times (once each quarter)
Read and apply 3 Marriage Books
Start meeting to discuss scripture with my love weekly
Reinstate planning sessions: yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly
Have date night at home every Sunday evening
Date night out once a month
1 overnight stay (even if at home) without the boys
Remember to ask him daily how he wants me to pray for him and/or help him

Mothering Goals (I love that term):
1 20 minute weekly date night before bed every week they are home
Use Age Appropriate Chore List to help them learn chores
Teach Man Cub 1 how to cook by working with me on all meals
Finish HUFI Year 1 and start HUFI Year 2 for CM subjects with Man Cub1
Start Saxon Math 65 with Man Cub 1 at age 10
Finish HUFI Preschool with Man Cub 2 and start HUFI Kindergarten(sniff!)
Start Before Five in a Row with Man Cub 3 at age 3
Bake once a week with the boys
Teach Man Cub 1 how to set goals, plan, and achieve with one self-directed project
Swimming lessons for Man Cubs 1 and 2 this summer
Potty-train Man Cub 3
2 arts/crafts projects per month
Outdoor play for at least 30 minutes every day unless it’s raining or they are sick

Family Bonding Goals:
Complete 1 Family Adventure per month
Go on 2 field trips each month
Visit at least 12 different parks this year
Complete1 family service project, if possible (need to check age requirements)

Ministry/Friendship/Extended Family Goals:
Connect with and pray with/for accountability partner weekly
Get together with friends for a playdate at least once a month
Complete at least one planned act of service each month
Contact my parents/grandmothers weekly
Contact via phone, email, or text my sisters and sisters-in law monthly (1 per week)
Host guests at my house at least every 3 months
Attend one Christian women’s conference or workshop this year
Attend Texas Home School Coalition Conference
Visit each grandparent once this year
Send two notes of encouragement per month
Connect (whether phone, email, card, or text) with a friend or cousin twice each month
Send out Christmas cards this year!
Let the boys call and talk to their grandparents once a week (alternate grandparents)

Homemaking and Organization Goals:
Create a system that works for me by the end of January and stick to it
Cook at least 2 new meals per month
Learn to sew by practicing bi-weekly
Learn to bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes by practicing bi-weekly
Sit down and plan/assess my month/week every month/week
Review my goals weekly, monthly, and quarterly
Financial Goals:
Complete Baby Step 1 and start Baby Step 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
Buy a new camera  
Redecorate Man Cub 1's  room to make it a preteen room (sniff! sniff!)

Business/Blogging Goals:
Blog at least once a week, but commit to once a week
Take a writing or blogging course
Professional development course for proofreading or editing
Research investing in the 2 businesses I’m considering by June
Start the business that is close to my heart in the last quarter
Look into selling on Amazon or Ebay and have it up and running (if interested) by March

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Priority Shift

Mordecai, the Jew, was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of the Jews.  Esther 10:3

It is in those coveted still hours of the morning when all is quiet in the house that I find it easiest to devote myself and my time to God.   What I really love are those moments when the Lord causes a paradigm shift that totally flips my thought life, causing radical life change.  Such a time was this.

I was finishing up Chapter 10 of the book of Esther and found myself spontaneously praying that I could learn to do the right thing in adverse situations so that I could also have the reward of elevation like God did for Mordecai.  Then, the Holy Spirit convicted me and pointed out the fact that Mordecai, Queen Esther's biological cousin and adoptive father, received his elevation because his actions were in service to God and his people.  The elevation was a natural overflow of righteous living.

I need to get my priorities in order.  

God first.

Simply because He is God.

Sometimes, we seek to be elevated but God desires that we follow Him.  That we do what's right simply because it pleases Him.  In relationships, we study our loved ones to find out what pleases them and we put that thing on repeat because we desire that relationship with them.  We crave their happiness because it inspires our own happiness.

God wants us to do the same for Him. That, alone, should be our heart's motivation.

To do what is honorable because it furthers our relationship with Him.  Then, He will elevate us if He chooses, but that is just the icing on an already rich and decadent cake.  I can't afford to miss out on the deliciously moist richness of the cake itself, because I'm too busy trying to get to the icing.