True Love’s Testimony

“On the Jericho Road, there’s room for just two.  No more and no less, just Jesus and you.  Each burden he’ll bear, each sorrow he’ll share.  There’s never a care, for Jesus is there.”  – On The Jericho Road

This is my personal testimony, my most intimate story of how love rescued me.  Of learning about the greatest story ever written or recorded.

I made a promise a long time ago to to take any opportunity given to share this story with others.  It’s definitely not easy telling your most intimate story, but through my weakness he continues to grow me and make me strong.  My true love has taught me to trust.  He has stretched me enough times now that I still haven’t gotten used to it, but I’ve learned to believe in it.   To believe in the greatest love.  To believe that every. story. matters.  To believe that we’re here to share life, share love, and share encouragement with one another.  Over time, I’ve learned to trust him more and more because each time I go to him and surrender he leads me to greener pastures.  This brings me to one of my favorite verses in the bible.  A psalm of David…

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quite waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Psalm 23:1-3

Now, let’s start at  the beginning of this testimony about the one true LOVE.

I was a little girl raised happy and healthy with more than enough love.  It’s funny how God used that to build my curiosity about this thing called love.  When my mother and biological father had me, my real father was unable to overcome his struggles with addiction and so he separated himself from us.  This could have gone wrong, but love stepped in.  My grandparents took us in and my grandfather took care of me as his own.  Shortly after, my mom met the man I now call my dad, Keith.  He was happy to bring love into my life as well.  He adopted me and I am forever grateful for his compassion and unconditional love. I had such an abundance in an area that could have seemed so hopeless.  I had to learn more about where this thing called LOVE came from.

Thankfully I had family and friends who took me to church.  I was able to learn who God was and especially about HIS love.  I asked him to come into my heart at 8 or 9, it was around 3rd grade.  I was changed.  He gave me a pure heart and a love for others.  The start of something I knew was worthwhile and worth clinging too.

So here’s were it gets interesting.  You were probably thinking that my life was just happily ever after after that, not so.    Since I loved others so much… during my adolescent years, I pretty much got along great with everyone (the good, the bad, and the ugly;).   I made time for these people over GOD.  I lacked maturity and wisdom because of this and I began a journey of poor decisions, hurt, disappointment, shame and hard lessons.  I used a lot of my time and wasted plenty of energy doing lost, worthless, and selfish things.  Among those, a long dead end relationship that I had to learn to let go of, a bad habit of drinking and driving that led me to a terrible crash, and a turning point.

It was when I crawled out of the seatbelt I was hanging from in that upside down car and tossed out all the beer bottles mixed with shattered glass around me that I looked up and said, “ok God I get it, you have a plan for me.”  However, like I said, it was just the turning point.  He had more than a plan for me, he wanted to use me in HIS PLAN.

I started then seeking a better lifestyle, praying constantly for guidance and direction.  He was starting to shape me I guess because he brought a wise man, a god fearing man, into my life.  My husband, Jared.  Things began to be promising, we shared the same values, goals and dreams and before we knew it we we’re married with 3 babies and more responsibilites than we knew how to handle.  Although I went to church and prayed I was still not giving GOD my time or attention, and I wasn’t putting him first.  I was only interested in how he could help me, not how I could help him?

My life crumbled… I was trying to make the best decisions for my life ALONE.  It wasn’t working.  I noticed quickly that the effects of my decisions were slowly destroying me.  I felt broken, hurt, empty and alone.  Adulting was hard, and I was desperate for help.  Why didn’t someone tell me marriage wasn’t a fairly tale, why didn’t someone tell me my kids would drain me, why didn’t someone tell me I sucked at managing money, or I wasn’t fooling anyone by being a “pretty good person.”  I really needed to learn more about myself so that I could GIVE more of myself.  No one told me because those are hard things to teach.  I finally fell to my knees and surrendered it ALL.

When I finally opened the bible, tears fell on each page as I read through practically the whole new testament in one night.  I found myself worshipping and praising this great story and this great love that was offered ME.  The greatest story I’ve ever heard… the good news.  He’s here to help.  He’s an expert at our life because he created it.  If I’d only surrendered and joined his team sooner, spent time with him, learned more about him, trusted him, and love him.

I’ve walked with and without him in my life and It’s much easier with him.  “When you know better, you do better”- A quote from Maya Angelou.  Now, this doesn’t  mean my life is super easy now, I still face countless challenges and trials and it feels like even more actually because I’m convicted by the one who cares..  He wants me to chose the right way and mostly that’s the hard way.  But that is where the good fruit is, that is were you grow and become who he made you to be.  Where he comforts you and holds your hand.  I had to relearn all I thought I knew, I also had to confess that I didn’t know much. 😉  We humans want to have it all figured out.  I think the real knowledge is to understand that we’ll never have it all figured out.

 I wanted to share some things he has helped me to figure out though.  Each fundamental area in my life has improved and developed much deeper meaning and fruit since I’ve based it all on my faith and the scriptures.  My spiritual, physical, financial, and personal hobbies/career have developed into extensions of my life that exist to serve others rather than myself.  I look at relationships differently now too.  Family, friends, my church, and my community have meaning and significance more than ever!  These things are still not where I dream them to even be, but I’ve seen incredible progress in them that bring me more fulfillment and happiness in life than I’ve ever known.

Once I experienced it, there was just no denying it.  It’s what keeps me motivated to stay the course,  to run the race,  to live for the most,  and to have victory.  I challenge you all to reflect on your own story.  What will you be remembered for, what will you rejoice about?  Start writing your story down.  What will it be the story of… hope? redemption? suffering?  We all have a path that matters and a lesson worth sharing.  Do you see God’s hand in it?

Love To You,

KC

 

Home Sweet Home… 10 Favorites To Love

There are always those special products or places that I find myself falling in love with!  The ones that have something extra sweet about them!  In honor of Valentine’s this month I’m sharing 10 favorites to love.  The perfect touches to warm your heart and home!

Enjoy!

xo, kc

1  farm girl flowers – terrain

2  calm bath salts – urban outfitters

3  carved serving board for cheeses + chocolates – terrain

4  house slippers – huckberry

5  all you need is love sign – sugarboo and co.

6  tub caddy – peg and awl

7  candle – anthropologie

8  the magnolia journal – magnolia homes

9  everyday i love you pillow – sugarboo and co.

10  throw- anthropologie

 

Love To Love… Kindness + Cards + Candy

My valentines hard at work.  They love this holiday and so do I!  Showing love and receiving love is what I believe makes the world go round.  Kindness matters and makes a difference.  How are you showing kindness this Valentine’s?

We are planning to give cards + candy to friends and family.  At the new year, Finn set a personal goal this year to use more kind words, (he has a bit of a potty mouth) so this has been an extra special opportunity for him to practice sharing more love;)  Jake is all about reading and writing the cards himself this year, and Kody is adding her best creativity to make each one from the heart.

At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to have more experiences and memories with my parents and grandparents, so this valentines I put together a treat for my dad’s parents who don’t get to go out much.  The daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters in the family made a dinner and desert to take them with a special card and some flowers.  Our hope was for them to enjoy a special dinner together this Valentines.  They loved it, and we got to hear their sweet love story.  I love hearing people’s stories.  Everyone has a story, and every story is important.

“There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love, if you could read their story.”-Hinkley

 

LOVE TO LOVE,

KC

Cold Wear… The Best Gear + My Simple Workout

I’m not a true blue worker outer if I’m being honest… ; p  I love being in shape and active, but it’s never been a priority for me to spend lots of free time making sure I have the perfect body.  Of course, we’d all love to have a model’s figure, but what’s most important is being a model of fitness.  Being dedicated and consistent in taking care of yourself and continually learning to focus on your wellness.  Not for the sake of vanity and good looks, but for the sake of feeling healthy and giving your best to yourself and others.   When your mindful of this, I think it’s only natural that your outer appearance will shine!

As a busy mom I don’t have the luxury of a lot of TIME for working out, I set aside ten minutes every morning to do a few little moves to get my body’s blood pumping for the day.  Ten minutes is pretty doable and I easily fit in 3 sets of 10 jumping jacks, push ups, and crunches of some kind ;P  It doesn’t take long at all and It’s something that I can modify on days I’m not feeling quiet with it, or vamp up for days I’m feeling good!  It’s a part of my morning rhythm and it gives me some extra energy to start the day.  It’s not a work out that will change my figure or anything like that…. However, it does keep me strong and toned.  It’s surprising how small amounts put in daily can add up over time!

I typically work out in my pajamas before I even get ready, but I wear active wear or work out clothes most every day just because they are so comfy and cute!  I’ve linked below some of my favorite winter pieces I love to work out in or just wear.

-Xx

-sweater-

-leggings-

-shoes-

-shades-

-flask-

Live For The Most,

KC

Winter Roast + The Reason We Cook Wild

My husband is an avid outdoorsman. He has a great appreciation for nature and wild life.  When we dated, he loved teaching me about the land and the waters and he has always had big dreams of us living off our land.   He would hunt, fish, or gather garden goods, to prepare meals for me that I had never tried before.  To my surprise, I always loved what he made!  He took great pride and care in preserving our food this way and I have to be honest, it really impressed and inspired me.  I’m a total foodie, but it always seemed much easier to me to run to the market and buy the items.   He changed my mind though.  He taught me the respect and the art of gathering our own food from nature.  He showed me the quality and significance it can have.

It is important to us for other reasons as well… It saves our family money when we can provide our own food, and the quality and nutritious value is much healthier.   Since we’ve been married it’s been a shared goal to learn how to prepare good meals using the food we’ve gathered.  We typically eat one meal a week using gathered meat or fish and we hope to add our own vegetables and fruits to our meals throughout the years!  Each of our families have always had big gardens so we typically receive a lot from them, but we plan to start tending our own small garden this year.

We will be sharing one seasonal meal every few months that your family can gather and prepare together.  For winter, a slow cooked roast is a must.  Comfort food, comfort food, comfort food!  Slow cooking tenderizes the meat really well and also takes the game flavor out.  Here’s the recipe we use for a Winter Pot Roast…

Ingredients:

venison roast

yellow onion

salt and pepper

herbs de provence

beef bouillon cubes

water

potatoes

carrots

Recipe:

preheat oven to 350

flavor raw meat with salt, pepper, and herbs

cut onions

brown onions and sides of meat in an iron skillet

(this is a key step that helps keep the flavor and juices sealed)

place onions and meat in a dutch oven

with 5 beef bouillon cubes

and 5 cups of water

cook for 2 hours

add potatoes and carrots

cook for 1 more hour

ENJOY!

Something great to add to this meal is beer bread!

 

preheat oven to 350

combine 1 can of beer, 3 cups of self rising flour, and 1/2 of cup sugar

pour into a deep, small baking pan bake for 30-45 minutes

when it comes out of the oven

poke small holes on top

and drizzle with butter

SO YUM!

live for the most,

KC

 

How Finding Time For Chores Will Free Your Time For More

Chores.  We flinch at the word.  They’re boring, hard, and time consuming.  They’re not fun.  Unfortunately they’re not going anywhere.  They are part of our lives.  In order to live comfortably we have to take care of business.  In order to be good homemakers we have to be good at taking care of our homes.  When our work is done we have room for other opportunities.  The old quote work hard to have fun is a classic saying for a reason.  We have to find time for chores so we can free our time for more!

As a wife and mother I used to dread chores.  I felt like it was an endless task list of mundane things that I could never get caught up on.  It was the same darn routine over and over with no end in sight.  I felt like I was spending my whole day doing these small little tasks and when I’d look back I couldn’t tell what I’d even done?   It was a cycle and I was the hamster doing circles on the wheel.  Even worse I never had time for other projects, or deeper things around the house.  I was reacting to basic chores, when I should have been proactive.  I knew there had to be a more efficient and productive way to keep things in order.  I wanted my time back to do things that gave me energy rather than drained my energy.

That’s when I discovered a daily rhythm.  A daily rhythm is how I started finding time for chores and freeing time for more!  A daily rhythm is similar to a routine, but not like a strict schedule.  It offers flexibility, but keeps you aligned on the tasks you need to do.

All you do is break your day up into time frames and put together the pieces as your day flows.

When thinking about where to include chores in my daily rhythm I began thinking of how our day typically flowed…

1. what things were required for our basic needs to be met?

2. what things would have to be done in order for us to be caught up each day?

3. what areas was I lacking or always behind in?

For me, it was chores like cooking, dishes, and laundry, etc…   These were things I tried to squeeze in everyday as I went along, but never made actual time for.  When you sit down and list these out they take a certain amount of time to accomplish.  Hence the reason doing them sporadically all day was really taking a big chunk of my time and keeping me sidetracked from other productive things.  I discovered I wasn’t giving myself a chance to get these basics done because they didn’t have a true time frame within my day!

I noticed the most critical chore had to do with meal time so since I would be setting time aside in my rhythm for that, I simply added some extra time in that frame to do a few other chores.  I decided to revolve my chore rhythm around meals.  I divided them into two parts, breakfast and supper.  I had to feed my family so since that was already a requirement I gave myself 30 more minutes after meals to tackle required chores.  I was sneaky here, I made the chore rhythm a time when my family was around to help;)  So after meals we race to get the required chores done that way we can do the things we think are fun!

If you’re looking to start finding time for chores and freeing time for fun follow these few steps:

  1.  Decide on a time frame in your daily rhythm to insert some basic everyday chores. ( I do some chore time twice a day, once in the a.m. and once in the p.m. )
  2. Decide on a few specific areas you plan to focus on during this time.  ( I keep it narrowed down to 3 -5 chores that are required for my families basic needs to be met) … examples: a.m. – dishes, laundry, pets, and plants p.m. – dishes, laundry, sweep, and trash
  3. Decide to see it through each day.  (Once you’ve planned this designated time to do these few critical things every day you will keep on track and build your momentum for getting things accomplished)

In closing I hope this exercise has givin you inspiration about the importance of chores in our daily lives as well as a good strategy to get you accomplishing what’s important in your home life.

live for the most,

kc

Perspective

What is it about perspective that helps us see more clearly?  At each new level of life we gain perspective and we wish we could have understood it long before…  As I approach the new year looking back on what’s been done, and looking forward at what’s to come, I can’t help but have a new perspective… one that’s a little different.  One that remains the same.

Each one of us are unique and will go through a variety of circumstances to help teach us things as we go.  Rather than thinking of perspective as always changing with each new experience however, I’m realizing I wish to have a perspective that stays the same… to think that regardless of what happens good or bad, I stay true.  Not in a bad, non growth type of way, but in the way that I keep my integrity.  I try to do good whatever comes my way.  I stay constant.  In fights with my husband, or bad days with my kids, I choose to lift my thoughts to higher ground.  I’m learning to be stronger and that I can change a lot by my perspective and response.

Yes, there will always be mistakes and lessons learned, but I’m committing this year to keep my perspective on a higher level than just each high and low.  Rather to focus on a heavenly perspective and ask myself in each new season, place, disagreement, achievement…. what is the bigger picture?  how can this honor god?  what is god teaching through this?  I’ve started noticing this more in my life and it truly helps me take the focus off of me and have a much clearer perspective and idea for what I should be doing with my life.  It helps in those little and big moments of life and it’s part of my new year’s resolution.  My word this year is C O N S I S T A N C Y.  So here’s to a consistant perspective!

A Christmas Bunnyhouse

Hi, this is Dakota.  I’m doing a takeover on the blog for my mom KC today.  I’ll be showing you the details of my bunnyhouse that I  decorated for Christmas.  I thought the little critters would like a festive home for the holidays too!  I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!