So many goals swirling in my brain. So many dreams wanting to take root. I see them. They give me hope that new things are wanting to break through. This new year I want to take time to hone the craft of writing. Five Minute Friday is a great place for me practice and be encouraged by other writers as I write. I will set the timer for five minutes and then write. Here we go! I am excited to invite you in, welcome.
‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ‘
Time is a gift and yet we live as if we can control it. There are many ways to measure time and we can not make a smidgen more. I have not wisely been numbering my days throughout life. Sometimes I even forget that my days will end and that I don’t get to extend them. Many decisions I’ve made and consequences I have to live with remind of that. Recently, I have been counting down the years left with Sam. Last year, he turned 10 and he is fully embracing growing up. I, on the other hand, felt like I was punched in the gut when I realized he was now in the double digits and there was no turning back. I have 8 more years with him at home. I am praying that both he and I gain a heart of wisdom as we lean into the Lord’s teaching of numbering our days.
What is one way that you can see the Lord teaching you to number your days?
Cinco meditaciones que te invitan a caminar con fe en medio de la incertidumbre. Estas personas como tú y como yo con problemas y afanes de esta vida tuvieron temor y circunstancias incontrolables. En este año hemos vivido con el temor tan cerca como si fuera vecino. No solamente por la pandemia que haraza por el mundo aunque en gran manera tiene mucho que ver. Pero, porque la vida no para porque hay una pandemia aún siguen los afanes de la vida y al no ver salida queremos temer. Pero, estos ejemplos encontrados en el acontecimiento de la Natividad nos invitan a dejar ir el temor y a fijar nuestros ojos en Jesus nuestra verdadera esperanza. Ven te invito a meditar en la fidelidad de Jesus hacia estas personas que vivieron y tomaron parte en su nacimiento. Pero su fidelidad no se extiende solamente a ellos también llega hasta ti ahora y seguirá hasta su segundo regreso. Amen, si ven pronto Senor Jesus! Continua leyéndooslos aqui. Find the rest here.
If you know a friend who speaks Spanish forward this to them and bless them this advent season. Friends, if you speak English I also created an English devotional, The HopeFull Anthology: A Collection of Advent Prayers. Find all the information here.
Are you tired? worn down? Has this year attempted again and again to strip you of hope? Come close; lean in. Let your heart breathe in grace as you rest in the Hope of Glory. He is with you always, you are not alone.
Advent is here and with it comes joy and grief. Well, really this whole year has been a compilation of the two. Joy deep in our bones that we know its supernatural and can not be moved yet grief like waves seem to swallow up that joy in pain. Yet somehow we can come up to the surface and breath in His grace and realize joy remains. Music is one of the most beautiful ways I get pushed back up to the surface.
I invite you to join me to listen to play list below exhale the tension and inhale in hope this advent season. Be blessed.
The HopeFull Anthology
A Collection of Advent Prayers
This beautiful Audio devotional was created with you in mind. It is a minimal yet rich and hopefull audio devotional that will help root you into the truth of Advent, this year. You can find more information here on how to get it delivered straight to your inbox. Listen to the heart behind The HopeFull Anthology below.
The HopeFull Anthology was created with you in mind. It is a minimal yet rich and hopefull audio devotional that will help root you into the truth of Advent, this year. Each week of Advent you will receive one installment from the HopeFull Anthology right to your inbox. They are designed to help you set your mind on things above as you begin your week. Each installment will begin with a reading from scripture, followed by a short reflection, and will end with an advent prayer. Come and be comforted your hope is here.
All proceeds will go to Aide Hondurans affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota. Thank you for partnering with me. Donate here and receive your weekly Devotional.
Do you have a soup on your thanksgiving menu? If you don’t, I think this soup will change that real fast. This soup will make you feel cozy and thankful with its sweet notes that are enhanced by savory spices.
Here in Ohio, I savor watching summers fade into fall with annual anticipation. This is the golden time of year for me. Each dreamy fall day has marked my soul with their invitation to relish the beauty, to remember cycles and traditions, to let some things go. So, this Thanksgiving week as we let go of discontentment make this soup to nurture your soul. Wether it makes it on your Thanksgiving meal or for an easy meal after the celebration, I promise you will be glad you did. I invite you to set your table, light a candle, and let your tables nurture your health and open your heart to give thanks as you break bread together.
2 strips of bacon* 1-2 tbsp of olive oil or ghee* 1/2 of a shallot, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped 5 carrots, peeled and cubed 1 green apple, cubed 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed 1/2 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika 1/4 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 1 bay leaf 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (28 oz) 1 can of Whole fat unsweetened Coconut milk 2 cups of chicken broth 1/2 cup of boiling water
Shaved parmesan, manchego, or your favorite aged cheese Pumpkin seeds Crusty bread and a favorite salted butter
Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables.
Even as your are chopping and prepping, heat a large pot on medium heat and cook the two slices of bacon. Let the bacon get crispy but be careful it doesn’t burn. When the bacon is cooked to your liking remove it and set it aside, it will crisp up even more as it cools.
Add the tablespoon of olive oil or ghee to the pot. Then add your shallot and onion and let it cook, about 5 minutes, until it becomes translucent and smells divine.
Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic brown too much or it may turn bitter.
Add the cubed vegetables, carrots, squash, and apple. At this point you may need to add more olive oil or ghee* depending on how big your butternut squash is. As they sauté add the spices and let it all sauté for 15 minutes.
When the vegetables start to soften add the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Pour the half cup of boiling water in the empty tomato can to get all the sauce out, then pour it into the pot. Add the bayleaf and the two cups of chicken broth and let it simmer on medium for 20-25 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Do not let all of the water boil down. It should have lots of broth.
Heat up the oven and prepare the bread you want to serve. Cut up the crispy bacon and put in a bowl, set out a bowl of the cheese, and a bowl pumpkin seeds.
When the vegetables are very tender, taste it, you may need to add more salt and pepper. Add the can of coconut milk and let it simmer for a few more minutes maybe 4 or 5. Remove the bayleaf and transfer the soup to the blender, blend it until smooth. You can also use an immersion blener for this step.Serve immediately with warm crusty bread topping the soup with bacon, cheese, and pumpkin seeds.
Making this recipe should feel very comfortable and organic. Do not hesitate to add more of any of the spices to make it to your taste. *Ghee is a clarified butter that you can find almost in any store now. I love to sauté and roast with it but you can also substitute butter or olive oil. *When I don’t have oregano I substitute Herbs de Provence instead – you will love this herb blend! *You don’t have to use bacon if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian. *This soup tastes even better when shared with friends.
Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and although this year may look different around the table we still need to cultivate a thankful heart. I am once again pausing with the liturgy of the year, this holiday marking a moment for me to be still. To open our hearts can be difficult but one of the ways I find this practice easier is through music. Music is a beautiful usher, it leads my soul to deeper communion with my Creator. I have done the hard work for you and curated a play list that will usher your heart to open up in with thanksgiving!
I invite you to join me to listen to play list below exhale the tension out and inhale in hope. Be blessed.
A Psalm for giving Thanks.
I created a beautiful booklet for you and one for your kiddos so that together you can take some time to slow the hustle and rest together. This booklet will walk you through Psalm 100, gives space for coloring and doodling as well. While you read it and memorize together you will have the opportunity to add color and even write a thanksgiving prayer. You can find more information here on how to get it delivered straight to your inbox.
Preface: Two weeks ago on Monday, November 2nd, I came home from work and climbed into bed and as my body relaxed the tears flowed. My heart was there with the land in which I was born. I couldn’t even string words to explain what I was feeling, as I learned that Hurricane Eta had devastated Central America. Today, Monday, November 16th, in the midst of another devastation I was reminded of a poem I wrote while in High School.
This poem was written by a young gal wanting to process Hurricane Mitch in 1998. I would visit Honduras a year after that hurricane and intensely felt the devastation alongside my family. Here we are 22 years later and I am feeling the same sense of loss and grief for the beautiful country of Honduras. I am grieving the loss and devastation so deeply.
I hear my little sister’s laughter as she plays,
joyfully enjoying the sun’s soft fingers as they caress her warmly.
The day smells of sunshine and roses.
Suddenly I turn around to the sound of thunder Approaching us is an evil gray cloud It spreads a felling of gloom over the entire world.
Instantly the laughter stops the laughter stops. The beautiful smell sours, And silence is heavy as fog.
Only the sound of the howling wind Threatening with death is heard. The rain starts, slowly at first Spreading a clear blanket of water over us
It does not stop, it intensifies like rocks pelting my soul Stinging through and reaching my whole being.
No pause just pouring rain It seems as if each drop brings forth God’s fury I feel as though He is trying to wash us away.
The neighborhood is desolate Everyone has evacuated Escaping this rain created sea, Afraid its depth will swallow them up if they stay.
My family had to stay Where could we go? We huddle close giving each other warmth, We need each others comfort and strength to go on.
The food is gone Our time to depart has come The river will soon flow over Where my neighborhood once stood.
Oh, God, I tremble with fear Thunder rolls in hard closer now I know the current is headed this way.
“Run!” I hear the words “Go now” We start running We wade through waist deep water We must keep running leaving all behind We run into the frigid arms of fear.
In a second my hand slips from my mom’s I turn to look She is gone with my sister in her arms the current fierce and swirling is all I see.
I cry out into the deathly night I beg, “God please hear my plea. God, how will I live? Where will I go?” The current has taken all I loved.
I’m just a child, I feel so small. How do I go on alone? I turn to the sound of anguished cry It’s my neighbor and school friend.
He also cries out begging God please! The pain is too much to bear Our souls feel as if they are shattering Our entire families are gone.
We trudge towards each other Through the rain we find each other Afraid to be alone.
Time exists no more, hours turn into days Not knowing what life has in store for us We walk anyway Long hard hours of walking Through rain, lakes of mud, and fields of dead bodies
The tears have not stopped falling We cannot give up now We must reach help We must live
The loud crash bursts from behind I turn in time to watch, as if in slow motion, a mud slide Carrying and turning over everything in its path.
I stand my mouth agape I watch my country crumble into pieces Along with it our dreams Our happiness And our hard work
When will this end, Oh God, When will your mercy shine down Will your strength help us survive?
The rain has stopped. The sun has crept out of its hiding place Drying the wetness left by the rains But unable to dry our tears
Our hearts will cry forever As this tragedy is engraved in our soul.
A sound again behind me I turn not wanting to see more pain A truck is near to take us to safety I look up into the tear stained face of my blue-eyed neighbor, His arms envelope me.
He says: “ We made it Together with God’s help we will survive I turn to my pain and suffering. Yet I know, I am not alone.
My eyes into the distance are gazing As I cry not knowing what awaits us I reminisce on the beautiful past instead.
Still reeling from the shock of this odyssey
I am scarred for ever.
But hope, like the sun breaks through
I will see more good in this Life.
Farewells can be hard but they can also be hopefull encounters that help us prepare for new beginnings. This small offering from our hearts to you was a labor of love. Although we must say goodbye for now we trust that you are not alone and so we bless you today in love.
Hi friends, what an honor to be back with you and yet a bittersweet moment of Farewell. For this is our last episode for now. With open hands we held this offering of being a companion to you as we navigate a new way of schooling. We have loved helping you find refreshment in the Lord and giving you a practical step to help you learn alongside your children. This small offering from our hearts to you was a labor of love.
We pray that your hearts will be strengthened by the Grace that Is in Christ Jesus. Although, we can not walk the rest of the way with you, we pray that you know that He walks with you- always. You are carried by Him and he remains your glory and the lifter of your head.
Friends, if like me this year has been a year of shedding and letting go for you, I pray that your heart will be sustained by his grace. I pray that His love for you will come and settle your aching heart. I pray that your eyes will remain fixed on Him as you experience his generosity towards you.
One thing I do know for sure and “ this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion, “ Says my soul, “ therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24
So, once again I invite you to prayer. I am very aware of my forgetfulness and my self reliance and through prayer I can shed those and lean on his grace. I love this passage from the New Morning Mercies Devotional from Nov. 13th “ Real prayer is prayed in an attitude of what the Puritans called /importunity/, which is the condition of being troublesome or persistent because of a deep sense of urgency. It means being frightened into crying out for help. It is a condition of heart that is only there as the result of grace. It’s grace that causes you to acknowledge your sin. It’s grace that causes you to be frightened by where that sin can lead you. Its grace that opens your heart to the help that only God can give. Real prayer is motivated by that grace acknowledges your need for that grace. Prayer isn’t an announcement of personal righteousness, but a cry for help that rests in the righteousness of another, (Jesus) . Have you prayed today?”
So, what does this have to do with HopeFull Homeschooling? Everything. I am not called to carry all that comes with homeschooling but instead to bring it to Him and he will carry it for me. I am called to fix my eyes on Him and let him transform my heart as he shepherds both me and my children.
And iI leave you with the words of John o’Donahue, “ And so may a slow wind work these words Of love around you’, An invisible cloak To mind your life.” And I add alongside our friend Jesus.
What’s next? Find us on our Facebook group we will be posting there our next steps. There is a stirring in my heart as advent approaches and the Lord is birthing new things to keep us filled with His hope. Come and see!
Scripture So, I bless you with this scripture today. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Play, whether it occurs indoors or outdoors, is an integral way that our children experience and learn how to navigate the world in which they live. Daisy and Rachel discuss how play, particularly outdoors, has impacted their families in recent seasons.
I had the privilege of writing a piece for my friend Gwendolyn, over at the Wandering Hearth. It’s a piece that serves as an invitation to use the the rhythms of our home to store the word of God in our hearts. I invite you to join us there and help set your heart on the path for gratefulness all season long.
The kitchen provides for the table to be bountiful and it is there that provisions come from. Could we create space in the kitchen to post the psalm we are memorizing to remind ourselves that we don’t live by bread alone?
Because this year we all need a little extra help
Gwendolyn released the Thanksgiving in a Difficult Year Planner. It’s a printable guide that helps you get ready for the holiday as well as planning the Thanksgiving meal. This resource is chock full of great tips, ideas, and practical ways to make your thanksgiving a breeze. It will not only help you with a guest list planner, meal scheduler, and shopping lists. But it will also help you set your mind on practicing authentic gratitude, having meaningful conversations around the table, and encourage you to invite others along to giving back to those in need. She has thought of it all don’t miss it! Go check it out here.