I’m sorry to be absent from writing for so long. I have been pretty sick for weeks. So…I’m back and feeling better thanks to some hefty meds that have helped me, and the prayers of friends. Thank you all!
As my energy was kind of low, I had time to consider my year of 2017 and how it has started. A new year always brings excitement and expectation for me. I can’t wait to see what God will do with the new, clean slate before me. Into the year only a few days, I found out how ours would begin. What happened you asked? Prayers answered! I’m so thankful for new beginnings!!!
- Our home refi was completed to get it back to a VA loan. It went through finally, and papers were signed right in our home! What a blessing that was to have off our plate. Our moving of one house and buying another has not been an easy path for us. One thing after another kept happening. But God heard our prayers, and answered. That is off our list!
- I really wanted to make a trip back to Norway. As hubby and I were having coffee and mocha one morning, he said, “Do you think Aaron would want to go to Norway if he could go?” I said, “I think so. But if he went we would also have to consider that Ethan would have to go with him. That is a big issue for us.” Hubby said, “Why don’t you ask him if he would want to go if he could.” So I did and Aaron said yes. I went the first time and took Jesse, my youngest. Now my middle son and grandson are going this time. Now THIS is pretty miraculous!! Because we are talking our budget here. BUT…God. He has provided. They will have the experience of a life time and we will be doing that together. Something I hope will never be forgotten in the lives of my sons and grandson!
- We have siding completed and windows completed on the house. Finally…after months of waiting and waiting. I love how it looks and it is so much more cozy in the house also. My cabin is amazing with all the windows and light that comes into my sweet little cabin! It brings me great joy.
With all He has provided already, I also believe He has called me to dial back. Consider what I involve myself in, and really examine where I need my focus and efforts to go with social media and ministry. I am in the process of closing my groups on MeWe, not that I didn’t enjoy doing that, but I had six very successful groups in that place, and it takes a lot of time to post and create each post, let alone keep the communication happening. When you blog, you are always thinking of what to share next and there is planning to make it all come together. Each small presence in social media I have, is something that burns up time. If we try to do too many things, we are so busy with that, that life flies by us. I have more of my life behind me than before me, and I just don’t want to miss a thing! It’s how I have lived my life and I desire that more than ever now!
My priority has always been God first and then my family and friends, and then my involvement in ministry. So as I have examined my involvement, I have noticed a shift. It has taken more and more time, and stole some time from my top priorities. I believe that God is asking me to streamline my life in many areas and this is one of them. So just so you know, I will be continuing my blog here, but only at journeysofmyheart. I will be closing out my Heart and Soul Escapes blog, or combining them in how I post.
I will be working with the photography through my photography website, JoAnnShiley.com which offers a blog opportunity where I will share basics of photography and hints I find helpful. I will encourage the MeWe followers to follow me at those places. I will be posting less on Facebook directly. I will post on Facebook, but through the other sites. I’m not excited about seeing all the “garbage” that has become the Facebook agenda. So for me, it is just better to back out of it and clean house. I’m cleaning MY house. Watching what goes in my eye and ear gates. I am actually excited about freeing up time for the direction that God has for me. If I am honest with myself, I may have been doing more of what I thought was best for me. Any thoughts I have to share, are for the purpose of helping others, not about how many social networks I get involved in. I’m asking myself, “What is the purpose of being there? What are you trying to accomplish by your presence in that area?” Taking this step will keep me more grounded where I need to be. I have just completed a study that is all about zeroing in on what is most important, and praying over it. What has always been important to me, is encouraging others to live their best life and to live each moment with purpose.
I have never been in a better place with my heart and soul. I have some work to do as I put these areas into motion. However, I refuse to jeopardize my priorities for busyness. It is never worth it. Don’t get caught up in what you THINK you need to do, or what someone else is doing. Do the hard stuff and examine what your passion is, and where you want to be. If I’m running all the time, I can never be quiet enough to listen where God wants to take me. I’m looking forward to this new perspective, both in my life and home, but in my photography also.
I want to:
- enjoy each day I’m given
- a deep prayer walk
- go on adventures with my hubby more
- be aware of nature God has given to me to enjoy
- never trade my top priorities
- see life through the lens of my camera more often
- enjoy every moment I have with my family
- more communication with my kids such as texts, cards, notes
- have more coffee with friends
- help and encourage others
- be the best example of this “life style that I choose”
- live my life in gratitude
As I look over this post, it isn’t my usual type of post, but I think it is an important one. This is just my story. You have your story. However, don’t buy into the busyness that seems to be the way of life for so many these days. I don’t believe that is the life that God would have us to live. If you think often, “I’m just so busy, I don’t have time for anything”, then stop it. You will pay a price at some point in time. I was a young mom of three boys, and many exchange students in our home, I worked two and sometimes three jobs that I felt I had to work to make ends meet, and I was very involved in church and Bible study. I did it. I rarely said I’m too busy to give God my time. So I’m not speaking out about something I don’t understand. The idea that life is so different these days, just isn’t so. There are more distractions young families are dealing with now that we didn’t, but we still had electronic games and other types of games the kids played. We still had to monitor what we felt was right for our kids. However, we still had time for things that were important. New beginnings begin with me.
Now… if I look back on that time and had to do it all over? I would most certainly have lived within the means of a stay at home mom and lived that out. Why? Because my kids would have enjoyed having me around more than what I could buy them. Consequently, since I kept myself busy making it all work out (on my own at times, I might add), my rest wasn’t so great; I was tired. That in turn, had repercussions for my family. I share that with you from a point in my life where I can look back and see where I could have made changes and… didn’t. Worse than that, I wasn’t trusting God to take care of my family and I. Yet, even then I always saw His hand in my life over and over again. I’m not sure what made me think I couldn’t trust Him to take care of me if I stayed at home. OR, maybe I do…satan is quick to sneak in a whisper of, “You won’t have enough money for groceries, or bills if you quit, let alone give to God.” I listened. I would tell you don’t buy it. If God is asking you to slow down, be more available, or to give to Him, HE WILL provide for you. It’s His economy. It’s His way. Now I am not saying that every mother has to stay home with her children. You are in charge of your own story. What I really want to share is, IF you have that little voice telling you to do something different, then by all means do it! It could change your future for yourself, and those around you, and future generations in ways you can’t imagine! I hope if any of this resonates with you, it will be something you pray over.
Thanks for being a part of this space! I love your consistent support and responses! Watch for the changes coming up! I hope you will continue to follow along! Life teaches us some fun experiences, but there are also some hard lessons. Let my experience and hard lessons be of some benefit to you!
Depositing to my heart and soul escapes…