Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Talk # 17: Stranded

I've given my husband some extra hugs and kisses this past twenty-four hours.

Because he spent the 48 hours prior to that on a bus, 30 of those hours stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with two feet of snow between each vehicle.

P. led a group of 50+ from our diocese down to Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life on Friday. Thousands of people showed up to to walk down Constitution Avenue and be a voice for the unborn and for their mothers (and fathers!) who suffer physically and emotionally after an abortion. It's always a hugely powerful and inspiring event (which the media generally chooses not to cover despite the large numbers that show up -- hundreds of thousands) and I would have been there if the little bun in the oven was not causing so much morning sickness.

Instead, I was warm and well-fed at home when I got the message they were stranded on their way home from D.C., stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the snow coming down fiercely and trucks, cars, and buses stopped for miles and miles ahead.

The next 30 hours proved to be challenging but so, so grace-filled for them-- and actually me as I heard the ways God was providing. It's such a beautiful thing when people pray and when God shows up in the midst of a tough situation. Looking back, the stories are just beautiful. God truly uses everything, and he orchestrates good from bad.

The #turnpikemass celebrated by a couple priests on a snow altar on the roadside with hundreds of people attending.

Students posting pictures of them brushing their teeth in the snow, their smiles joyful instead of fearful or complaining.

The firefighters and military bringing water and food supplies to the hundreds of vehicles stranded.

And finally-- an opportunity for P.'s bus to share their experiences with each other from the March for Life...and then the bus driver himself opening up about a past abortion his girlfriend had...mourning his loss and crying for his child. My husband was able to share with him about the mercy and love and healing of our God. I was particularly touched about this moment because of the way God loved this grieving man so much that he used the crazy storm to provide a moment for healing and renewal for the bus driver that might not have happened if they had simply driven straight home.

News reporters and writers published and aired multiple stories on the stranded group and even that had the fingerprints of God all over it. While the media typically doesn't cover the March for Life, they were sharing stories of it now and all were able to see the peaceful, joyful students and adults who were on the trip to stand up for every single life, that every life matters and has meaning.

P. and I celebrated his return last night simply, with Chinese food and football. (MSG-free for me!) But ever since his return, and as I process the pictures and the stories, I'm just overwhelmed by the way our God cares for us and provides for us. As His children...but also as an individual child. He loves us all and cares for us as family, but He also loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to be loved (St. Augustine). So beautiful. If I could rest more in God's personal love for me, I have a feeling it would change my life.

How was your weekend? Are you near the East coast or are you enjoying warmer weather? Where did you see God in your days?

Want to join this week's link up? Grab our button below and link back to one of the hosts!

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 

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Follow Sweet Little Ones's board Tuesday Talk Features on Pinterest.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rest Assured: A Book Review

When I chose this book to review, I was intrigued because of my love of simplicity but I had a feeling it might not apply to me. I'd cut back on many of my commitments and busy is just not a word I use to describe myself anymore when someone asks how I'm doing.

But I was wrong! This book spoke to me time and time again and convicted me of different areas that I'm not using my time well, that I'm not being as intentional in my life and living it as fully and peacefully as God might desire (intentional is my word for the year but more on that later!).

I love Vicki Courtney's conversational style of writing. She's relatable without trying too hard. She's also extremely authentic and I love that!

I thought this book would be geared towards the minivan mom running her kids to sports and gymnastics every night, but it actually applies to every woman in every season. She covers our perception of busyness (the 'badge' of honor we consider a full schedule), time spent on social media and other technology, and how worry can steal our time and peace. She then gives us a plan for recovery and living a life of joy and peace. She emphasizes the importance of time for God, time for solitude, and time for leisure. 

I am highly impressed with this book and would recommend it. As a bonus, there's even a 30-day restoration guide in the back with tidbits to ponder, pray, or act. And on top of that, there's a list of 100 ways to find rest or leisure. 

Definitely five stars from me!

[Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for sending me this book at no cost. This review contains my honest and original thoughts.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Currently // Vol. 1

I've long been a fan of the 'currently' blog posts so I'm jumping in on one today! This particular link-up is hosted by Anne in Residence and Gold and Bloom.

resolving: to have a hopeful heart this year. To be positive and trust in God's love and mercy rather than let fear or anxiety have a hold on my heart.

reading: Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly, and Rest Assured by Vicki Courtney (review coming soon!).

organizing: absolutely nothing. And that's the problem. ;) There are several closets and cupboards on my list.

loving: my sweet husband for taking care of things (and me!) while I've been experiencing first trimester fatigue and sickness. Every symptom is so worth the thought of our little one, but I've felt guilty at times for my decreased homemaking!

craving: Ice cream. I've been so good about avoiding sugar as much as possible lately, but man. A bowl of moose tracks...or even just plain old vanilla...sounds amazing.

What are you up to currently? I'd love to hear some of your answers in the comments!

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I've found. I found it is the small things, the every day deeds by ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay."

-Gandalf :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday Talk # 14: New Year, New Hosts!

Hello and a happy 2016 to you!

There's something so beautiful and exciting and hopeful about a new year! A blank slate, a chapter waiting to be written. I'm a bit more behind than usual with goals and resolutions and such. For the past ten years, I've resolved to have a _________ heart, filling in the blank with a virtue I wanted to work on (grateful, hopeful, prayerful, patient, and so on). Last year I resolved to have a prayerful heart. This year will probably be my wrap-up for that 'series' of resolutions so I may even close with a hopeful heart (which is what I started with in 2006!). Can't ever have too much hope!

I'm also resolving to be more creative, reach out with cards and letters more often, read more, go online less, and keep in touch with my dad and brothers more often (I call my mom and sister all the time, but now that the rest of us are living farther apart, I need to be more intentional with keeping up!).

We have some exciting news in the Tuesday Talk realm-- four new hosts! Sadly this also means there are four great hosts who have decided to step down for the year but they promise us they'll still keep in touch!

Please welcome our four new ladies!

Emily at Raising Barnes

Stasia at Our Life on a Budget

Ruthie at Rear. Release. Regroup.

Tina at Go Big or Go Home

I'm looking forward to getting to know them better and I hope you will, too! Stop over at their blogs and say hello!

Want to join this week's link up? Grab our button below and link back to one of the hosts!

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 

You can join us on Pinterest, too!

Follow Sweet Little Ones's board Tuesday Talk Features on Pinterest.

Join the party, friends, by linking up with your favorite post from the week! Here's the scoop: