Hayfield Wife Hacks

Hayfield Wife Hacks

I’ve had a lot of questions come in about transporting food, meals, favorite products, etc. Today I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks regarding Hayfield Meals and will probably end up extending this to a two part post on down the road. For now, here are some tried and true things that I do to make hay season a little easier.

We all know the feeling of our vehicles being the mobile kitchen table, water wagons, and what have you. The entire back half of mine is usually dedicated to storing my “feed bag”, ice chest, and whatever food I’m delivering that day.

  • Get an ice chest that YOU can carry but will also fit your meals or whatever you need to keep cold. Most of the guys already have their own ice chests or backpacks in their tractors so it’s rare that I ever bring drinks. I love this one I purchased. It’s perfect size, I leave it in my suburban (which has also proved handy when going to the grocery store and needing to run errands-keeping my items cold) and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. You can deck it out and grab some pretty cool stickers from my shop too.
  • Another hack, The IceMule. You won’t regret getting him one and these easily fit in the tractor when a lot of ice chests don’t. It’s easy to carry and keeps them from having to stop to get drinks. I shared more about it on our Hayfield Meals Instagram page.
  • Have a bag ready with all of your supplies so you aren’t constantly having to gather every meal. I try not to be wasteful but it’s also a pain to cart ceramic dishes, glasses, and silverware to the fields and bring them back to wash. I have my plastic plates, cutlery, a roll of paper towels for napkins, a dish I leave in for left overs, a box of zip lock baggies, a pack of wipes, salt and pepper, a roll of trash bags, and a roll of aluminum foil.
  • Cookie sheets. I learned this one from my mom but they are awesome to cart and keep things together. I use this item more than I ever thought I would for transporting rather than baking.
  • Buy in bulk. It saves A LOT when I can get all of my paper and plastic (and even ingredients) from a place like Sam’s. Usually I only have to go once in the summer and I’m good until next season. Invest in a membership.
  • Make breakfasts ahead of time that you can freeze and reheat and bag up snacks when you meal prep. This is super helpful for them to throw in their cooler and go and all I have to worry about is bringing a hot dinner.
  • There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned sandwich. Add extra fixings, a good sauce, and they will still be happy campers. But it’s also nice to bring some garden fresh fried okra, barbeque chicken, sweet corn and homemade mashed potatoes. They appreciate the hearty meals after a long day.
  • If taking sandwiches for several, wrap them in a paper towel and restack them in the bag the bread came in. It keeps the fillings from falling out and is much easier to cart.
  • Make more than needed. We love leftovers around our house and it keeps me from spending more at the grocery store. It’s also nice to be able to have plenty to feed any extra help that shows up and not worry about making an additional meal for lunch or dinner.

I feel like each year I learn something new, change a routine, or figure out how to work smarter not harder. As summer is a season of slowing down for many, its quite opposite for us so whatever I can do to make things easier for our family to better function, I’ll do it.

I hope this list helps! As I keep making notes of things, I’ll share another post soon of more tips and tricks.

From the Rafter PS to you, Happy haying!

My Homeschool Planner

My Homeschool Planner

One of the things I use the most in my daily life is a planner so when we decided to homeschool, I knew this would be a must have to keep us on task and organized with lessons. I also need some structure based on my personality and really like to plan “seasons” at a time.

I ordered this from Home and Haven and have enjoyed it so far! It’s simple which I think is key but also has some great elements like prayer for us to incorporate in our morning time, meals, and monthly/hourly/weekly layouts.

For now this is what I am using but am always open to other ideas. It’s served me well thus far and I love that it’s NOT dated. You’re able to start whenever you’d like. They have a digital option you can purchase here.

Enjoy!

Our Play/Homeschool Room

Our Play/Homeschool Room

I’m so excited to finally share our homeschool/playroom with you all. We will actually do the majority of our work at our kitchen table so we can spread out but I also wanted to have a designated area for the girls to do some independent work, quiet reading, and just an area to enjoy some free time in. I didn’t do a lot in here as far as “getting it ready” to homeschool.

Both of my girls have shared a bedroom for three years and this has been our “playroom” the entire time. I already had everything in the room, I just adjusted and made it more “school” friendly. I moved the chalkboard, desk, converted the toy cubby (it was stuffed) into a mini library, made an “art cart” and organized the closet. Other than purchasing some supplies and their curriculum, I already had everything.

I’ve had some ask why they have backpacks if we are homeschooling……well, I still work and there will be certain days of the week that they have to go up to the shop with me therefore we will pack up their work and lunch to take with us. I’ve had these P + S hooks for years so I’m not able to link them but they were from Anthropologie.

I have had a TON of questions about our doll house or what we call “the bunny house” and I plan to do an entire post on it soon! I’ll share all about the animals, furniture, etc. Fun fact though, parts of it were built from my bookshelf from when I was a little girl like the windows and chimney. :) The highchair + cradle was also mine growing up. Large canvas was taken by me of some spring calves we had a few years ago.

Kitchen set we’ve had since Paisley was two. She was OBSESSED, and I mean OBSESSED with Ree Drummond and used to play pioneer woman non stop and would choose it over anything on TV. That was her Christmas gift that year and it has gotten hours upon hours of playtime between both of my babies and their friends. We purchased it from Pottery Barn. The horse head is from my shop.

This cubby was filled to the brim with toys and in theory, it was a functional spot for them but with how many books we had, we were wasting a lot of closet space and it looked really junky. They weren’t able to find all of their toys without emptying all of the cubbies and it was a mess to get it all reorganized each time. Since we decided to homeschool, I thought it would be fun to make this spot a mini library and organize it so they could easily find their books instead of pilfering through the closet. I also wanted to make the top bookshelves a spot for our favorite read alouds or seasonal reads with what we were studying at that time. The basket also houses some of our favorite Usborne learning books, wipe cleans, and quick references.

I don’t have all of our books completely set up yet but I plan to organize by series such as Hank the Cowdog, Boxcar Children etc. in one cubby. Another with classics, one with picture books, and so on.

Next is the desk area. It along with the cubby, chalkboard and stool was custom made. I love this desk because the top opens and stores lots of supplies like large sketch pads that don’t really fit anywhere else. The large door has two shelves for more supplies. This is a great spot for when I’m working with one of the girls in the kitchen that needs more attention, the other can come in here to work independently in the quiet.

I’m sure you’ve seen these carts everywhere by now. I truly love them, especially because its so easy to roll it down the hall to the kitchen for projects and I can fill it with all of the supplies we need for the day. It doesn’t take up a ton of space but can hold a lot and also be rolled into a closet if need be. I have all of their art things, glue, scissors, erasers, sharpeners, dry erase markers and boards, rulers, and more packed in it for everyday use.

And now the closet. Remember when I said that the cubby used to hold most of their toys? They had to go somewhere right? I decided on a “tub” system for each type of toy and this has been the best solution I’ve found thus far for organizing all of the toys.

So top shelf holds their Legos, American girl salon, dress up, baby dolls, and the large blue tub is my “keepsake tub” of a few favorite things from when the girls were babies for my grandkids one day. HA!

Then we have their dress up items hung. The yellow crate has their American girl/target dolls, dress up hats, and a few toys that wouldn’t fit well in the tubs. Then we have a Barbie tub and one of Paisley’s projects she made.

The bottom crate holds their very large horses. The basket holds their ranch trucks and trailers. (plus Paisley’s ukulele)

Then we move to the tubs. I wish I would have done this sooner. My girls have a plethora of Breyer horses and ranch toys so most of the tubs are full of those. Then we have one for their vintage late 80s Fisher Price dollhouse accessories (that was mine – also folded and store to the left of the tubs) and then one miscellaneous for all other things. I divided them all based on how they like to play. Last night Scout wanted to just play Barbie’s so we pulled the tub, dumped it, and when they were finished it all went back in and back on the shelf. It’s made it so much easier for all of us.

That’s it! I hope this helps anyone who needs a little inspo. We have a smaller home that is only three bedrooms so we really have to maximize every inch. I love that the girls share a bedroom so we can have a spot like this one.

I’ve linked what I could here.

Other Items:

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Lit List | Own Your Everyday

Lit List | Own Your Everyday

This was another book I picked up to read this month and I absolutely loved it! It wasn’t your typical “self help” book (which I’m not a fan of) but complete opposite. It offered a Biblical perspective on taking ownership of your daily life and putting your identity in being a child of God. Not your role as a wife, mom, business owner, or any other hats you put on-but as His child and that alone.

I really enjoyed and related a lot to Jordan and am thankful there is still material being produced that isn’t “ME” focused but “Christ in me” focused.

I’m linking it here.

Let me know how you like it if you end up reading it!

Early Morning Routine + Mixtape

Early Morning Routine + Mixtape

Our mornings need to have some structure due to me being a small business owner and now newbie homeschool mama. Not to mention having a husband who’s a full time career fireman and farmer. When Zack and I made the decision to homeschool, he made the suggestion of having a morning routine and fun playlist for us to get our morning started and set the tone for the day.

Things will evolve and change as we get deeper into the year but for now here’s what mornings will look like around these parts for awhile:

5 AM: I’m off to the gym if Zack isn’t at the station to get my workout in for the day. Sometimes I have to get them done in the afternoon, but I prefer knocking them out in the morning. It’s hard to peel the covers off but my days go so much better when I start them off sweating. If Z is at the station, I try to get a workout outside.

6:30 AM: I wake the house up, Z starts cooking breakfast or I will get it ready if he is on shift. Morning playlist gets turned on for some soft background noise and the girls start their morning Bible time. I get a shower and then grab my Bible and sit next to them. I work on my study while we also discuss what we are learning as a family.

7-8 AM: Eat breakfast, I finish my quiet time while the girls brush teeth, get dressed, and make their beds. I get ready for the day, kitchen cleanup, make our bed, change laundry out.

8 AM: Begin our school day.

Some tips that make our days go a little smoother:

  • The girls will go with me to work at noon so we will still pack lunches. I have those done the night before.
  • I set everyone’s clothes out the night before.
  • I try to prep as much as I can as far as meals go.
  • I do one load of laundry a day. If I don’t it piles up and I easily get behind.
  • The girls have little chores the are asked to get done each day that truly help mama out around the house.
  • I aim to go to bed with my kitchen clean so it’s ready for the next day.
  • I use my planner and make lists. I’m not always able to stick to them but it helps keep me on task.

Do you have a morning routine?

Lit League

Lit League

I was thrilled when Lit League contacted me about becoming an affiliate and sharing their boxes with you all! As you know, we are book lovers. It’s my mission to raise readers and it’s a joy to see them get lost in books. These activity boxes take a story even deeper and are themed entirely around whatever the book is.

Lit League’s book-themed activity boxes are easy and convenient. They’re a wonderful choice for families looking for effortless ways to supplement at-home learning or for those kiddos who thoroughly just LOVE to read.

Each box contains a new reading adventure and provides hours of cross-curricular, screen free fun. Veteran educators curate these fun boxes to create a culture of reading in the home and are designed to foster a love of reading.

What’s in a Lit League Box? Each box includes:

  • a high-interest picture book (ages 3-9), early chapter book (ages 5-9), or chapter book (ages 8-12)
  • a book specific vocabulary bookmark
  • 4-5 fun-filled questions and enriching activities related to the book
  • discussion questions and answered aligned with grade appropriate standards
  • the tools to enjoy a shared family experience or to participate in a book club with friends
  • a joyous reading experience for caregivers and both reluctant and avid readers

Book Club

Everything is more fun with friends! One of the great aspects of Lit League is that it includes instructions for
using our boxes to run a book club. Many use their boxes to facilitate friend book clubs, sibling or cousin book clubs, or to establish special one-on-one book club time with mom, dad, a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle. Have more than one learner in a group? Instead of buying multiple boxes, families can save money and add additional activity kits for siblings or friends. They’ll get one book along with additional activity kits for $10.00 per member per month!

This is such a great resource I plan to incorporate into our homeschool learning and I love that all of the work has already been done for me!

Lit League has so kindly given me the code: FARMGIRL15 to share with my readers for 15% off of everything at LitLeagueBoxes.com!

(Home) School Is Now In Session

(Home) School Is Now In Session

My little ladies are now official homeschool kids! I’ve been trying to come up with the words on this post for weeks so here goes. As many of our friends are getting their kiddos ready for their first day Thursday, so are we. Ours just looks differently this year and hopefully from now on. I will say, it’s the most liberating feeling to take complete ownership of your children’s lives from inside the home to their education. I’ve learned so much over the last year of researching all things homeschool until my eyes would glaze over.

I want to preface this by saying we were beyond blessed by our rural school district. It’s where me and the last four generations of my family attended and then enrolled our own there. The girls have had a wonderful education thus far and the most amazing educators. Our decision to homeschool was not because of where they were currently going. Then why leave? Let me start here…..

Over the last year I’ve felt a tug on my heart and a twinge of sadness with how quickly time has passed. I’m still in disbelief that we now have a fourth AND first grader. My babies are no longer babies and it really has taken a toll on me in thinking that we have already had paisley for 1/2 the time most kids live inside the home. In 9 more years, she could quite possibly be on her own. As cliche as it sounds, it’s as if I blinked and both of them have grown up. I can’t slow time, but I can change the time we do have. I miss my kids. So much. I shared in this post last week about a book I recently read that changed my life. And it was the final push I needed to go all the way with it. I know this might seem “weird” to some or “what’s the big deal about having them in school?” but I’ve never been normal and I don’t want them to be like everyone else.

I am in no way saying that public school screws us up or that I’m trying to be self righteous about homeschool. Matter of fact, I’m eating my words because I used to be complete opposite and anti-homeschool. This is a personal family choice that we have taken a lot of time to think and pray on. I’m floored by all I’ve learned in the last year of researching all of the ways to do this. It’s limitless.

Another reason is, well, the world. I know we can’t shelter our kids from everything, but I can raise them the best I can and in our home so they can be better equipped to handle what the world will inevitably throw at them. I have control of what they can and can’t be exposed to unlike school. I’ve heard everything from “I can’t keep them in a bubble” to “they won’t be well socialized” or “they will miss out on so much” that it’s become white noise. I also believe that kids should get to be kids and not be conditioned to the ways of the world. Every time you turn around it’s something on TV with gender rolls or sexualized adolescence and unfortunately, that seeps into school systems. (again, not our school or state even-but just in general) Raising them best we can is our top priority and we fail often but this was something we truly knew in our hearts that was time and we wanted to make changes in how we parent. Changing where they spend the majority of their day was part of that. We might be that “weird family” and are totally ok with it and are also under no obligation to make sense to anyone, albeit family, friends, or strangers on the internet.

Growing up is hard enough without having your surroundings telling you that you aren’t or might not be who God made you. He doesn’t make mistakes and it makes me sad that they have become targets, especially at an impressionable age. NOTHING like this has happened with our kids, yet. However, I know what all went on when I was in school (also pre-social media age) and I can’t imagine what all is being exposed, discussed, experimented, etc. And before someone says that’s why you have to be a present parent, I fully agree. However, you can’t control their classmates or those they have befriended on what they talk to your child about. It’s pushed on them through social media, peers, books, entertainment, etc. Of course they are getting confused! If you think its not, there are tiny rabbit holes you can go down and when you come up someone will crown you with a tin hat because that’s crazy conspiracy talk if you use any sort of critical thinking, disagree, and question the “norm.” I don’t mind being the overprotective mom and taking initiative because that’s what we feel is best for us-it may not be for you. Again, totally fine.

I want the medical decisions we make for us as well as our children private and not be the cause of eventual segregation if we opt out of something we don’t feel like they should have. We will never know the repercussions of what 2020 did to our kids with face covering mandates among other things. I know for one it caused a lot of anxiety in our oldest. She has allergies and this summer at ranch camp was teased by another child (because she coughed and sneezed) that she had the v i r u s and made subject to chatter from other girls which led to embarrassment and then worry that “maybe I do have it?” It’s sad it’s come to kids saying these things. It’s also learned behavior. Meanness and an ugly heart is a virus and can spread to the company you keep. Thankfully that situation led to good conversation between us but I know how she’s felt. I think most of us have felt belittled or made fun of for something beyond our control or even just because it’s how we view things. The sting of being the butt of someone’s joke or center of gossip hurts. They need to know how to best handle these things when it happens, we aren’t trying to keep them from that. It’s still going to occur with all of the other activities we participate in.

I read something on Facebook the other day and it was a great analogy to how I see this-and not just related to values but also relationships:

“People often say to me, “you can’t keep your children in a bubble”. And I reply, “it’s not a bubble, it’s a greenhouse.” A bubble stifles growth and blocks out nutrients. A greenhouse provides an environment for cultivation. Children’s hearts need to be “greenhoused” before they’re ready to be transplanted out into the world. We release when their roots are deep and they are mature enough to withstand the storms, not beforehand. While they’re still under our protection, we take the responsibility for engaging them in learning about different cultures, ideologies and values. They should only know worldly teachings enough that they will be inoculated against them. It’s neither parenting out of fear or legalism, nor going to the opposite extreme of being too permissive.No, our kids shouldn’t grow up in a bubble. But they shouldn’t be left exposed to the harsh outside elements, either. The greenhouse of our home has all the right conditions for those young seeds to grow and flourish.” -Called to Mothering

My greatest calling, responsibility, and blessing He will ever give me is to be the wife and mom of this home. I’ve grown and changed so much over the last year that the way I view being a homeschool family has shifted into an absolute honor. He’s equipped me to be their mom. He’s equipped me to raise them. He’s also equipped me to teach them. I have the choice in how that is going to go. He truly has opened so many doors for us over the last year to get to where we have the availability to do this with moving our store and I’m blown away once again by his faithfulness.

I don’t want to regret not doing this when I have the chance. I want to provide them with a rich education that goes beyond four walls. An education that not only teaches them reading, writing, math, science, and so on but gardening, sewing, farming, cooking, how to change a tire and balance a checkbook, and more. I want to cater to their individual learning styles and watch them flourish more than they could in a classroom of 20. I want to do field trips again. I want to take school outside, on the ranch, to my store, or on a road trip. I want freedom and flexibility. Education isn’t a one size fits all and we’ve (myself included) been brought up to think that it is. My girls have several friends that they plan to do this with. They plan to rodeo and will be around kids often with family, friends, basketball, 4-H, and church. I still find the unsocialized comments silly. If anything, this entire last year has pushed isolation. That’s the exact opposite of what I want or plan to do.

I realize this just isn’t an option for everyone and it’s not lost on me what a unique privilege this is. I know some absolutely can’t even if they wanted to. So I’m taking my opportunity seriously and shooting my shot. I also realize this isn’t for everyone. And that’s ok. It wasn’t for us at one point either but it is now. I feel it’s more important than ever, especially for the four of us. We need this. We need each other and maybe it’s because we are a first responder family-we see the fragility of life on the daily and witness how quickly it can end. Time is something you can’t make more of or get back but you can change how you prioritize and use it. I’ve even been teased about being Laura Ingalls, and you know, that’s exactly what I’d love to be like.

Speaking of, I’m going to start sharing our journey at The Little Prairie Schoolhouse on Instagram as well as here on the blog. You’ll be able to find all related posts on The Homeschool Tab.

I’ve had so many friends help me and encourage me along the way and I’d love to do the same over there.

I hope they know how much I love them. I know that this will be really hard but the harvest will be bountiful. I know that I’ll be able to connect with them more than I ever have and am sure they will be teaching me a thing or too as well. I want to steward my time and motherhood well. I want to take this seriously and honor God with these gifts he’s given our family and as parents.

Here’s to homeschool and a new chapter. Welcome to 4th and 1st grade, girls!

Lindsay’s Baby Shower

Lindsay’s Baby Shower

This weekend I got to help shower my best friend for her first baby – a little girl. Linds and I have been besties for over 20 years and to see her become a mama is such a joy. I know she’s going to do amazing.

When we had our first daughter, I immediately knew that if something were to happen to me, I wanted Lindsay as Paisley’s Godmother. I can’t wait to give this sweet girl all of the snuggles. I even had to buy her first pair of cowgirl boots and wranglers. Her first birthday she might just need a pony! :)

It was such a sweet brunch and fun to celebrate their sweet, growing family. I’m so excited that we get to be girl moms together. We love you Linds! I’m so proud of you.

The Life You Long For

The Life You Long For

If there was ever a book that I needed for such a season as this one I’m in (other than the Bible, of course) it is what I’m holding. I don’t say this lightly but it truly changed my life and also took a lot of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having for months, maybe even years, seemingly making sense of them as I began to read the words on these pages. I’ll share a little more of what I’m personally talking about in a post next week as well as a major life change that’s happening for our family, but I’m so grateful I read this and by His grace, at the right time.

I’ve been a huge fan girl of Christy Knockles for years. Her Watermark days are some of my favorite music by her, I’ve listened to every episode of her podcast that got me through a lot of tough nights home alone taking care of two little ones while my husband was starting out as a fireman. She’s one of the few I trust when it comes to Christian influence anymore. I’ve had a really hard time over the last few years with teachers, pastors, worship leaders, and those that claim to know His Word but do not solely seek scripture and lead people with false doctrine and unsound theology. So as I’m sharing this, please know I highly respect her. I believe she truly sits in His word, listens, and rests in Him.

To be completely transparent but also without going into much detail as I’m saving this for next week, but I’m tired of running on the hamster wheel. I miss my kids. I feel like the world is crumbling quite literally around all of us. There’s so much going on, and as a small business owner, I’m having to hustle 50X harder than ever before just to survive, especially after the last year and a half. All of this amping up my anxiety and making it impossible to rest. Impossible to slow down. Impossible to savor the most important things He’s placed in my care. And I’ve known this for awhile, but was having a really hard time trying to make it a reality.

I think every single page of this text is either highlighted, underlined, dogeared, or has notes in the margins in some form or fashion. I continually felt like she was pulling the words right out of my heart. I shared this passage I had underlined from page 25 on social media about a month ago but wanted to post here so you can kind of grasp where I’ve been for some time:

“The to-do list took precedence over my soul needs as I focused tenaciously on doing everything I thought I was supposed to be doing for God and even for myself so life would go as planned. My spirit grieved as I realized that I had assumed I couldn’t afford the luxury of spending time with God. I had believed the lie that I had far too many important responsibilities to spend time being still before Him. When I did make time for Him, in exhaustion, my priority was to ask Him to help make everything that I had spinning: motherhood, home keeping, career building. With a twinge of shame always lingering in my gut, I’d ask his forgiveness for failing to give Him more. Yet I had no more to give because my own strength was gone. Don’t get me wrong. I longed to simply be still. I craved margin and rest and the capacity to put my family first. But I felt trapped in this outer ring, fearful that if I said no to anything, I might miss out on the Next. Big. Thing. Because I would yes myself into more than I could handle, I didn’t have the capacity to truly see others around me. I was usually in such a frazzled state that I valued community primarily for what it could do for me. For lack of a better word, this is hustling, and I’ve learned that God doesn’t always intervene right away when we strive at this kind of pace. Sometimes He gives us what we think we want so that we will finally discover what we truly need. Eventually, though, because He loves us, He will let us feel the weight of trying to call all the shots and do all the things. “

This has been me too. Don’t take me wrong, my store is such a blessing and I believe from Him. It’s paved opportunities, friendships, and time with my kids I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise from a 9-5 or 12 hour shift. But I haven’t always stewarded it well and constantly made it #1 above Him and my family. Unfortunately, it also took me 6 years to realize that. I thought I wanted to be at the top of my game as a “Boss Babe” (now that makes me cringe) until I took a hard blow from those I thought were friends in my community a few years ago. That was my first red flag that I was investing in the wrong things and people and eventually got hurt. It was a really painful lesson for me and one that I have had to continually seek Him and forgiveness when I didn’t want to hand that out either. I also didn’t steward what I was doing time wise or with what I was carrying that led to lots of heavy burdens that add more unwanted financial stress. I see things differently now. I was relying on my own strength and what I could do instead of letting go of control and seeking Him to show me the way I needed to take Farm Girl. My vision with what I want to do and how I want to run my shop has drastically changed. Of course I want to do well! Of course I want to be comfortable and not live month to month hoping we can make it while also worrying about the payments we have to make. But I also want to serve my customers by giving them the best version of myself and that comes from resting in Him and loving and serving my home first. I want my store to be what I originally intended and not a place I resent because things are so tough. I’ve had to learn things the hard way because I was hustling but really just running in circles and living for the temporary.

I think we all do that, don’t we? Live for what feels good in the here and now. Always looking for what’s ahead and never resting in contentment. That behavior has lead me to poor stewardship and a big mess to clean. It’s led me to ditch my calling as His beloved. It’s left me with sadness and the feeling of what I missed at home because my priorities were out of line. I needed that “control” instead of handing what HE had already given me palms open back to Him. My shop has still beheld many blessings and unique things. It’s been an open door to connect with people I probably would never have otherwise and I’m in no way saying has been a complete fail. But I truly want to be more kingdom minded and in that I know it will do far greater in His will than what I could ever do on my own. I wonder now what it would look like or what better of a situation I might be in if I could have released my grip and done that from the start. Why do we sometimes fear trusting God? As Christy says on page 28, “our own self sufficiency has a shelf life.” Nevertheless, He is still good. He is refining me and teaching me so many things and I’m thankful for His grace and mercy to open the eyes of my heart. It’s lead me to long for rest. To long for home. To long more for my calling in motherhood and as a wife more than ever before.

I’ll touch more on that next week. But I needed to read these words from Christy. I needed to know that I wasn’t feeling alone in the thoughts I was having. I needed to realize I too was living outside the bullseye. On page 35 she says “This call was to come and experience how valuing Him and prioritizing His promises and principles-and my own in the process-could produce something unexpectedly life changing.” And I truly have experienced a complete shift. Some of that shift has been small changes, others large like I’ll share soon, but all simultaneously together. If you follow me on instagram, you know I’ve been doing a mental toughness challenge the last 43 days (with 32 to go) and I think it’s no coincidence that a lot of this growing and learning to prioritize in different areas spiritually and physically have come at once.

At one point, I wanted my shop to be up with the big ones, flourishing and making money hand over fist. Albeit I’d love to never worry financially, but I also know that level of “game” will come with great sacrifices. If there was a sweet spot in the middle I’d be ok with that too but now, I seek “The glorious in the mundane.” I want slow and the seemingly small moments in my home more than I want anything outside of these four walls. On page 36 she says “One option was to just keep clinging to the world and its ways of getting things done, which we knew would be at the expense of our family. Or we could choose to step into the mystery of trusting that God would make a way for us if we obeyed what He was pressing into our hearts…….pg 37 God’s invitation to the bullseye marked the start of my learning how to be surrendered.”

At the end of the day, this is what I really want. Clinging to Him and not the world. Surrendering to my Father, knowing He has me and all He’s given me. It’s not easy because we are sinners. We need to continuously seek and press into Him. But it’s easy to miss the mark and lose sight of what truly matters when there’s so much noise and so much hustling.

Page 43 “Why would He want your whole heart? Because He knows what can be entrusted to a fully surrendered heart. This is why we’re called to prioritize.” – This. I must be fully surrendered, look what I’ve already been entrusted with!? The most important – my family. This made my heart yearn for home even more. We often joke that Zack and I aren’t from this time. We belong with Ma and Pa Ingalls when life was “tough” to our generation standards but it was full, rich, and enough.

I don’t want to overshare the whole book and ruin anything for you but there were so many amazing nuggets. Page 44 “We strive for fulfillment and pine for contentment. But what if our striving and pining are preventing the supernatural work of God in our lives? What if our hustling is actually holding us back?” For me, I believe it has. I love to dabble in lots of things because that is my creative side, however when it becomes priority over what’s truly important, I start to drift. Something that truly struck a cord on page 46 was “The most beautiful part of trusting in God as your provider and your promoter is that, not only do you walk into dreams that He’s already prepared in advance for you, but you also begin to experience a satisfaction in His love that none of your previous wants and desires or dreams could ever come close to fulfilling. You become transformed from the inside out.” – page 64 “Jesus faithfully meets us on the other side of all our hustling and striving and bids us to come home in repentance and therefore rest.”

I’ve learned so much and wish I could share all of my “ah ha moments” and underlingings from these pages but I truly want you to read it and sit in it. I plan to read this again, it’s that good. I’ve had to posture my heart this last year and learn to surrender. I’m still working on it. But I want to tell you, I’m thankful for the conviction. I’m thankful for His call to take a look inside and see where I’ve missed the mark.

Friends, we are in a battle. The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy more than ever before. We keep chasing the carrot of our contemporary culture that never seems to quite satisfy when we have a bite. We are so distracted, divided, and depressed. Our hearts long for something nothing on this Earth can provide because we weren’t meant for this. This world is upside down and I often have to remind myself to let go and shift my mind to His Kingdom. It’s a choice we have to make daily.

Page 83 “Sometimes choosing a heart of rest involves being honest with ourselves and honest about our agendas, recognizing that we actually can’t and don’t have to do it all. When we invite Jesus to live His life through us, we find ourselves on His grace-paved path where His way of doing life is easy and His burden is light.” This is more intended to next week’s post but what my mama heart needed to read “As we fully trust in God, redirecting the eyes of our hearts toward Him, quite often the things we’re juggling fall into rhythm as they were meant to, freeing our hands to receive all that God has for us today. The most treasured gift that He has for us – besides Himself – is the people He has entrusted to us. Chances are, God even now is moving people into the general vicinity of you. He knows when you live out from His love, no one can better love them than you. The most beautiful and effective way to change lives around you is to let God change you. The best way you can love others is to let God love you.”

I hope you can grab a copy and look inward. I’ll add a few more thoughts from this book next week.

I doubt she will ever read this, but Christy-thank you. Thank you for pouring into so many women that you don’t even know. Thank you for living from a heart of rest so you can serve and reach others who are worn out and exhausted, missing their calling as His beloved. Thank you for being faithful and for surrendering. Thank you for showing me what living from the bullseye is like. By Him and through Him, you woke me up and I’ll forever be grateful.

I’ve linked the book for you here.

Summer Fashion Favorites

Summer Fashion Favorites

I wanted to share a few things I’ve loved wearing this summer with links. I’ll make this super quick. Of course, Farm Girl Tees + Ball caps always.

Another is overalls and jumpsuits. My love for 90’s was screaming when I found these. I have it paired with a Matilda Jane embroidered floral tee and these HD West Leather earrings. My shoes are from last season at Farm Girl but I have them linked here. I also feel like they make me look 5″ shorter than I really am but this summer I’ve embraced the “I don’t care, wear what makes you feel good, and you do you!” It’s liberating. Also fun.

I’ve linked this outfit here. You can grab one of my favorite necklaces, The Howdy, from Valley Design Co.

Another one of my favorite, comfy, outfits this summer has been a maxi skirt with a tee. Whoever started this “dressing up a tee” trend, thank you! I love using our Farm Girl tees with these pretty skirts. As you can see, I’ve been able to put together several outfits with the tees, shoes, and earrings.

And this, simple jean shorts with tops dressed up with some of our beaded earrings. You can grab the outfit here.