Our houseful of little people!
It’s a bitterly cold Tuesday morning and I’m waiting. The previous week we had gotten another call from the county. They had a sibling group of three needing a home. Would we be willing to take them?
Finances can be an area of struggle for many of us. With that in mind, I recently wrote a blog post for Bridging the Gap about the financial journey my husband and I have taken in the last few years, along with some simple tips on how finding ways to involve your family can make all the difference. Here's a preview:
My husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye on finances. Oh, when it comes to the big picture, we do. He knows that if he unexpectedly comes home with a new Playstation, vehicle, or ATV, he’s in trouble. Similarly, I know that I can’t go on a shopping spree to buy endless amounts of clothes for our two children, no matter how much I may be “saving” because of great after-Christmas sales.

But the way we approach finances is vastly different.

His economics degree means that he has a wealth of knowledge and experience on the finer points of money matters, whereas my background in English means I can wax eloquent on Jane Austen a lot more easily than I can talk about asset allocation.

He has sophisticated spreadsheets to distribute ingoing and outgoing funds, while my portion of the budget is spelled out on a bare-bones, pared-down version.

He keeps meticulous care of all of his receipts, whereas mine always seem to get lost in the depths of my purse somewhere between boxes of raisins and baby wipes.

Want to read the rest? Here's the link.

For Christmas this year I got the devotional “1,000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. Her simple accounts of seeing God’s grace in the daily things, the mundane things, inspired me to keep an account of all that I am thankful for, all the ways that I experience God’s grace on a daily basis.

God’s graces are found everywhere, when I just take a moment to see them:

Good morning, friends!  Kendra, Kristin and I have teamed up with the amazing writers over at Bridging the Gap's website.  I've written a blog post about the thieves of fear and worry who so often show up to steal our joy in the present moment.  Check out the preview below, and then click the link to read the rest over at Bridging the Gap!   -- Julie 

I don't know about you, but December has been a busy month in our house. As I left work on Thursday, I savored the idea of a long, quiet weekend. We have a trip to Mayo Clinic next week to seek some expert advice for our son's asthma, and this weekend was set aside to be a restful and fun time with my husband and kids. No obligations, no requirements, no nothing.  This weekend was to be an oasis of peace before we jump headlong into January, the new year, and all of the adventures 2013 is sure to bring. 
I shouldn't have been surprised when my eyes popped open at 2 a.m. on Friday morning with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Overwhelming fear and worry had replaced my peace and joyful anticipation for the weekend. I was thinking about work. I was thinking about events that might happen in 2013. I was thinking about a variety of things -- none of which I could do a single thing about at the moment.
Want to read the rest?  Click on the link:   http://mnbtg.org/resources/health-wellness/thieves

I’ve never been big on New Year's resolutions. Sure, I’d like to lose ten pounds, be more organized, plan better, and learn new skills (quilting and a foreign language are always at the top of my list). I’ve just never been one to follow through beyond January 31 or so. 

I once tried to read through the Bible in a year. I think I made it to March before life got busy and the daily list got lost. Although I try to exercise and eat healthy fairly consistently, I’m not perfect and there are days, ok, sometimes weeks, where I fail more than I succeed.

I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, which may be true, but I did quit P90X after 40 days, so I’m not sure that rule always applies. In fact, my brother-in-law Tim attempted P90X and made it only 10 days, so we lovingly call the program by whatever day you quit on -- P10X for him and P40X for me, respectively.