Category Archives: The Heart of This Woman

  • Faith. What does it look like?

    I’ve been watching a tv series on netflix while I sew lately, The Good Wife.
    I began watching it because I really liked the lead actress from when she played in ER. I always loved ER, still do, my hubby got the full set for me as a gift one year. I plan to rewatch the series every few years. ūüėČ

    Anywho… I like the Good Wife well enough. Some parts don’t really coincide with my belief system but one thing I find interesting is the way ‘religion’ is tossed in throughout the show. Some of it good, some bad, but a lot¬†of it is rather thought provoking. For atheists, or those struggling whether they believe in a God or not, I’m sure it interests them, or does not interest them, differently than it does for me.
    For me, because I am a strong believer in God, it is interesting to see the ‘other side’. The main character, Alicia- the good wife, considers herself an atheist. Her daughter begins searching out faith in Jesus. Bits of this are shown throughout the seasons. It reminds me that how I live my life, my personal belief system, may seem quite foreign to some.

    It’s odd for me to think of others as viewing my belief system as odd.
    How’s that for a ¬†profound statement?¬†(not…yet kind of is, kind of like sorry/notsorry?)

    I realized that some may not even know how faith plays out in a ‘believers’ daily life. So I wondered if perhaps I should/could offer glimpses into my own faith and how it plays out in my daily life, through my blogging?
    Or perhaps my faith is already evident on my facebook pages and the blog? I know I have shared that I have faith, that I believe, but does that even open a window to show what that really means? To someone who has never had faith lived out before them, does my blog and fb pages even give any type of a real hint as to what MY faith looks like?

    What about you? Do you believe? Do you have faith? If you do, is your faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as it is for me?
    Or are you an atheist? If you are, what does faith mean to you? If it’s not in your own life, what do you believe it ‘is’ to people who have faith?
    Maybe you are none of those, and something completely different? What does that look like in your life?

    Perhaps my thoughts are confusing¬†and not making sense? Maybe you wonder why am I even asking this, or why I’m pondering it?
    Well, I like to learn about other cultures. I feel that opening our eyes to what other people experience opens our minds past our own little ‘bubbles’, for lack of a better word.
    To me, having faith and not having faith are like two very different cultures. I have no desire to live a life without faith, but I do have a desire to understand how one could even live without faith?
    In my own life, that type of living just seems impossible.

    For those who are atheists, I wonder if the opposite is true. Do they feel living a life with faith would be impossible?
    If so, why?


    As for my daily life and¬† how living out my faith looks…
    The main difference would most likely be my morning routine and how I begin my days. I really enjoy having my morning coffee with some quiet time doing my daily ‘devotions’. Some may ask, “What is that? What does that mean?”
    For me, it means getting up before anyone else in the home, and reading my Bible. I usually also read some study books to help me understand the Bible deeper and to make sure that what I’m getting out of the Bible is in line with truth, and not just what I’d like to think the Bible says. After I read my Bible and a devotional/study book of some sort, I write in my prayer journal. I’ve been writing in a prayer journal almost daily for years now. Since Alesia and Joshua, our first two children, were very young. They are 25 and 23 now! I have many journals on my big bookshelf in my sewing ‘studio’ filled with pages and pages of prayers.

    If someone were to open up the pages of my prayer journals they would find many prayers written very similar to one another. I always start out praising and thanking God for all He has done for me and for my family. I believe thankfulness, whether you’re thanking God or simply being thankful, is very important. It puts our mind in the right frame of mind for the day. To remember all we have, rather than what we don’t have. My morning devotions and prayer time are like coffee for my soul. It wakes up my mind and spirit as coffee wakes up my body.

    Even if I am having a hard time, which does happen – as idyllic as some may view our life – I try my very best to still start out ¬†my day with prayers and¬†a thankful heart. No matter what is going on in my life at the time, the fact that I am alive¬†and able to write in my journal is proof that I should be thankful. It means that¬†I woke up to a brand new day, and I’ve been blessed with yet another opportunity¬†to be even better than I was before, and to have an even better day than I had the day before.

    You may read that and think, “Easy for you to say” but let me preface all that by saying, I’ve been through stuff. I’ve been to ‘hell’ and back several times in my life and I know hard times, physically, mentally, financially, and even spiritually. I’ve been through darkness. I wake up each morning and¬†choose to thank God for all I have because unless a day comes in my life where I suffer as Jesus Christ suffered on a cross, I will count myself as blessed. That very thought process is what has helped me to get THROUGH¬†those tough times. For that, I also thank God everyday, for the strength that He gives me to keep on keeping on.

    That may sound almost ‘harsh’ but I’ve had too many times in my life where I’ve shared my faith and my thankfulness, and people often reply with “But…it’s different for you.”

    One time at a home group Bible study (a small gathering of church friends who do a Bible study together in one person’s home) we broke off into even smaller groups to pray for each other. The topic that night was marriage. One of the women in my little group of 4 mentioned that she needed prayer for her marriage. I offered some advice as one who had been married about 15 years at that time to hang in there and trust that God could, and would, help her and her husband if they both kept on keeping on and working together towards a better marriage. Her response, “But it’s easy for you, you have such a great husband!”

    The first 7 years of my married life was a living hell for the many parts. On the outside, things always looked pretty good but on the inside, it was a whole other story. My husband was an alcoholic. He was not a man of faith. I lived through many drunken nights. I won’t go into it further as that story is not just my own to tell, it is my husbands and even my children’s story. Suffice it to say, her reply was almost¬†laughable to me. I tried to share with her that sure, my husband was a much better man¬†now but that it wasn’t always that way and we had to work VERY¬†hard to get where we were! AND, we were still having to work hard! But she wouldn’t hear of it. She had decided that her marriage was too hard because her husband wasn’t as good as he should be. There was no convincing her otherwise.

    A while later they were divorced.

    I do my best to remain thankful, every single morning, because being thankful helps me to keep from being the opposite.
    It helps me to fight off self-pity. It keeps away negative thoughts, and helps me to start my day with a positive and thankful attitude.

    The rest of my prayers are filled with many different topics. Areas of my life in which I’m in need of help. Prayers for my children, my husband, other family members, friends, acquaintances, in sickness, health, good times and bad. LOTS of prayers asking God to help me! To help me grow to be a better person. To give me wisdom for difficult situations. To help me LEARN daily! To show me how to make it through tough days. During our 21 years of homeschooling and years of lots of little ones, there were lots of prayers for patience and guidance in teaching my children. Lots and lots and LOTS of prayers asking for forgiveness…

    But every single prayer begins with thankfulness.

    Throughout my¬†days, with a homestead full of all these animals (sick and/or dead animals aren’t fun, pets or livestock- we love them all!), a business to run (ever have difficult customers? Fast approaching deadlines? Emails and messages coming at you from fb, several email accounts, etsy, hyenacart, blah blah blah… Who hasn’t been there and done that with work pressures?!) and all else that goes along with a business, 8 family members (all with their very different personalities, and all very stubborn (that’s a good thing right?!), including one needing extra ‘special’ care – we won’t even begin to go there right now), and regular day to day life ups and downs (BOTH of¬†our vehicles broken down currently – one parked, one limping along!), enough difficulties come up to knock me down, stomp on me, chew me up and spit me out, that I surely don’t need to be starting off my day with negative thinking!

    So that’s why I begin my day with my coffee, my devotions and my prayers. ūüôā

    And even when life gets really hard, if I look hard enough, there’s still always something to be thankful for.
    Like this double rainbow I saw the day I was driving home from visiting a good friend who was dying. It was dark and raining, a truly miserable day, but amidst it all I had to pull over and snap a crappy photo because it was too beautiful not to remember that in the midst of hard times, there are always reminders to be thankful.


    With that, I’ll stop here. I’d like to share more about my faith in future. That’s one little snippet of me living out my faith in one small way each morning.

    I ask again here at the end of my post;
    What about you? Do you believe? Do you have faith? If you do, is your faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as it is for me?
    Or are you an atheist? If you are, what does faith mean to you? If it’s not in your own life, what do you believe it ‘is’ to people who have faith?
    If you are neither one with faith, or one who is an atheist, what do you believe, or not believe?
    I’d love to hear from you. No debates, no negativity, I’m not looking to start anything like that. I’m wanting to hear¬†simply so that I can learn better how to listen. ūüôā

  • Healthy steps

    *Do you have any ‘baby steps’ to lifestyle changes you’d like to share? I”d love to hear from you!

  • Still on the topic of health… speaking of statins.

    The article linked below speaks about just a few of the very many reasons that I didn’t run straight to the pharmacy with a prescription in March when I was told I should begin taking meds to lower my cholesterol.

  • Brutal honesty time – health and wellness

    “If your health doesn‚Äôt get better by chance, it can get better by change.”

    A quote from a monthly doTerra email I receive says the above quote.

    I’ve been sharing about my health and wellness adventure on my facebook pages. For far too long I’ve been ‘hoping’ my health will get better, mainly because I actually felt really good for the most part! I haven’t been sick in a very long time, not since doTerra became a part of my life. The last time I was sick was well over a year ago now, no lie! I haven’t had a cold, flu or¬†any other bacterial or viral sickness since. I’m able to do everything I want and need to do every day,¬†from getting up at the crack of dawn to get my homestead and home business work done, to pulling hundreds of hay bales off a field and putting them up in the barn loft with the rest of the family every August. I keep up with the best of them! I even do better than some!

    So the fact that I’m overweight has been something I’ve known that I ‘should’ take seriously for a good long time, but to be honest, I haven’t.

    I sit at the sewing machines and cutting table for many hours a week. Easily 40-60+ hours a week, often 12 hours a day. I tell myself I’ll get up and walk mid-day, or I’ll do laps up and down the stairs. Instead I just keep working, and sitting. Often times I’ll sit there working for 4-6 hours straight without even so much as a bathroom break. I eat my lunch most days while I work. I’m blessed with two daughters who seem to enjoy making me lunch, so I just thank God they bring me food, and I keep on working.

    Bad bad bad.
    I have gotten better with eating habits with the help of my youngest two Shaylah & Julia (17 years of age) making our lunches now. They’ve fully jumped onto the healthy eating bandwagon, and love trying out new recipes.

    But I still NEED to get moving more!

    I had blood work done back in March and if I don’t find a way to make a big change, I’m at risk of coronary heart disease within the next 8 years. My bad cholesterol is well over THREE times the healthy range, and my good cholesterol is way too low. Oh oh.


    Like REALLY ouch.

    The dr¬†gave me just 2.5¬†months to try and make an obvious change, or it’s onto meds. I will take meds if I can’t do this. However, I wanted to give it an earnest effort first! I’ve known for some time now that God’s been¬†nudging me to stop procrastinating! I should have listened.

    I decided I was¬†going to openly share about this, even if I fail. If anyone wants to join me, I’d welcome the support!

    My goal has been to change my lifestyle and eating habits in a way that suits our typical daily life. I’m not one to join¬†any pre-made plan that’s all the rage at the moment. I wholeheartedly believe in two things, slow and steady wins the race and making small changes daily equals big changes overall. I also believe in all things in moderation, that all REAL foods are good but it’s up to us to not over indulge in any of them. I always have believed these things, but I was lazy and didn’t listen to my own advice. Now I no longer have a choice to continue being lazy, so I’m doing it.

    After researching, reading, and praying, these are the steps I began in¬†March when I first found out my blood test results. So far, so good. I’m down over 15 pounds already, averaging about 2 pounds every week, and I’ve dropped many inches already!

    First, oils.
    I’ve added myrrh, lemongrass, grapefruit & clove to my daily oil routine.

    I’ve continued with my vitamins, I use the Lifelong Vitality pack from doTerra. and I HIGHLY recommend them. It’s since I made this step that I haven’t been sick in over a year.

    I’ve added healthy oils, turmeric & garlic to my vitamin regimen as well as niacin. I’ve finally found the trick to not flushing when I take the niacin. I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day (also good for lowering cholesterol) and for some reason, taking the niacin with oatmeal for breakfast works. It’s the only thing that has worked for me. I’ve tried high protein breakfast with the niacin, and still flush. However, I really really miss my TrimShakes… so that’s a disappointment for me. Julia still makes me smoothies about every second day, so I still do add in shakes to my routine, just not my breakfast. I loved my TrimShake for breakfast though, super easy, and tasty. I’m still considering changing that up and possibly having oatmeal for lunch instead… Just not wanting to up my carbs too much. It’s all a work in progress.

    I’ve stopped eating the fat on meats… I’m VERY VERY bad with this. I always ate¬†the fat from my steak/pork chop/etc. AND from my husbands… (did I really just admit that publicly?)
    My daughter said to me yesterday, as I was trimming ALL¬†the fat off the prime rib roast once it was cooked, that she couldn’t believe that it was actually HARD for me to not eat it. lol I know, I know, most of you are agreeing with her and thinking “that’s so gross…” I grew up fighting my dad for the bones and fat from any meats we ate. lol It’s a hard habit to give up!

    I still drink my two coffee’s every morning, it’s my whole reason for being able to jump out of bed as soon as the sun shines! However, I’ve switched to using maple syrup to sweeten it, instead of sugar. ūüôā I’ve been trying all sorts of natural sweeteners for years and nothing every tasted good, until I tried maple syrup one day! It’s SO good!

    I’ve cut out all candy, chips, etc. from my daily diet except for the occasional piece or two of dark chocolate (over 70% dark) and once a week I allow myself a treat/cheat day.
    I’ve cut out most carbs from my diet without even really intending to, simply because I stick to my allotted calories per day, plus I’m aiming for a good balance of healthy protein, fruits and veggies, so by the time I’m done adding all those into my diet, there’s not a whole lot of room left for carbs.¬†Previously, on a typical day I easily ate 2-4 slices of white bread¬†PER DAY, plus crackers (saltines of all things!) Now I’m down to eating about 2-4 slices of bread a WEEK. And most of the time at least half of those are sprouted grain bread, rather than white bread. About every second Saturday I allow myself a meal made with 2 slices of white bread, as part of my treat/cheat for the weekend. I still allow myself to have special things such as a piece of birthday cake (Elsa made black forest for hubby’s birthday last week, how could I say no??) but then I watch that I don’t eat any other ‘bad’ foods that day, and make sure that I still stay within my calorie budget.

    Some extra things that are really helping me:

    Lose It! app:
    My girls and I all use this app now. I keep track of every bite of food I eat with this app. So much easier than journalling and it REALLY keeps me accountable.

    FitBit app and band:
    ‘ve been using a fitbit band for quite some time, since my mom gave me one she had earned with points. Since then I’ve upgraded to a fitbit with a heart rate monitor because I had been having weird palpitations etc, and I just like to monitor things like that. I love my fitbit, and I have had nothing but great customer service from fitbit too, which makes me love my fitbit even more. It tracks my sleep (I actually sleep about 20 nights a month like a log. A literal log. As in, I fall asleep, and don’t even MOVE until I wake up. lol The other 10 nights a month, who knows what’s going on because those days I toss and turn lol, perhaps too much of a good thing the other nights??)

    Between using those two apps daily, and my daughters and I looking up COUNTLESS great recipes online, we’ve all been doing extremely well and have really been enjoying this whole journey for the most part. I know that I am very blessed to have the support of my girls (the twins especially, they are 17) and that was kind of hard for me to accept because I’ve NEVER wanted them to ever have too much focus on ‘dieting’, but this time with it being due to health concerns for me, it’s been completely different. Now we’re all about getting HEALTHY! It’s not about loosing weight. Loosing weight is just a natural byproduct of the added health and wellness. So I am really glad we’re doing this together. Now it’s about letting my girls learn about health and wellness at a young age so that they don’t end up with a scare like this at 46 years of age, like I’ve had. ¬†And their children will know even better and early than them. It’ll carry on for generations hopefully, a newfound respect for the health and wellness of our bodies. ūüôā

    Now that it’s spring, and we’ll be planting the garden soon, things will only get easier! I’ll be moving more due to planting, weeding, watering, etc. and it’ll be even easier to eat lots of fresh veggies, and even fruits, as we’ll be picking them straight from our homestead! We’ve always been about healthy eating, raising our own foods, even our own meats, but we kept eating lots of junk too. Times are changing. ūüôā


  • How’s those goals coming along?

    I read yesterday that by February 4th most people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.
    I thought that was kind of sad, so I figured it was time to check in!

  • New year rambles, goals, pigs, writing, walking and more

    It’s January 2nd, 2016, er, .. I mean, 2017 and we’ve done so much already. I’m tired just thinking about it.
    But in a good way. In a “I’ve got my list, and I’m getting things done” kind of a way.

    Speaking of lists, in the back of my prayer journal this morning I made up a list of goals I’d like to accomplish each month. I’m not real big on ‘resolutions‘, but I’m very big on goals. Not just on New Year’s day though, all the time. I actually LOVE Monday’s even, for this very reason. Monday’s are a chance to start a whole new week with a whole new set of goals!

    This year I’ve decided to break up my big goals into smaller monthly goals,¬†which are kind of like bite sized pieces. For example, I’ve been wanting to write a book for some time now. ¬†Pretty much my whole life really. The type of book I would write was never totally clear in my mind. I knew it would either be nonfiction, or some time of ‘self help’ book, as that’s simply the way my brain tends to be geared. But I wasn’t totally set on exactly what. The past while an idea kind of fell into my lap, or maybe slapped me in the face would be more accurate, so I’m running with it, and my goal is to write a new chapter each month. By the end of the year, I will have at least 13 chapters (I’ve already written the first one) and this is a very realistic goal for me. I work a lot of hours with my two home businesses ( and doTERRA) so I feel I need to set small bite sized goals, rather than one big goal of simply –¬†Write a Book.”

    My other goals are simple too, and designed to help me end the year off on a better, less rushed, slower pace of lifestyle than I normally tend to run at. I always AIM to live a slower paced life, but biting off more than I can chew causes a “rush hour”¬† panic much too often in my life. My whole list of monthly¬†goals are:

    1 ~ Write one chapter each month
    2 ~ Make one homemade gift each month (these will most likely all be for Christmas, I never have enough time in the fall to finish them in time for Christmas!)
    3 ~ Sew myself one article of clothing each month (I have all the fabrics, and even the patterns, sitting here just waiting for me to finally sew for me!)
    4 ~ Learn how to cook/bake/create one new food each month (so much food stuffs that I want to learn, such as yogurt (made that today!), pasta, all types of breads, fermented foods, and foods from other countries, the list goes on and on…)
    5 ~ Walk 20 times each month (this is a big one for me, even though it’s the most simple! I LOVE being outside, yet if I don’t get out first thing in the morning, I tend to procrastinate and get busy with everything else. When I’m outside here on our prairie homestead, I honestly feel rejuvenated and refreshed every time. It always makes me feel a little like Eve in the garden of Eden. We are blessed with so much greenery, space, and even fruit trees and wildlife. I love walking, and talking with God. The gorgeous vast prairie views and silence are just the icing on the cake. When I spend too much time behind the sewing machine and not enough time outside, I feel it in my whole being. I must make walks a priority!)

    And that’s it, that’s my list. Pretty simple really. I think these bite sized chunks are doable. I know they are¬†as long as I stick with them!


    Below is a photo from my walk this afternoon (just 19 more walks to go this month! lol).
    It’s cold in them these here parts, I tell you!

    I do love these types of winter days though, when the skies are bright ice blue, the hoar frost is on the trees, and the snow sparkles like diamonds in the bright sunshine!


    Before my walk I had been wrestling deer carcass in my freezer. I had to move it from one freezer to another, and it wasn’t co-operating…
    When you have many dogs (and cats, too many cats) and you let everyone¬†know that you feed all those many dogs and cats a¬†homemade raw food diet, you tend to have people offer you all sorts of things. Carcasses (is that even spelled correctly??) being one of those things. Deer, moose, antler, even a buffalo. We’ve dealt with them all. Not to mention the beef and pork bones we get on a yearly basis as well when it’s butchering time. One day we’ll do our own butchering, but that day will have to wait until hubby and I are not both working 50-60 hours a week.

    After my walk, and before I could make it back inside, I got coerced sidetracked¬†into helping move pigs in the barn. We’re getting close to butcher time, and we’ve started breeding our sows, so it seems moving pigs from one pen to another is a weekly ordeal right now. Warmer weather would be nicer for this work, but you do what you have to do, when you have to do it. After getting coerced sidetracked from my leisurely stroll outside, into helping move pigs, I then was coerced sidetracked into pig poop scooping…

    By the time I got back into the house my legs and butt were numb… I had a numb bum…. yes, I said it. My kids will die of embarrassment now… we’ll call it payback.


    Anywho…¬†here’s the yogurt I made!
    For over 20 years I’ve been wanting to make yogurt. My mom made it when we were kids, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. I’ve tried different ways several times over the years, and never had success. The last time I tried about 18 months ago, I ended up with absolutely perfect… cottage cheese! Who knows what I did wrong each time. lol But this time, I used my brand new Instant Pot, and had success, finally! Here’s the recipe/instructions that I used:¬†


    One last photo from my walk. It’s almost time for bed, I can hear it calling me now…

    How about you? Have you created any goals, or resolutions, for yourself this year? I’d love to hear about them!

  • A Night On The Homestead

    I’m all out of things to write today, so I thought I’d share something I wrote a while back that was published in Bear Essential Life magazine.
    I love the cartoonist depiction of my story!

  • The United States of America has a new President. What to do now?

    Many have spent the past 18 months voicing their opinions very loudly on why Trump should not be voted in. Perhaps some of that time would have been better spent listening to why your fellow country men and women did not agree with you. Perhaps further discussion could have occurred if over half of your population had not been quieted, but instead been encouraged to share, and been heard.

  • Death of a pet

    Instead, I asked myself what would I want if I were Teagan? I know, again, some are moaning that he’s ‘just’ a dog…. But he’s MY dog. He’s MY responsibility right to the end. So I asked myself, what do I want in these days that could be Teagan’s last?

  • Taking a leap

    For many years now I’ve struggled with one thing that I can not seem to shake.

    If you’re up for it, stick around.
    The future could be a train wreck you won’t want to miss.
    Or… maybe… just maybe…
    You’ll see me learn to fly.