When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong

2 Corinthians 12:9-10Something woke me in the middle of the night. It had been a few days since we found out that my husband was unemployed—with an increasingly sinking account balance and no immediate prospects for a job.

As I tossed a bit and tried to get comfortable in another sleeping position, the thought came booming through, out of nowhere.

I am powerless. Powerless.

And a feeling of vulnerability and weakness washed over me.

In the next thought, though, I reassured myself that powerless was exactly what I should be.

It’s strange to be there—in that moment of paradox. Utterly dependent yet completely confident. Scared to death and perfectly at peace.

Weak yet strong.

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —Romans 12:9-10, ESV

Day Eight

A Quick, Easy, and Legit Way To Make Money Online

Since I’ve had children and left full-time work, I’ve looked for ways to make money online. I’ve searched for legitimate work-at-home jobs, part-time gigs, and freelance projects that would pay decently and still allow me to enjoy work/family balance.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that I’ve tried a wide variety of the “home party” model businesses, dabbled in Internet marketing, and clicked through survey after survey.

The result? A little bit of change.

But now? I’ve absolutely re-discovered a legitimate way to make money online, which involves minimal effort.

Swag Bucks Is A Quick, Easy, Legit Way to Make Money Online

I have written about using Swag Bucks before, but then I kind of abandoned it and honestly, forgot about it. I’ve come back to it, though, and have found it incredibly robust. Today’s site is full of awesome deals and easy online “tasks” to perform for Swag Bucks—likely tasks that you’re already doing anyway (like searching and online shopping).

My goal is to earn at least a $50 gift card so that I can do some Christmas shopping this year. That will come in handy since my husband has not been employed full-time this fall.

Is Swag Bucks For You?

Yes! If you spend even one hour daily online checking email or Facebook, then you MUST sign up for Swag Bucks. It’s a no brainer.

You can click through quick surveys or watch videos while you’re also taking care of routine online tasks. Boom. You’ve just earned 4 or 5 Swag Bucks.

Yes! Do you shop online? You MUST sign up for Swag Bucks. It’s a no brainer.

Simply go through the Swag Bucks site to get to your shopping destination, and all of sudden you’re earning SwagBucks – just for placing the order you were going to place anyway. It’s like a double discount.

I’m Your Special Swag Bucks Friend

Think of my as your personal Swag Bucks Guide.

Join my email list and I’ll keep you informed of any special news I get from the Swag Bucks team. You’ll be the first to hear of daily special codes and other offers.

I’m so excited to share with you now a wonderful special offer from Swag Bucks!

Special offer === >>> Sign up using my SwagBucks referral link before December 21  AND earn 1500 SB before January 1, 2014  and you will automatically get a bonus of 500 SB!

Hello, people! That’s like $5 just for signing up (think Starbucks latte)!

Daily Swag Bucks Codes

I also receive daily Swag Bucks codes. These are special codes that are only valid for a brief amount of time during the day but oh, so easy to redeem.

I’d love to add you to my email list for the Daily Swag Bucks Code. Just sign up at the end of the post.

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time on the computer anyway and you’d love to make some extra money.

Give Swag Bucks a try. What are you waiting for?

Sign Up Now

Just pop your name and email address into the box below and you’ll be included in my special email list to receive offers, alerts, and news from Swag Bucks!

Yes! I want to receive emails with special Swag Bucks info, including daily Swag Code Alerts.

We respect your email privacy

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Seeing My Sin In The Middle of a Crisis

31 Days to a Deeper Faith writingmomof3 Going through a crisis has the strangest way of exposing all sorts of things about you, your beliefs, your feelings, your relationships, and your sin.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that any of these things—or your doing or not doing something—causes the crisis or that God is somehow punishing you with a crisis because of something you did or did not do.

Certainly, of course, a crisis may result from the natural consequences of one’s actions (mismanagement of money leads to bankruptcy), but God never sends calamity as punishment for your sin (as Pat Robertson is likely to teach).

What I’m saying is that while one is going through crisis, God will use the time and the circumstances to reveal many things to you. During our time of unemployment, a dwindling bank account, a diet of rice and beans, and a stripped-back life of just the essentials, God has hit me in the face with my sin of idolatry of money.

I know that I’ve struggled with this forever. But I’m telling you: until I’ve been in this utterly dependent situation, I’ve not fully confronted the depth of how committed I’ve been to this sin.

Seeing My Sin In the Middle of a Crisis

Day Seven

I love money. I love having enough and more than enough. I love pretty things, I love convenience, and I love comfort. I love being able to coast along on auto-pilot without much regard for stewardship or planning.

I resent people who have more money than I have. I’m constantly plagued by comparing myself to others and their monetary situation. I am jealous and critical. And then I become depressed. Depressed that I don’t have enough and depressed that I’m a lousy steward of what I do have. Depressed that this particular sin has taken up primary residence in my heart.

I don’t have a magic formula for identifying sin, confessing and repenting of it, and moving past it. No. But I do know that as I’ve found myself in this crisis, I do believe that God is working in many ways — and on this specific way with me.

Seeing My Sin, Confronting It, and Repenting

First, I had been praying that God would reveal my sin to me. Yea. A dangerous prayer, but important nonetheless.

Second, I continue to pray for his revelation of my sin to me.

Third, I pray that he—in all of his perfection—would be everything and more to me than my idols. This is an ongoing exercise that’s a mix of prayer, journaling, meditation, and talking to myself. I am fully dependent and trusting on God—not material items.

Finally, and this is a biggie!—I pray that God would empower me to turn from my sin and deliver me from my own insecurities and jealousies.

Photo Credit: MickWatson via Compfight cc

Seeking Singular Focus

I work with the amazing Dr. Meg Meeker who wrote The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers (no—I’m not working in pediatrics; I work with the marketing firm that helps her with branding, social media, and other promotional projects). Anyway—in this book, she talks about the benefits to mothers, especially, for having a singular focus.

A singular focus goes against the very grain of who I am. I’ve written before about this struggle, and sadly, I don’t think I’ve made much progress in this area.

See, I have BSOS (bright shiny object syndrome), FOMO (the fear of missing out), and I believe that anything is possible.

This is a dangerous combination, people.

You need your yard excavated? You rent the bulldozer and I’ll figure out how to operate it. Washing machine broken? No problem. YouTube videos can walk me through the repair. Make $1000 next month? Yes, I can. Make my kids smarter? Why, yes, I need to implement your program right away. Lose 30 pounds? Definitely! I’ll plug your routine into my calendar.

The Internet is my dream come true turned worst nightmare. I’m the girl who would save daily newspapers and issues of Time and Newsweek because I had to thumb through them before tossing them out. Had. To. I was convinced that each contained some kernel of knowledge that I needed. To carelessly toss away unread periodicals? Horrific! Unthinkable!

So, when Friend-From-Middle-School-Band Facebook Friend or My-Sister’s-Friend-From-Church Facebook Friend posts an “amazing” article to my Facebook feed? Torture, I tell you. T-O-R-T-U-R-E not to investigate it.

You see where this goes pretty quickly? I’m surfing through irrelevant (though interesting!) articles, such as how to make homemade sauerkraut, quizzing my kids with flashcards, and researching heavy machinery operation, all while counting off sets of push-ups.

And then I crash and burn from the dizzying effect of it all.

And then I stop everything cold turkey to recover.

And then I become bored because all I’m doing is the boring, mundane stuff of life. Cook, laundry, clean up poop. Rinse. Repeat.

And then—as my personality demands, my eye catches another BSO and FOMO leads me, once again, to lose two hours inside my Facebook feed.

Rinse. Repeat.

Am I the only one who struggles with this???

Sometimes, I feel so alone. My husband is terrific at singular focus and solidarity of purpose and energy.

I stink at it and when I do it, I become bored and depressed. And then in trying to compensate, I go overboard.

I know. I know. I shouldn’t compare myself. I hear ‘ya. And I know there’s not enough of me or enough hours in the day to stay this splintered with my attention and energy. Yet, I’m not sure how to fix it without denying part of who I am.


There has got to be a beautiful compromise out there that will honor who am I and what I need to accomplish.

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Is God Shouting to You?

C.S. Lewis quote: God Shouts in Our Pains


Day Six

Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs


Day Five

My journey through 31 Days to Deeper Faith continues. I discovered this beautiful drawing (below) from Adam Ford. I wanted to share it with you because I believe it captures so perfectly the atoning work of Christ.

Regardless of your crisis, you can have a deeper faith. Simply meditate on the finished work of Christ.

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5, ESV, emphasis mine)

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Words Are Fun Friday: Work


I’m in the middle of the 31 Days Blogging Challenge, but I thought it would also be fun to keep up with a new feature I’m trying to establish here for Fridays.

Words are fun! So, since I have the word, work, (as in, my husband needs some right now) on the brain, let’s see how many words and phrases we can come up with that include the word, work.

  1. Work it, girl!
  2. Workout
  3. Good work!
  4. Working for the weekend
  5. Work space
  6. Work around

 What did I leave out? Which words using the word, work, can you think of?


Day Four

Pressing In

Day Three

I have pretty painful tendonitis in my achilles tendons on both heels.

It can catch me off guard if I stand after sitting for awhile or sometimes when I wake in the morning. Getting moving can be rough.

I asked the doctor about it and she advised that I stretch my legs—specifically, those tendons on each heel—regularly. And I do try.

But I find that I’ll go a few days without stretching, and then the pain is almost unbearable when I get up and start walking.

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Talking to Myself


Day Two

I talk to myself a lot.

Maybe most people do and they don’t admit it. Or maybe most people don’t and therefore have nothing to admit.

But I proclaim loudly that I talk to myself—out loud—and it helps me. It helps me be a better writer and a better student. It helps me sort out life.

Sometimes, though, talking to myself is self-destructive. I’m pretty good at beating myself up and noticing my flaws (I am a former perfectionist, you know—ahem).

And when tragedy strikes, I find that talking to myself becomes a raw discovery of who God is and what he’s doing.

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31 Days to a Deeper Faith: Seeking God While Surviving a Crisis


I recently re-discovered the Nesting Place blog and noticed that she was hosting a “31 Days” Blogging Challenge.

I had been looking for something to motivate me to write more regularly, and I thought this challenge would be a good one for consistency.

Right now, my husband is unemployed due to a crazy string of events. God is moving us through a trying time and teaching us all sorts of things about himself, ourselves, and our faith.

I thought this topic would be a good one to explore from various angles for 31 days.

Join me, won’t you? Let’s discover together what it’s like to really seek God’s will in the middle of a crisis. When you are faced with struggles and hardship, how does your faith deepen? What does God teach us when we are stripped of all our comforts and crutches?

For background, read this post first: The Job Saga of 2013.

As I blog each day, I’ll post the link below so you can simply check back to this post.

I’m excited to spend October pursuing the heart of God.

Day One

31 Days to a Deeper Faith: Seeking God While Surviving a Crisis

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