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Straining toward what is ahead: check-in #2

So, in order to meet my goals this year, I want to do bi-monthly check-in’s for accountability!  If you want to see my original goals for the year, check out my blog post Straining toward what is ahead (

Here’s the second round: March and April.

Physical goals:  I’ve still been working out pretty regularly at the Y.  I like to do Zumba there but one of my girlfriends challenged me to come do “Body Flow” with her.  Now I’ve never been a big fan of Yoga.  When Trent and I did P90x a few years ago, yoga was the one video that we absolutely HATED.  We would do just about anything to NOT have to do the yoga.  Granted, this is quite different, but it’s really made me hate yoga for a while now.  So for me to do this was kind of a big deal.  It really made me step out of my comfort zone because it is certainly not the work-out I would have chosen, but I’ve grown to actually like it.  It’s definitely different than the high tempo, high energy work-outs I’m used to, but I’m starting to get into it.  I do see it helping with strength and balance, and quite frankly, it is nice to do something quiet and relaxing.  Other than that, I haven’t been running much except a few random times here and there, but I don’t have anything I’m training for so I haven’t been so motivated.

Juicing… FAIL.  I think I’ve juiced like twice in the past two months.  I really need to step up my juicing game (but cleaning the juicer is such a chore!).

Not that I put a lot of stock in my weight (we don’t even own a scale), but I’m down to four pounds less than I was when I got pregnant with Jedidiah, so that’s cool.  🙂

Financial goals:  Well, we’re still working on this one, but it seems like we’re starting to have a little extra money (finally).  We’ve been able to make some bigger purchases of things we’ve been needing for a while now, so that’s a relief.  I’m still giving Spanish lessons twice a week and I’ve taken on a new gig tutoring a Kindergartener once a week.  It does help me feel like I’m helping without needing to leave Jedidiah for a long period of time.

Trent got a new job for next year, praise the Lord, but unfortunately he has to do some training this summer.  Fortunately, he will get a stipend for that, so that money will be helpful as well!

Relational goals: Date nights… check!

In March we went on several dates.  Some with the baby and some without.  We thought it would be special to celebrate our anniversary as a family by going to a Spurs game.  We ended up going to see the Spurs vs. the LA Clippers and it was an AWESOME game, not only because we won, but because we had so much fun together!  We loved it!


  • We also spent a day as a family at Landa Park in New Braunfels.  We love this park and we enjoyed a beautiful day strolling around enjoying the weather and nature.  Jedidiah loves to be outside, so he had a great time.

One of our dates without the baby was to celebrate our friend Laura’s birthday.  Laura had a baby about a month before Jedidiah was born, so we were pregnant together.  We had dinner on the Riverwalk and then we went on a Ghost Tour, which basically takes you around downtown San Antonio, through the old battlegrounds of the Alamo and to different historical landmarks.  Although we didn’t see any ghosts, it was really cool to hear all the crazy stories about hotels that were once insane asylums and crazy stuff like that.  I really enjoyed learning more about our city’s history.  Apparently there are some pretty haunted places in good ol’ San Antone.

laura's birthday laura's birthday2

Our other date was a random night when a friend offered to come over and watch Jedidiah.  She basically forced us to go out and have a date, in a good way.  We drove up the street to the new Wal-Mart and just wandered around aimlessly.  We meandered and goofed off and really had a fun time.  Then we headed over to Old Main Ice House, a new bar down the road from our house.  It’s pretty cool.  One of my old girlfriends works there as a bartender, so it was nice to catch up a bit with her and then hang out and enjoy the nice weather.  We got ourselves a couple of Blue Moons and hit up the food truck and just hung out.  If you haven’t been there yet, it’s definitely worth checking out.  It’s a great atmosphere and they have different food trucks every night!

old mainold main2

April date– Trent and I left the baby with his parents while we attended another friend’s birthday party.  Scarlette used to go to church with us and we’ve stayed in touch over the years.  For her birthday she had a Harry Potter themed party.  Although I wouldn’t consider myself a Harry Potter nerd, I do enjoy a good costume party!  We went as Bellatrix Lestrange (me) and Sirius Black (Trent).  We had a great time celebrating, but as always, we were eager to get back to our bubba!

We also got to go on a family date in April.  April is Fiesta time in San Antonio.  I think this is the only city that gets a day off of school for it.  Anyways the party lasts for a few weeks, but Trent, Jedidiah and I went to Alamo Heights Night with some of his co-workers and friends.  It’s always a lot of fun and it was a beautiful night.  Plus Jedidiah LOVED the fireworks at the end of the night!

alamo heights night

I haven’t hosted a second get-together yet at the house, but we’ll be doing one in the next month or so, so you’ll be able to read about it in the next check-in.

Spiritual:  I am still on track to read through the Bible in a year!  My Bible Study gals and I are doing it together, which gives me more accountability.  Praying… I’m getting better about it but I’d still like to do this more often!  Verses memorized, yep!  Even one extra for February (when I forgot).

In March I memorized Isaiah 53:4-7 in honor of Easter.  This was a prophecy about how Jesus would die for our sins.

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

My make-up verse for February was 2 Chronicles 7:14.  This is my prayer for our nation and for those of us who call ourselves believers.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The passage I memorized for April was one of my favorites: Ephesians 6:10-17.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Intellectual:  I have been using my Spanish much more often, reading books to Jedidiah and giving private lessons.  I did reach my “book-a-month” quota; unfortunately I wasn’t able to read much more than that.

three graves full

In March I read a book called “Three Graves Full.”  It was pretty good.  There were a lot of twists and turns and it was very exciting towards the end.  Babylon_Rising

In April I read a book called “Babylon Rising: and the First shall be Last” by Rob Skiba.  I found him on YouTube (he has his own channel) and I’ve really enjoyed listening to him and learning from him.  The book itself is very interesting and is about the end times when Babylon will again be a major player.

Personal:  My goal here was to spend a day doing one thing I love each month.

In March, I’m not sure I did that.  It was a busy month full of fun stuff but I didn’t really finish any projects or anything like that.  In fact, I only wrote two blog posts the entire month!  So I guess I need to make this somewhat of a priority.  I also didn’t finish my birth story photo book yet… that was supposed to be my March project.  Well, maybe it will be my May project instead…

In April I worked on several photo books- all for Mother’s Day.  I made one for my mom, one for my grandma and another for Trent’s mom, all of Jedidiah.  I’d been meaning to do it for a while now, but needed the Mother’s Day deadline to really make the push.


Here’s to staying on track for the next few months!  How are you doing on your new year’s resolutions?

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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Straining toward what is ahead…


A new year, a fresh start.  2015 is gone and 2016 is here.  Although 2015 was a great year for us, I am looking forward to this new year to try to achieve new goals and reach to new heights.

I don’t explicitly remember making “resolutions” for 2015, but here are some of the goals that I wanted to accomplish that I did:

  • Have a baby- check!  The cutest baby ever!
  • Pay off all our debt- check!  Student loans and car loans gone thanks to diligent saving and spending while we were in China!
  • Read my Bible cover to cover- check!  I think this is the 9th or 10th year I’ve read through the whole Bible in a year.  I think it’s super important for my spiritual walk and I will resolve again to do it this coming year.
  • Travel- check!  4 countries and new cities in China were visited, along with family and friends domestically.

Now, for 2016, I want to write down my goals, not only for me, but so that others (you guys) will try to keep me accountable!  Even though I already had an idea of the things I’d like to change or better this year, we had an excellent sermon this past weekend that posed some questions that I hadn’t thought about yet.  I’ll write more about those at the end of this post.  So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2016…

Physical- My overall goal here is to be healthy, both for the hubs and my bubs.  I want to juice at least 2 times a week and start running again.  Now, I don’t necessarily want to put a number amount on how many times a week I’d like to run.  It’s too easy to fail that way if there’s a busy week or a week where I’m not feeling so good.  Instead, I’d like to put forth the goal to run another half-marathon at some point this year.  That way I can have something to work towards and that should keep me accountable throughout.  I’d like to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and size, if nothing else so that I won’t have to buy new clothes when I already have so many (that I just can’t quite squeeze into).  My main motivations for these goals is that the Bible calls my body a “temple of God,” and I want to make sure that I treat that temple well.  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Financial- So we are in a bit of a tough spot financially.  Even though we paid off all of our debt while we were in China, our savings didn’t last as long as we thought it would upon our return to the States.  We came back to a house that needed many renovations due to damages our renters left behind that weren’t covered by their deposit (between missed rent and damages, it cost us about $8,000 dollars).  After that, we had to buy a car (we paid cash for a used car), buy stuff for our nursery (all second-hand and at a good price), pay for Jedidiah’s birth up-front (because our insurance won’t cover midwives or birth centers), pay for several vet visits for our cat (two unexpected surgeries), and live off of the rest for the four months we went between paychecks.  We thought that Trent would get his first paycheck in August, but it turned out that he didn’t get paid until the end of September.  We also thought that I would be tutoring at his school sometime during late September or early October… that didn’t happen either.  I didn’t look for a part-time job because I was anticipating this one working out.  Anyways, all that being said, our goal this year is to get back on our feet financially.  I am so thankful that we completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University a few years ago at Revolution Church; without it, I don’t know where we’d be!  We’ve burned through our emergency fund and have been on a super tight budget for the past few months but we’re making it work.  God always provides.  He’s blessed us through gifts and gift cards for the baby, unexpected money sent from friends and I trust that he will continue to provide for our little family.

I’d also like to find a way to contribute to our family’s financial situation in this coming year.  My goal is to start offering private Spanish (or English) tutoring and eventually start offering Spanish classes for home-school kids.  This will allow me to work during the day when Trent is at work (so that I’m not missing out on time with my husband), and be able to make my own schedule (that works around the baby).

Relational- I want to be PRESENT in my relationships.  In my marriage, I want to make sure that I put Trent first.  It’s been easy since Jedidiah was born to let him come before our marriage and the time that we spend together, but I really want to make sure that Trent and our marriage come first.  I would like for Trent and I have a date night at least once a month (even though for a while, they will have to be free dates)!

With my son, especially when I’m breastfeeding, I want to make sure I’m talking or paying attention to him. It’s so easy to scroll through Facebook for the umpteenth time or check my e-mail on my phone while he’s feeding, but I don’t want technology to come between me and my baby boy.

I’d also like to have people over to our house more often.  I don’t feel like I can commit to once a month for this one, but I would like to host at least 4 events (game nights, murder mystery parties, etc.) in this coming year.  Look for posts on these events later in 2016.

Spiritual-  I want to read through the Bible again this year.  This keeps me fed spiritually.  I also want to spend more time in prayer.  I participated in several prayer challenges this year through my church (Revolution Church) and they were really blessed times.  I want to get back to that, so I will try to use at least one breastfeeding session each day to pray- Lord knows there are lots of things to pray for (our nation, my family, missionaries, martyrs, friends, etc.).  Lastly, I’d like to memorize more scripture.  My goal is to memorize at least one verse (and its reference) a month.  I can also use Jedi’s feeding time to practice memorizing my verses.

Why am I doing this?  God’s word says: Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children,talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”  Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Intellectual-  I want to use my Spanish more often (and speak it more to Jedidiah) to stretch myself linguistically.  If I can start tutoring or offering Spanish classes, that will certainly help this goal (although it’s not exactly quantifiable).  I also want to do the things I like to do to stretch my brain- especially reading.  I’d like to read at least one book a month.  I will be keeping a log of the books I read to make sure that I get at least 12 of them in.  I also want to blog more often.  I have so many things I’d like to write about, but with a new baby, I rarely have two free hands to type (Hence this post written nearly a week into the new year).  Too bad I can’t have some sort of device that transcribes everything that I write in my brain!  I’d have a gazillion posts written by then!

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” 1 Peter 1:13

Personal-  I want to spend at least one day a month doing something creative that I love- digital scrapbooking, blogging, editing photos, etc.


Now I’d like to add to this post the questions that our pastor posed to us: (if you’d like to watch the sermon, you can do so at:

What one thing do I desire from God?  Passion.  I used to have such a passion for people, for serving, for my time with God.  I’ve gotten away from that.  This is one thing I will pray for this year- that God would ignite this flame in my life once again.

What one thing do I lack?  Self-control.  Especially with food…  This is something I am going to specifically pray for in the coming year.

What one thing do I need to release?  Bitterness.  I have to say that I harbored (and perhaps am still harboring) some bitterness towards our renters.  The damages they left us with and the rent they didn’t pay put us in a bad place (both financially and emotionally).  What made it feel even more unjust is that we had already helped them out and shown them grace in a hard time by lowering their rent (by $300 dollars a month!  That’s $3,600 for the year!), yet they were unwilling to return the favor and simply paid what they contractually owed.  They re-nigged on their word to go back up to the agreed upon amount once she got a job, and then ended up not even paying several months of the lowered rent.  Then they had the audacity to be mad at us for giving them a “bad” reference!  The truth is, we didn’t even say anything bad about them, but were obviously honest about money, rent, and things like that.  But I think the thing that hurt us the most is that they called themselves “Christians,” yet this was the testimony that they left.  No wonder “Christians” have a bad name; they aren’t living with integrity.

However, that being said, I’ve been convicted to pray for them.  Since them leaving without a trace (no forwarding address or responses to any of my messages), a man showed up at our door looking for “the man” (who will remain nameless).  He said that “said man” had just gotten out of the hospital and he was sent to provide in-home care for him.  Another time a man and his son showed up at my door with presents for their grandkids, they were sponsored by a church.  We also received a letter to them in the mail from their son who’s in prison.  All these things tell me that they need prayer.  Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28), so I will try to let go of the bitterness and pray for them instead.

What one promise do I need to claim?  “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”  Isaiah 26:3


Anyways, these are my “resolutions” for the upcoming year, what are yours?



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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


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