Balance What Matters and Let Go of the Rest

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jesus Makes Men New

Him: So I shared a few weeks back about a high school friend of mine who was soon to release a book titled Date Your Wife. Well the book is out and making a bit of a splash. I spotted an excerpt from it this morning on the Resurgence blog site 

Men, take responsibility and respond to the gospel. Ladies, enjoy as God’s grace transforms your husbands and your marriage.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Quiver Full

Him: So we’ve got a grip of kids. And let me tell you that out of the gate, this was not what I had in mind. If you would have asked me before having kids how many I wanted, I would have responded with two… maybe three, but five was never even a consideration. I think I looked at kids like most people do. I saw having children as a season that was part of every married couple’s life. I thought of playing with my kids in the yard, teaching them to ride a bike and taking them to my favorite childhood places. But never did I think of them as work. There was never the thought that they would interfere with what I had going on. In fact, the very idea of only having two (maybe three) was probably my own selfishness- not wanting to base every decision on what was best for my family. For example, vacationing in one hotel room doesn’t work with seven, vehicle options have been whittled down to minivan or giant SUV, we don’t fly anywhere, it only takes one breakfast to destroy a box of cereal, new shoes for all of us can easily cost over $500 (which will inevitably soar as they get older), the absolute cheapest we can eat out is Taco Bell for around $22 (a modest restaurant with soft drinks and an appetizer comes to around $50 after tip), any interest (gym, running, reading, etc.) that I have consumes the time when my kids are asleep- usually before sunup. Then there are all the teaching moments (which I definitely enjoy but they take time), hobbies that I just don’t have time for, vacations that are nowhere near the budget, toys that need to be fixed, fights to be broken up, spills to be cleaned… the list goes on.

But after having one, three was no longer a maybe. And although I’d like to say that I was open to it right away, over time God changed my heart to the idea of more. I understood and appreciated the wisdom of Psalm 127:3-5. My quiver was coming into focus as He dealt with my selfishness. No longer was the perfect little suburban American lifestyle going to be my reality. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very much an American and I happen to live in the suburbs, but much of the cultural norm around me has been fading as God reveals more of His wisdom and plan for my life.

The more I hear statistics about divorce rates and families having fewer and fewer children I become bothered by the realization that these norms are creeping into the church. Couples are deciding for themselves the number of children they want without even consulting their creator. They are looking first, as I once did, at how their worldly lifestyle and personal comfort would be affected by more children.  Typically, such decisions are justified by, “we can give our children a better life if we only have a few” or “we can only afford college tuition for two” or “we don’t have enough patience for that”. We must be asking Christ to lead us in our decision making and understand that every excuse we make is driven by selfishness. I recently read the following statement by Al Mohler, “Christians must recognize that this rebellion against parenthood represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design.” Sound harsh? The truth sometimes is.

We know the greatest commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” but we seem to interpret that to exclude all your lifestyle. That commandment was not delivered with exceptions- except when your finances may be affected or as long as you’re able to maintain your Saturday morning golf ritual… except when it cramps your style. Serving Christ by being obedient to fill your quiver is not about income or convenience.  Does this mean everyone is called to have a pile of kids? Maybe not, but I encourage you to seek God’s direction in this area with a soft heart ready to hear his voice while putting your personal agenda aside.
For now, we’re very happy with five… very busy… very tired, but very happy. For now, we’re right where we feel God telling us to be. But if God’s plan is to continue blessing us, who are we to rebel?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tucker Family Update

Her: Good morning readers!!  As you can see Troy and I fell off the blogging planet there for a bit. We thought summer would be a great time to be better bloggers but instead we’ve been better slackers!  There has been a lot going on in the Tucker house. Fun, fun, and more fun to be exact!  One of the reasons Troy and I starting blogging is to better document some of the important events in our lives.  So here it goes!

Every Father’s Day for the last four years we’ve marched off to our annual camping trip with some of our dear, sweet friends. This year’s trip was to Morro Bay and it was as wonderful as ever.  I am not a huge camping fan (only because of the amount of work it requires) but Troy and the girls love it.  Who am I to deny them their moment with nature? But, what I do love is good food, good friends and good memories with friends and family and this year was no exception.  We are blessed with some of the most generous and loving friends ever.  They are all so adventurous and with them we’ve enjoyed some priceless memories.  Rock climbing for the kiddos in Yosemite two years ago and, this year, kayaking and paddle boarding!  We found sand dollars on the beach and watched the sea otters frolic in the water. The kids ate s'mores until they were sick to their tummies and we chatted and ate!  It was awesome! 

This year we extended our vacation to include a two night stay in a hotel after camping (Mommy’s side of the vacation) and just spent some uninterrupted family time with the 7 of us.  It was relaxing and fun and yummy and cozy and just plain wonderful!  Yay vacation!

Our next adventure included our fantastic 7 year old turning into an even more fantastic 8 year old! And the very next day our precious firecracker 3 year old turning into an even more precious firecracker 4 year old!  It was a birthday whirlwind!  We made a tradition a few years ago that you get to pick what you do and eat on your birthday for the whole day.  Of course with budgetary, health and safety restrictions, he, he! And you get breakfast in bed! So we ran around making their birthdays special with presents, food, dessert and adventures.  By the end of the second day we collapsed into a birthday coma and piled on the couch for a family movie.  Success!

Next on the list, vacation bible school (VBS)!  Our church re-entered the world of VBS after a few year break and our family was blessed beyond belief.  Troy and I even caught the oldest two girls sitting in lawn chairs in the backyard reading their bibles.  So amazing and adorable!  God is good!

VBS was followed by a fun filled trip from my dad and his family!  We swam and connected with them.  It was so nice to catch up! They were here just long enough to miss them terribly now that they are gone.  We are looking forward to more time with them as we head up north to watch the last of Troy’s sisters get married in a few short weeks.  We’ve got five adorable flower girls in the wedding and they're all waiting excitedly for their dresses to arrive in the mail! So fun!

Our next blessing came in the arrival of my mom via plane for a two week visit! My mom is so gifted in the area of organization and attention to detail.  It's such a wonderful gift for me.  She zooms around the house sorting hand-me-downs sending clothes to the appropriate child.  She fills in the gaps of things missing around the house: new toothbrushes for the kids, a second hairbrush so the kids don’t have to wait their turn as long in the morning and even a new bathmat and hand towels for the bathroom! She lets me sleep while making breakfast for the monkeys (that is like gold to a mommy of five). But most importantly she gives us her time- time to listen to all the kid’s (and my) stories, time to read endless books to the little ones, time to play board games, time to teach kids how to use the mouse on the computer , time to make yummy homemade treats like apple crisp, and time for cuddles.  Time is something we have little of these days and she fills in the areas I feel we can’t get to and that, to me, is priceless. Thank you, momma.  

Troy had his mud run and it was awesome! After six weeks of hitting the gym hard my scale still reads the same. But, I feel stronger and have more energy for the kids so it was worth the effort.  Gonna keep on trekkin’ and we’ll see how the scale looks again soon. 
We’ve filled in the rest of our days with a bit of schooling, crafting, baking and swimming.  I’ve had some cool projects for work that I will update you on soon. And, I’ve been updating a few things around the house; I'll show you those too! 

After a $1,100 quote to fix our air conditioner, Troy and a friend tackled the work on their own.  I assisted too!  After a week of miserable heat and elbow grease, our AC is up and running! Go Team!  

I also assisted with changing the oil on the Nissan.  I was such a good helper. Troy made me finish the whole thing! It was one of those things that’s so cool to learn about and now I have a whole new appreciation for all my wonderful hubby does around the house!

It has been a whirlwind of a month that is for sure!  Isn’t life cool?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Having a Grrrrrrrr Moment

Her: Tonight my lovely, amazing, patient husband drove our four oldest children to a movie playing at the local park.  He very sweetly allowed me to keep the baby home so I didn't have to freeze to death while entertaining a 1 1/2 year old and watching a movie for the second time that I hated the first time. Yay me!  

Best of all my little munchkin and I were about to have alone time, yippy!  She was not so thrilled to see all her big sisters drive away in the car but I quickly bribed her with a malt ball and her fussing ceased. We ventured out to lock up the chickens when she said “chicken” for the first time.  Adorable.

Now for book time.  So I am not good at reading to my kids.  Ok terrible.  Homeschooling has helped a little but pretty much if you want a book read around the Tucker house you’re gonna have to read it to yourself.  I hate that I don’t do it.  It makes me feel like a mommy failure.  So tonight was a night to read to my munchkin.  I was so excited.  I was going to erase my mommy failures and start fresh.  One on one, looking at every picture, reading the story over and over, here we go!

I got the first book out, put the baby on my lap, and then it happened.  She began to violently rip the book from my hand screaming as I resisted.  She pulled with superhuman strength, too.  Like it was the last morsel of food on the entire planet and she was starving to death.  “Well this is not going as well as expected”, I thought.  I gave her the book and encouraged her to open it herself.  She slammed it shut screaming “No”. Well actually, “MMmmmoooooo”.  She doesn’t quite have her “n” sound down yet.  I set the book aside trying to reason with her.  As I gave my “be kind to mommy” speech her screams grew louder and louder. She began trashing her body around which culminated into the most explosive kiddy headbutt I’ve ever received.  Awesome.

And just like that book time was over.  I took my screaming, writhing child to her crib and put her to bed.  No mommy failure recovery today.  Me and my swollen forehead are going to bed.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Her: With a new blog and business, I have been overwhelmed with “putting myself out there”.  For my business I have gone into peoples’ most personal spaces in their homes to organize.  I have helped with DIY projects, sewing projects, garage sales, parties and I just never know how my assistance is being received.  I’ve been complimented and they have called me back for more work which are great signs but it is all a little nerve racking to say the least.  The blog just adds an even bigger wave of fear.  Here I am putting my thoughts and feelings out there for the world to judge.  All the nervousness will build up in a moment of panic and then God reminds me, “I called you to this”.  I don’t know where this blog will lead, if anywhere, I don’t know how my business will grow, if at all.  All I can trust is that I am on this journey with God.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7

As God calls us to new, amazing and sometimes nerve racking things we have to remember WHO has called us.  I can look back on other big moments in my life.  Moving (7 times in the 12 years of being married), having each baby, homeschooling.  God has been there. He has seen me through.  He has moved in ways I could have never imagined and the place I am at now was well worth the struggle. We need to find our strength in Him even when we cannot see the path ahead.

            “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

Worry tries to sneak in and destroy what He has called us to do.  If we give in to that worry we will be miserable and ineffective for Him.  I love these next two scriptures.  They are from the same conversation from two different books of the Bible.  Two perspectives on the same


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34 (For more on this read 6:24-34)

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Luke 12:25-26

I love how Jesus calls adding a single hour to your life a very little thing.


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

God is walking with us.  He is in control.  Have courage to walk the path you are called. Thank you all for journeying with me.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of us!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday . . . it's here again.

Her: Another Monday begins . . . whiny baby, demanding three year old and no milk for cereal.  Not even a tiny little drop for my coffee.  Laundry is piling up even though I tackled it all weekend and I’ve got a major camping trip to pack and grocery shop for. Even as I type this sentence I have a baby wanting up on the bed, a 7 year old waiting to tattle on her sister and a 6 year old that I’m not quite sure what she wants yet. . . 

Ok, I’m back. Many times I walk my house in the morning and repeat the words, “don’t panic” over and over again in my head.  Sometimes I hide in my room for an extra 30 minutes in the morning hoping everything will be done before I get out there (Yeah, right!)  Other days I come out like a whirlwind demanding that everyone obey and clean, NOW! Neither of which are really successful for anyone.  

As mommies our responsibilities are endless, our days are short, and the little people that we are doing the work for are not exactly cooperative.  More like tornadoes to say the least. And yet the days come over and over whether we like it or not. And the more we procrastinate the more it piles but tackling the monotony of responsibility is sometimes just as bad as ignoring it. 

But, guess what? Yet again, there is hope in the truth of the word.  Yesterday we heard an amazing sermon at church on God’s gifts to us in Romans 5:1-11 one of which is joy.  Joy only found in the Lord. I felt like God was encouraging me to walk with Him – trusting Him with my life, to walk in Him –trusting His holy spirit to guide me, and to walk for Him – for His glory.

Through that vantage point laundry, cleaning, or getting anything done really is secondary to our true purpose which is God and our relationship with Him.  I will leave you with the following scripture to encourage you as you start your week:

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Colossians 3:17

Friday, June 8, 2012

Workout Update!

After a week of dieting and exercise I thought I would let you know my progress!  The week started off strong losing weight and feeling great!  By the forth day I already lost the 2 pounds for the week and I figured this losing weight thing was gonna be a breeze. The second half of the week I went to two amazing classes at the gym.  They were intense and I was able to keep up better than I thought.  But, now I've been starving!  So I've been consuming a lot more calories than I originally intended and gained back a pound.

I really enjoy the workout classes and I also enjoy eating a bit more so I'm changing my strategy for next week a bit.  I am going to keep eating healthy but increase my calorie intake and I'm going to add one more workout day.  I think I will just go for a run for about 30 minutes and see how that works out.

Let me know how your progress is going!