Lessons Learned


While we build our homes, we build our lives.

Most days, this little log home is filled with giggles and running feet. Some days our high cathedral ceilings echo with stomping feet and angry voices. With eight strong personalities in 1400 sq feet, the sparks fly. We love fiercely!

I knew when we chose the open layout that it simultaneously allowed for large gatherings and loud echos.

What we didn't know, but suspected, was how much a home would define and refine us. We had grown to identify with our 100-year old duplex. We had people ask in condemning tones if we “still lived in that duplex?”  dripping with heavy shame.

I struggled and allowed that shame to define me until the day I decided to seriously love where we were and trust God with my whole house. That moment was a huge turning point. As I donated bag after bag to charity, I started to see my home with new eyes. The burden lifted and I could see how grateful I was for the lesson learned in that 100-year old duplex, where we lived for almost 9 years.

Then, we moved.

Again, we were shamed by our house choice. “You don’t live in a log home, do you? Isn’t that expensive?” we were asked. “I could never afford to live in a log home,” we were told again and left speechless by people who knew nothing of our journey. This home was a gift and an answered prayer on so many levels. We had asked for it to OPEN it to others and share the goodness, which we did in spite of the shaming comments. Through lots of help and support plus a crazy turn of events, we received an amazing price on this little log house and are deeply grateful each day for the small square footage and large amounts of grace in our home.

Which brought me to understand that the concept of home DOES matter. It’s not “just” a house. It shapes us. The concept and the physical floor-plan, the location and especially what we do with it. Most importantly, how we fill it. Do we make memories and share wisdom? Do we fill it with forgiveness for the days when angry voices storm? Are we quick to read books and snuggle on the couch? Is this the kind of life we want to be the foundation for the precious lives we love? Regardless of what other people say?!

Our homes should be intertwined with our lives and serve as the canvas from which we work to create our best lives.

Freedom comes when we embrace in faith the daily calling to create a haven in our homes.

And, we also have the freedom to change it all - move, renovate, re-create, renew, restore, and build anew. If your home is not serving you or even the items in it, you have the great responsibility and joy to CHANGE without apology, no matter who might be offended or what others may say. This is your life and your home and your lessons learned.

Blessings for your journey,


Frugal Fun: Zero Waste, Minimalist Toy Frog Tutorial


Can you hear this sweet frog singing? Oh, the fun and joy this little frugal project has brought to my high-intensity household of six children! I never knew when I started cutting up worn-out pants into shorts that my frugality would bring such fun as making frogs.

If you stopped by our little log home on any given day, you may see one of these frogs peeking out of a couch cushion. Or you may see a little blonde boy carrying it with its pocket filled with rocks or small cars.  We don't have many toys around since I gave most of them away. However, these homemade frogs are a family favorite. 

The irony of this fun project is that I'm terrible at sewing. I give myself barely a passing grade. I know enough to be dangerous, not enough to be good at sewing. However, my boys look forward to Christmas when we secretly work on frogs for the younger siblings late into the night. Whispering and laughing with my 11-year-old boy is a precious treasure to my soul. This year, he told me "Mom, this is my favorite part of Christmas!" After a long day, that was healing balm to this momma of six. 

The instructions for this project are easy, I promise. Remember my sewing skills are below average. 

1. Cut off boys pants after they have shredded them beyond being patched. Cut the fabric so it's open and wide. You can also use old sheets or shirts like I did here. I cut out the pocket of my own pants for this particular frog. 

2. Draw freehand a pattern of a frog onto the pants legs or largest part of the fabric. Cut only once a doubled piece of fabric so you have both the front and back of the frog. 

3. Make silly jokes with your child about frogs singing and coming to life (this is a vital step, not to be skipped). 

4. Sew the pocket on what will be the outside of the frog. Turn the fabric so that it is inside out and sew around the edges leaving the bottom open for stuffing.

5. Turn the frog right-side out and stuff with whatever kind of stuffing you have. I used bulk raw cotton that was "seconds" online. I also have used old couch cushion stuffing or shredded t-shirts. Basically, anything can be stuffing if you cut it up small enough. 

6. Stuff the frog and use a knitting needle to evenly distribute the stuffing. 


7. Sew up the bottom of the frog securely. 

8. Name the frog and sing a frog-song.

9. Give your sweet frog to your precious child.

10. Talk about using what you have in new and creative ways. Share your heart for being a good steward of natural resources to protect real frogs and their habitat.  Hug the child and frog close to your heart and ignore the muddy face and crooked stitching.

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This moment is precious.

Giving doesn't need to cost money.

Gifts of time and experience and stewardship principles are precious.


Blessings for your sweet family,


New Ways to CREATE Sacred Space Even in a Crazy World

View of the "Cathedral of Trees" taken by my daughter

View of the "Cathedral of Trees" taken by my daughter

Hello my dear friend, I hear it your voice that the last several weeks have been crazy. Really crazy. From international and national events to your own soul, there's been turmoil. A lot of it. How do we find Sacred Space when it seems the world has absolutely lost its soul? 

Maybe you are trying to declutter while working full time, commuting, and juggling the children. Perhaps you are caring for aging parents and trying to declutter their stuff AND your stuff. Or may be you are expecting a new little blessing and trying to declutter with babies and toddlers surrounding. Maybe, like me, you run a couple businesses, homeschool six kids, and have a dog, cat, chicken, pigeons, and a chinchilla. Maybe not. Regardless of what season you are in, my dear friend, you are not alone. You CAN create Sacred Space for your soul to breathe. I will never tell you it is easy, but it is so worth the effort. YOU are worth the effort. Here's how I created Sacred Space.


When overwhelmed in my decluttering and the press of life, I did not even know that I needed Sacred Space. When all those 500+ bags of junk was still all over my home rather than the local charity, I couldn't see anyway out. I had to start digging. 

With each box to charity, I found more of myself. I was crafting who I was, no longer in terms of what I had, but in terms of what I believed. My priorities. No more of worrying that people would judge me because of what I didn't have. I pitched out the door the concern if people saw I wore the same outfit to church each week (it was clean!). I love my capsule wardrobe because it reflects me. My values. I did NOT need to keep everything just in case the world ended tomorrow. I could walk out my life in faith, keeping what was needed for my journey in the relative near future and being wise, but not living in fear. 

ACTION STEP: Set aside 10 minutes each day for decluttering and then STOP to rest. Rest is key.  Give yourself a cup of tea or a walk outside. Read your favorite book of poetry for the first time in years. The point is to work and then rest. Rest is as necessary as the work. Reward your hard work, not by spending a gazillion dollars, but by being good to yourself. So many minimalist resources talk about the work side of creating space but for some of us, the rest is the important part. Others need the work part. Understand who you are and do both. 

As you are decluttering, you may find that you are getting overwhelmed because you keep seeing the next area that needs tackled. And it needs done faster. This is totally normal, all of my coaching clients feel this way, and I felt that same frustration. I wish that I could say I was peaceful and kind all through decluttering. Let's be real, you and I are friends. I was angry. Furious and desperate while I decluttered. Mostly angry at myself that I had let other people determine what I kept in my home. I had to forgive myself and others in order to create that Sacred Space in my home and my soul. 

ACTION STEP: Forgive the past. As you are decluttering, you CAN forgive yourself and others. This is a powerful step so don't skip it. Forgiveness is power. Maybe you spent more money on an item that didn't turn out how you had planned. Maybe the financial stress now turns your stomach. Forgive. You did the best you could and you've learned and grown from that experience. Perhaps the bills are high right now and income is low. Keep forgiving and look at what can be learned. Maybe you didn't spend the money but someone you love did. Forgive them. Holding onto resentment never solved anything. There is accountability, absolutely, but bitterness will only hurt you. Releasing all the negativity will make room for you to grow the peace and Sacred Space you are looking for. 


Walking the lane

Walking the lane


Here in our little log home in the woods, we are surrounded by nature, but we didn't always live here. I used to live on "Ambulance Alley" the busiest road in my city. The sirens rang all day and all night and the traffic was relentless. I learned in those hard days to find beauty wherever I was. Sacred Space in my physical environment became vital as well.

ACTION STEP: Find nature and beauty in hidden spaces.  Finding physical surroundings that bring peace to your soul is important. It can bring a keen awareness of beauty. Perhaps it's a neighbors' garden. May be a local park.  I hiked and trail ran on a local pike path and Metro Park. An urban courtyard often provides green space to just breathe again. Find your spot and use it! 

The world does seem to have lost so much of the goodness of humanity these days. The news is toxic on all fronts. Even the normal grocery line conversations are often negative.  To create new patterns in living and thinking, this negativity has to be held at bay even though it may seem at tsunami proportions. Taking these small action steps of work and rest, forgiving the past, and finding beauty in natural living spaces will carve out for you your unique Sacred Space. 

Blessings for your journey,