Monday Madness | Motivation

I'm trying really hard not to cry.
I'm sitting here in my favorite coffee shop and I feel just so overwhelmed.

This morning I woke up with so much motivation!

I had this idea that I was going to get our bedroom cleaned, laundry put up, the rooms vacuumed, the dishes cleaned, bathrooms cleaned, start my grocery list and meal plan for the month of July, and maybe even bake some delicious cookies! I was stopped in my tracks, however, with my needy little toddler. 

Hannah apparently decided that today she wasn't going to agree with anything I do (or DON'T do for that matter). She cried when I let go of the book she'd been reading for the past twenty minutes. She cried when I stood up, when I shifted positions, when I walked, when I talked, when I sang, when I ate, when I cleaned, when I used the bathroom, when I DIDN'T do anything, and when I KEPT doing stuff. It was just aggravating. Seriously. Does anyone else have this problem?
I feel like I just lose all aspect of priorities, like I have no earthly idea what to do next!And that's only the start! It tends to burrow deeper than that the more it happens. It makes me feel like a bad mom, like I've done something (or many things) wrong! It's one of the worst feelings I've experienced as a mom. The thought runs through my mind, "My child continues to cry probably because I haven't treated her or taken care of her the way I should." I'm pretty sure I experience both anger and sadness in these moments. 

 This afternoon Hannah fought a nap for over an hour and when I finally got her down, I had no idea where to start. Everything on my to-do list all of the sudden seemed larger and more difficult. Why couldn't I have just cleaned this morning when I had the motivation instead of after I've been "chained" to a child for the past four hour! Grr. Eventually I was able to put up Hannah's clothes, most of it anyway. You have to fight that girl in order to KEEP her clothes in her drawers.

And the fight continues! I had only been sitting for about twenty minutes before I could hear her crying from her crib. Just stay asleep, will you!

I spent the rest of the day simply sitting on the floor, being climbed on by my one year old, feeling defeated. Can someone tell me how I'm supposed to be a good mom or a good wife, when I can't even move? 'Cause some days I just don't know! Our day consisted a whole lot of tears, screaming and throwing things. My daughter is addicted to books, so you can bet we read the same book (not multiple, just the one today) a gazillion times!

My patience is still running thin (even after escaping the house, thanks to my wonderful husband) and oh my goodness, I would just love to collect my thoughts, maybe even do the laundry.

Maybe this is all just a beautiful hill to climb in order to get closer to Christ. Maybe these tiring and frustrating days are what causes us to lean of the everlasting love and hope that is Christ. Maybe all the times I am so tempted to get mad, are really just a tool God uses to draw me into Him.

I want to end this in giving praise to God for all the hardships that I (we) could ever face and of course a special thanks to my husband for all of his support and friendship.

Chris, you are amazing and I could never explain how 

very much you mean to me. I take out so much of my frustrations on you and I am so so so sorry! You don't deserve any of it. You are a wonderful, patient, peaceful, gentle, caring, and compassionate man. You love me greatly through all the good and the bad days. You love me. I know you do, without a doubt. I can only hope and pray that God really teaches me and helps me become a better wife for you.

Father, thank you. I need you. I need you a lot, and you know that full well. You love me so much that you would do anything to draw me into your presence. Whether I cause my suffering, or you do, you draw me in with a love that is so grand that I cannot even begin to explain! You drown me in your love, mercy and compassion! 

"I don't have time to maintain these regrets (anger, sadness, bitterness, fear,...etc) when I think about the way that you love us!" - How He Loves

 I am encouraged. My God is good and He will use all the things that happen in my life. He uses the good and the bad, and works them out for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purpose (Ephesians 8:28).

I pray you find your hope this evening like I have.
We have reason to be hopeful! God plans to give us hope and a future. They are plans to prosper us, not to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11) And He has given us ALL that WE could possibly NEED for life and godliness! (2 Peter 1:3)
I am so weak, but my Father is strong! "For He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak!" Isaiah 40:29
Praise Jesus!!!


Thoughtful Thursday: I Want to Explode With Praise

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'm crying right now. I'm sitting in a coffee shop and I'm in tears.

My God.
My God.
He loves me.
He loves ME.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Is anyone else in awe of this tonight???

I keep listening to the same song over and over again.
(You might remember this from Tuesday Tunes!)
I don't know why (Well, I do. It's Jesus.) but it brings me into a place of worship every single time I hear it. I am brought to my knees every time. Every. Time.

Here it is!

My thoughts are chaos, so please don't mind my attempt to let it all out.
I've been so lonely. I have. That's so embarrassing to admit. I feel very weak and vulnerable admitting this, but it's the truth.
I was reading a blog post today at Scissor Tail Silk called To the Momma in the Silent Years. I just sat and cried as I read it. These silent years, they are hard. They suck. I'm miserable and unsatisfied many days. I have reached my breaking point. I need God. I need Him. Badly. I feel so alone so many days. I feel as if I don't deserve the blessings that come my way. I just yelled at my one year old, how could I deserve such love?
God loves me. He does. I'm not perfect, but oh. my. gosh. He LOOOOOOOVES me!!! I am speechless!

Let me share this Scripture with you. I pray to our heavenly Father that His Word brings you HOPE. Lots of it! He is going to come and sweep us off of our feet and draw us into Him and we are going to fall head over heels for the most wonderful Father and Savior!!! It is going to be beautiful! (It already is!) 

It's Hosea 2:14-23...
This piece of Scripture is a description of my heart, spirit and walk right now. The song I shared above is where my heart is headed. I'm falling in love with God all over again, and I have missed Him! I have needed Him. I have craved Him and longed for Him. I have been lead to the desert so that His glory may be shown for all to see! I am overwhelmed right now with His never ending pursuit of my heart.

Pause. Let that sink in.

He has a never ending love for me. No matter where I'm at in life.


Are you trying to catch your breath, too?

In my journal I wrote,
"Oh God. Oh God. Oh my God. Oh my God."
That's all I can seem to say.
"Oh my God."
Translation: Holy cow! Oh my! Wow! Oh my gosh!
::heart races::

14"So now I am going to draw her back to me.
I will lead her into the desert.
There I will speak tenderly to her.
15I will give her back her vineyards.
I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope for her.
Then she will love me, as she did when she was young.
She will love me just as she did
when she came up out of Egypt.

"Then she will love me, as she did when she was young."
I am speechless! I WANT this! I CRAVE this!
16"A new day is coming," announces the Lord.
"Israel will call me My Husband.
She will no longer call me My Master.

A new day is coming!!!!!!!!!
17She will no longer speak about the gods
that are named after Baal.
She will not pray to them for help anymore.
18At that time I will make a covenant
for the good of my people.
I will make it with the wild animals
and the birds of the air.
It will also be made with the creatures
that move on the ground.
I will remove bows and swords
and other weapons of war from the land.
Then my people can lie down in safety.
19I will make Israel my own.
She will belong to me forever.
I will do to her what is right and fair.
I will love her tenderly.

"I will love her tenderly."
20I will be faithful to her.
And she will recognize me as the Lord.

"And she will recognize me as the Lord."
You are MY GOD!
21"So at that time I will answer her,"
announces the Lord.
"I will command the skies
to send rain on the earth.
22Then the earth will produce grain, olive oil and fresh wine.
And Israel will be called Jezreel.
That is because I will answer her prayers.
23I will plant her in the land for myself.
I will show my love to the one I called Not My Loved One.
I will say, 'You are my people'
to those who were called Not My People.
And they will say, 'You are my God.' "

"and they will say, 'You are my God'"
From the tip of my toes, to the top of my head,
they're gonna know that I love you!
I want to explode with praise!!!

We've crossed a line, and we've crossed it.
Some would say that we've lost it.
We've found our joy. It's the joy of loving You!
Who cares what they say!
We've found our joy!!!

Father, oh my goodness...I could kneel here crying in your presence forever. You thrill me, Lord. You THRILL me! Father, I don't have much to say, but thank you. THANK YOU!!! I need you and I have craved you soooo much! THANK YOU for pursuing me and THANK YOU for embracing me in your grace and freedom! I am FREE in you! I feel your embrace and your love. I can feel you wrapping me in your arms. I feel your warmth. I just want to dance in your presence forever! Can I?

Father, send peace to my dear friends and family, to those who are weary and tired, and to those who are searching for hope and joy! Send them joy and freedom! Father, in the name of Jesus Christ I ask you to send to them your Holy Spirit, that they may be overcome with your presence! I beg of you Father that they hear you and see you like never before! Blow their minds away! Speak over them in love and gentleness! Awaken their spirits! Speak life into their hearts! Dance with them, Father!

Lord, you are perfect, holy and beautiful. Wonderful. My healer. My provider. My friend. My love. My joy. My hope. My King. My Master. You make me the happiest I've ever been! I never want to leave your presence! Father, please please PLEASE never stop pursuing me! I want you! Always and forever! Nothing compares to you! Nothing.



Work it Wednesday: 15-Minute Cleaning

I mentioned in Monday's post...

"I have all these hopes and desires for my life. Some small things and some bigger things. Most of these are just things I wish I could keep up with or good habits that I could form. I'd love to have a clean house at some point every single day. Dishes put away, laundry completed or at least off of floors and surfaces, meals cooked every night, my garden up to par...I think you get it. I am not perfect although many days I get upset because, well, I'm NOT perfect.

I try to keep my house clean. I try to keep the laundry clean and put up. I try to make sure our bathrooms are always people friendly. I try to get up early so that I have less on my mind the rest of the day. I try to do meal plans. I try to eat from the pantry. I try to stick to my grocery list. What happens when I try so hard? I don't get anything done. Usually."
Well, today I want to share with you what works for me!
I clean for 15 minutes!!!

What? Clean for 15 minutes?

Yes. 15 minutes.

On days that I am so very unmotivated to clean or I'm so unfocused that nothing ever gets done, I set my timer for 15 minutes! Flylady shares how she sets her timer to 15 minutes and just starts cleaning. Anywhere. Anything. Just clean. But when the buzzer goes off, stop what you are doing and move on to something else. Yep. It's that easy. (You can read about it here ---> Declutter in 15-Minutes) She shares a lot of different cleaning ideas. They are pretty brilliant, I think! Melissa from The Inspired Room has some wonderful ideas as well!

I've read a lot of these but the 15-minute decluttering technique has worked best for me! It usually gets me motivated enough to keep cleaning. I set my timer for 15 minutes, clean until it beeps, set it again and then work on a whole 'nother area of my house. It keeps me busy but no so bored because I have to switch it up each time the buzzer beeps.

Do you have any decluttering tips to add?
Have you tried any of these tips and have they worked for you?

May God bless you with rest, peace, patience and hope!

Photos of Hannah throwing all her toys out into the rain. ...thanks Hannah.


Tuesday Tunes: Tip of My Toes

This song has made my heart race...every time. 
I have turned this song on every time I really really really need God's peace and joy (in the moment, like when Hannah's driving me bonkers). 

This is not everyone's cup of tea, but I feel like someone needs to hear this...

"From the tip of my toes, to the top of my head, they're gonna know I love you..."

"I wanna explode with praise!"

Monday Madness: Try, Try and Try Again

I have been convicted these past few weeks about waking up earlier in the mornings. I need that time so that I can sit in God's presence and really soak in what He has for me to do with my day (or life, really). I need to come to Him before the chaos of my day sets in. 

How did it go?

Let's see...
I didn't even go to bed until close to two in the morning, even though I should have gone to bed at nine o'clock seeing as I only got three hours of sleep the night before. I was exhausted, so exhausted that I couldn't even get to bed at a decent hour! Grr. (I was mad at myself for a moment there.) Needless to say, I slept in...until about seven.

I woke up to the sound of Chris whispering to Hannah. They were waiting for me to realize that they were there. A little later, when it came time for my handsome man to go to work, he had lost his keys. You understand the frustration, right? We looked everywhere and finally came to the conclusion that he was going to have to take my car to work. So, I emptied it all out of mine and Hannah's things. Carseat, purse, diaper bag, some toys, some cups from the day before, and some bags I left in the trunk over the weekend (oops). Only, a few minutes later while Hannah was playing in Chris's car, she tried to start it up! She had found the keys!!!

The rest of the day was a blur. I've had this migraine that I can't seem to get rid of. It's been running all throughout my head and it feels as if I've been punched in the face. No kidding. I was pretty
exhausted and in pain most of the day. The majority of our time consisted of me getting trampled on, pinched, bitten, slapped and yelled at by Hannah. Don't forget the hair pulling. She's currently crying because I won't read her book to her for the fifteenth time. She loves her books.

Despite all of that, it really wasn't a bad day if you could believe it.

I have all these hopes and desires for my life. Some small things and some bigger things. Most of these are just things I wish I could keep up with or good habits that I could form. I'd love to have a clean house at some point every single day. Dishes put away, laundry completed or at least off of floors and surfaces, meals cooked every night, my garden up to par...I think you get it. I am not perfect although many days I get upset because, well, I'm NOT perfect.

I try to keep my house clean. I try to keep the laundry clean and put up. I try to make sure our bathrooms are always people friendly. I try to get up early so that I have less on my mind the rest of the day. I try to do meal plans. I try to eat from the pantry. I try to stick to my grocery list. What happens when I try so hard? I don't get anything done. Usually.

Does anyone else struggle with this as well? Am I the only one?

I am learning so much about myself and about my purpose as a wife and mom and one of the things I am trying to remember that the things of this world do not matter nearly as much as the hearts in my household and in my life. To love. That should be my first priority and if it isn't, I need to be silent and refresh my heart, my mind and my soul in Jesus Christ.

May you have a blessed evening filled with abundance of smiles and laughter!
May God bless you with rest, peace, patience and hope!

{Photos taken via webcam.}


Thoughtful Thursday

I'll be honest. 

I have so much on my mind right now that there's no way I can write it all down.

God is good, that much I know. 

...and right now, in this moment, that's good enough for me.

Goodnight everyone!

May God bless your sleep or your lack of sleep this evening!



This woman is beautiful. Her eyes. Her smile. Her gorgeous long locks. 

Meet Rachel.

 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; 
my soul knows it very well.
Psalms 139:14  

Work it Wednesday

Fine motor skills. We've got them here at the Strasburger household! 

At one point I was obsessed with Pinterest. For real now. Before Hannah and after college, when I had countless hours of free time, I was pinning anything and everything. Not everything I use (Haha, like any of us DO half of what we pin on pinterest!) but some findings have been very helpful! This is one of those things...

All you need are:

Pipe Cleaners
and a

Is it really that easy?
Yes. Now set your child down so they can play with it!

Check out that serious 'tude! She was so focused she forgot to smile! :)

Hannah spent a gazillion hours (well, it seemed like it) playing with this! You could hear her frustration but she kept trying! 

The point is to learn how to put the pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander. It's amazing how difficult it can be for our little ones. I could see Hannah's hands shaking as she was trying to slowly and perfectly put the pipe cleaner into the holes. It was the coolest thing to watch! A bonus: I was able to get some work done without her flipping out every time I moved to another room! Yay!

So go pull out your pipe cleaners and strainers and get to playing!!! 

I pray for rest in your sleep or lack of sleep this evening!
God is good!


Tuesday Tunes

My husband and I have had so much on our minds and in our hearts lately. We have been overwhelmed, but we have been reminded to "be still, and know" that He is God. Psalm 46:10.

We don't need to fight. We need only to be still.

So tonight, I am still. I am thankful. I am His presence.

God is reminding me of my love for my ever so charming hubby (which as a mom, is hard to remember and act on sometimes). I, sadly, forget to love him so often. My husband is an amazing man who encourages me daily to fall in love with God all over again. (All thanks to God!) He is so humble and so patient. I read Ephesians 5:25-27 and I think of him. I believe that it perfectly describes him. He gives himself up for me daily and acts in such a way that I appear without blemish. My husband is so wonderful! He is perfect to me!

This rain has put me in a pleasant reminiscent mood. Our home is quiet and at rest. I can hear the rain and I love it.

I wanted to share with you this song. It takes me back to when we chose to be a team for life and how very much in love we were with each other and with Christ. So here is the song we first danced to as husband and wife. I think it fits perfectly into my rainy and reminiscent evening. 

Oh how God has blessed me with a love so sweet!

Reminisce with me! Here are our wedding photos by Haley Sheffield!
My advice of the day: LIVE! Be happy. CHOOSE to be happy. Smile. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Listen to your favorite song. Watch the rain fall. LISTEN to God speak.

I pray that God blesses your sleep or lack of sleep this evening! 

God is GOOD!

Manic Monday

I feel like I need to start anew. Can I share my story?

In August, my husband and I will have been married for three years, together for seven. Our daughter just turned one and we believe that she's already hit the terrible twos. I am completely blessed to be able to stay at home with our baby girl every day. I have the joy of hearing her say new words and rock her baby doll for the first time. I have the privilege of welcoming home a handsome man every evening. I get to shower him with kisses after his long and difficult days at work. I get to see his face light up as his daughter taunts him with a game of chase. Our home is not always cheerful and peppy, but most evenings can guarantee at least fifteen to thirty minutes of some serious giggles.

My life as a mom...where do I start? I fully believe that I can repeat every word Bonnie wrote in this post concerning becoming a mom. I did NOT understand what "tired" fully meant until I gave birth to Hannah. There are so many things that I did not understand, until now. You think marriage is hard? Parenting is hard!

Let me tell you about my day.

Late last night Hannah "climbed" out of her crib. She's one. She CAN'T climb out of her crib! Imagine a little baby girl throwing her leg over her crib and then falling onto the floor without doing anything to prevent her fall. Yea...that happened! That's the third time in two weeks! I now have this immense fear that my daughter is going to grow up with major spine or joint issues! (It's terrifying!) 

This morning went well, meaning she didn't scream too much about anything and we (mommy and Hannah) smiled at each other without having to walk on egg shells. We giggled and played on the bed. 

We had been playing on mommy and daddy's bed and Hannah began to run full speed towards the bedroom door, forgetting that she was above the ground. She fell and hit her head on the floor, then proceeded to flip and start crying. We cuddled. She then pulled at my shirt, stretching it past it's limits (aggravating, seeing as it's a new shirt and will never hold it's shape again). She wanted to nurse. Again. I said no, and she bit me. I told her not to bite me and she bit me again. 

We started to giggle again, playing a game of chase. 

Hannah likes to sit by the fire place but this time, mommy and daddy forgot to unplug the remote from the xbox system. Can you guess what happened? Not even thirty minutes after hitting her head on the bedroom floor, Hannah pulled the cord attached to the remote and the remote fell and hit her head. My poor baby. It just wasn't her day today.

We sat down for lunch and we watched some cartoons on Netflix (Mostly me. She's not too interested in television right now, thank the Lord!). I made hot dogs. SIMPLE. Hannah was aggravated with me because I wouldn't give her the plate (that she could drop and break). I tried to feed her but she fell on her stomach every time and spun around as to face away from me. She'd look back to watch my reaction but I would just keep on eating. Then she got mad that I wasn't giving her what she wanted (even after her tantrum) and started hitting my plate, pushing everything off and onto our carpet. Hot dogs. Ketchup. Crumbled hot dog buns. Grrr. By this point I was getting fairly aggravated with my monstrous baby and decided that I wasn't hungry anymore. She didn't seem to want to eat anyway. She was just playing with her food and rubbing it into my carpet. 

A little while later I put her in her high chair to eat. Half usually hits the floor, a fourth gets eaten and the rest just stays smeared on her tray. As I cleaned up the floor around her (before setting the monstrous child free), Hannah decided that it would be fun to throw food into my hair as I was bent down. Corn bread. Peas. Carrots. Noodles. Cheese. It was all in my hair. I stood up to throw away the food that hit the floor and she started screaming and crying as if I were abandoning her. I literally took two steps to the trash can and she was freaking out!

We read her First Words book (no longer sold). We read it for thirty whole minutes. She threw a fit every time I tried to set it down and she would put it back in my lap. Her favorite words are "dog", "cat", "eyes", and "baby". I tried to teach her that dogs say "woof"! She eventually started softly saying "Wooh! Wooh!" It was the cutest thing ever!

I finally got to go to the bathroom for the second time today and Hannah decided that it would be the perfect time to hop into the bathtub. I started stripping my child, running the bath water, clearing out the bathtub, checking the bath water, and making sure my naked baby doesn't pee all over the floor, and all while sitting on the toilet trying to use the bathroom. This is my life. Haha!

We laughed so much today. She was happier than she's been (for me) in a few days. Then Daddy came home from work and she was sooo excited...for about thirty minutes. She started fussing again as if I was abandoning her.

We (Daddy, Mommy and Hannah) ate dinner together, played together, giggled together, went grocery shopping together and then she passed out in her bed.

Lately, about 80% of my day consists of me not knowing why my child is crying. Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm not paying enough attention to my own daughter and maybe I have missed something completely! I hate that feeling. When she cries just because I stand up...why? I don't understand? Did I do something? Did I NOT do something? She'd been fed. She had a clean diaper. She had been playing with me for hours and been with me ALL day. Why is she upset with me?
I recently told my husband that I feel as if lately I get bullied and beaten up all day long. Then in one quick moment, I'll be witnessing fear in my child's eyes JUST BECAUSE I stood up to pick up a few toys, throw something in the trash or go to the bathroom. It makes me feel so guilty for reasons I don't even know or understand.

My living room is covered in pieces of hot dogs, corn bread, baby snacks and ravioli. I forgot to wash our bedsheets today and this morning, Hannah's diaper leaked all over it. Yep. I'm sleeping on pee tonight. Gross, I know.

The point of all this life is crazy. It's no where near perfect, and I like it that way. It challenges my faith, my patience and my mercy for others. Today was hard because Hannah didn't want to accept anything that I offered her, but she cried her little heart out every time I stood up or stepped away for even just a split second. That mixture of emotions can wear on a person after time. She rejects me one minute but then clings to me the next.

Chris and I had a long discussion at dinner tonight about remembering that Christ lives within us, within you. I am reminded today, that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when I do not have the words. Romans 8:26 Young ones are so exhausting. I won't even sugar coat it. Half of my days are tiring and the other half are exhausting. I have few days in between to which I actually have more energy than when I awoke. Those moments that I sit and cry because I'm tired and stretched thin, the Holy Spirit is interceding for me. The Holy Spirit intercedes "with groans too deep for words".

Wow. THAT is the peace and encouragement that I have been needing to hear for so long now. If I don't know what to say, do, think or react, I have a great and mighty God who will hear His servant, the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for me. He speaks to God FOR ME in groans that are too deep for words! W O W!

We are NOT alone. God has NOT forsaken us. HE IS HERE. HE IS VERY MUCH ALIVE and WITHIN US. Praise the Lord for His love is GREAT!!!

Note the mass amount of pillows beside Hannah's crib. Here's hoping that if she climbs out,
at least her landing will be soft. (We can't seem to find the tool for lowering her crib.)

So let us rest in His embrace, even though our days can be difficult, painful or sorrowful.

Goodnight everyone!

May God bless your sleep or lack of sleep this evening!

A few more photos of our day...
Notice the pieces of hot dog along my floor. Pillows tossed to the ground. Dirty dish towel (it might still be laying there, oops).

God bless!