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A Peek Into the Last Two Weeks + my goals for this week


We were snowed/iced in almost all of last week! Not only did the kids have fun playing in the snow (see below), but we also made lots of yummy food — like this Magical Molten Chocolate Cake.

“If you could go back and tell your younger self a message, what would you say?” An interviewer asked me this question recently as I was recording a podcast for my upcoming book release.

I knew immediately what I would say: If I could go back almost 15 years ago to my 25-year-old self, I’d look her in the eye and tell her gently: “You are loved more wholeheartedly and fully by God than you can imagine. You don’t have to try harder, be more, do more, or achieve more to attain His love. You are enough in Him. You are already — as @jenniferdukeslee says — ‘pre-approved’. When God looks at you, He sees a beautiful creation made in His image.

“You can stop beating yourself up over where you have failed. You can lay down that heavy burden of guilt you’ve been carrying around that you’re not doing enough. And instead, you can rest and receive His love for you.

“Someday, you are going to begin to understand the depths of His love for you. Someday, you are going to start to grasp the glorious grace of the Gospel and how it’s not just for the future but also for the very real real and messy of the present every day. And when you begin to understand this, it’s going to change your life — and give you more freedom and joy than you ever dreamed was possible!”

I didn’t quite say it that eloquently on the interview, but I hope my heart and message shown through: understanding and living as loved has radically changed my life!

If you could go back 15 years, what would you tell your younger self? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Note: If you want to hear more about this journey I’ve been on to live as loved, be sure to pre-order a copy of my new book, Love-Centered Parenting (available from Amazon, ChristianBook.com, & Bookshop.org).

I got a new Rocksbox set in the mail! Have you ordered your free set yet?

Kaitlynn fixed her hair into a ponytail one day! She has the sweetest personality and has really started communicating and it’s just the best!

We made a batch of Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists together.

This batch might not look that pretty, but it sure was yummy!

We could not believe how much snow we ended up getting!

The view outside my office window one day last week!

She was not a fan of sitting in the snow!

But as long as she was held, she enjoyed it!

All the neighbor kids had the best time sledding and building snow men and playing in the snow for hours while we were all snowed in. It was so fun to see kids of all ages come together outdoors and have fun together!

After a long break from figure skating, Kaitlynn decided recently that she wanted to go back to it! It means some early, early mornings at the rink before school, but she’s loving it and is quickly getting her jumps back (she almost landed 4 fully-rotated axels yesterday!)

Kierstyn has been going with Kaitlynn and me on Saturdays to the rink. She loves watching the skaters — especially the young ones!

Silas’ team just wrapped up their final basketball games of the season. They ended up losing most of their games, but they played hard and learned so much character in the process!

In contrast to last week’s snow, it was almost 70 degrees today, so we took Kierstyn out to play out in the grass. I think it was her first time to be sitting with bare feet in the grass and she loved it. I’m excited for warmer temperatures ahead so that she can enjoy lots of time outside in the coming weeks and months!

The biggest event of the past two weeks was Kathrynne’s baptism. Our church held a smaller baptism service on Wednesday night at youth group and each baptismal candidate got their own tank! Kathrynne bravely shared her testimony of putting her faith in Jesus and was baptized in front of a room full of young people. (Watch a short video clip here. And yes, we celebrate baptisms big at our church — including with confetti and cowbells!!)

She asked me to prepare something to share before she was baptized and, with lots of emotion and tears (my heart felt it might burst!), here’s what I shared:

“Over 16 years ago, you came into this world and we gave you the name Kathrynne Elizabeth. Kathrynne means pure and Elizabeth means gift of God.

Our heart’s desire for you since birth was for you to live a life that points others to Jesus — a pure gift of God to the world.

Tonight, you are publicly professing your faith in Jesus and your desire to honor Him with your life. We couldn’t be more proud of you and the young woman of God you are becoming.

In the days, weeks, months, and years to come, there will be times when you will be tempted to choose things that dishonor the Lord and don’t bring glory to Him.

Our prayer is that you will remember tonight in those moments and remember your desire to publicly identify with Christ. It might not be cool to do so. It might mean that you are the only one who is choosing not to do something that everyone else is. It might mean that people misunderstand you or even make fun of you.

But I can promise you this: you will never, ever regret your decision to honor the Lord and choose to glorify Him with your life.

We love you and we will always be standing on the sidelines and cheering you on your journey of faith!”

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Log 8,000 steps/day = 56,000 steps for the week.

2. Finish 3 books: Praying Women, Growing Slow, and Can’t Steal My Joy.

3. Fill out my habit tracker every day.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 10 pages of A Boy’s War as a family. Read 10 chapters of The BFG aloud to Kirerstyn.

Work/Blog Goals

5. Set up live event for my book launch night. (More details coming!)

Fun Goals

6. Have an At-Home Date with Jesse (we’re going to use one of the Date Night in a Box Kits we got from Happily.)

How are things at your house? Did you get snow? I’d love to hear if there were any highlights (or hard things) in the past two weeks. Tell us in the comments!





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Muk Luks Women’s Classic Unlined Leggings only $9.99!


February 27, 2021 | Gretchen


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

These Muk Luks Women’s Classic Unlined Leggings are perfect for spring!

Muk Luks Women's Classic Unlined Leggings

Proozy has these Muk Luks Women’s Classic Unlined Leggings for just $9.99 when you the promo code MSMMUK at checkout (regularly $18)!

There are four colors to choose from.

Shipping is $5.95.

Valid through March 3, 2021, while supplies last.


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Young Woodworkers Kit Club Discount (75% Off!)


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

If you have a child interested in woodworking, don’t miss this discount on the brand new Young Woodworkers Kit Club Box! (And if you’re looking for more kids subscription boxes, be sure to check out Annie’s Creative Girls Club, KiwiCo, and more!)

Silas with young woodworkers kit club craft

Have a child interested in woodworking or crafts?

Ever since we posted about the Creative Girls Club Kit, SO many of you have asked if they might come out with a craft kit for boys. Well, great news — Annie’s now has a woodworking kit that boys OR girls can enjoy! Yay!!

If you have a child interested in woodworking or you’re looking for a craft kit that’s not specifically tailored to girls, this kit is for you!

The Young Woodworkers Kit Club is a woodworking craft kit series designed for children from 7-12 years of age.

These kits introduce a wide variety of woodworking skills including learning to use small screws and nails, becoming practiced in using sandpaper to round off edges, handling a hammer, learning the importance of making careful measurements, and so much more! Kids will make a variety of crafts and toys they can enjoy immediately, and have fun learning as they go!

putting together woodworking craft kit

They sent Silas a couple kits to try, and he loved putting together this cool marshmallow launcher! It was SO much fun and totally worth $4.99 + shipping!

Get 75% off your first Young Woodworkers Kit Club Box!

If you want to try this woodworking craft box, you can currently get an exclusive 75% off when you use coupon code SHARE75 at checkout.

With this discount, you’ll pay just $4.99 + shipping for your first craft kit — so $10.94 shipped total.

These woodworking craft boxes are regularly $25.94 shipped, so this is a great opportunity to try a box at a much lower price!

Silas with Marshmallow Launcher Kit

{Note: After your first discounted box, you’ll be charged at the regular monthly price each month after that. But it’s really easy to pause or cancel your membership at any time after receiving your first box. Simply log in to your account and follow the instructions to cancel.}

Go here to use code SHARE75 and get your first woodworking craft kit for $4.99 + shipping!



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