Are You Running on Empty?

I’m not sure which is more nerve-wracking: keeping young children from playing in the street, teaching your older child how to drive, or letting her drive alone. My teen daughter had just left the house and had only been gone 10 minutes when my phone rang. Not good.

Are you running on empty? Find out how to get filled.

She opened with, “It’s not an emergency and no one is dead.” I have trained her well. Relief and joy, mixed with a hint of pride.

But it is urgent and I do need your help.” Bummer. I just got back home.

I think I ran out of gas and I’m stuck in the turn lane in front of the gas station.” Disappointment turned to anxiety as I was already imagining her being rear-ended and seriously injured.

20 Reasons We Love Our Big Family

What’s so great about having a big family?  

When people first learn that we have eight children, their minds usually go straight to the disadvantages—cost, time, food, laundry, sanity.  Most people don’t comment on all the wonderful things about having a big family because often they don’t know and can’t imagine the blessings.

20 Reasons We Love Our Big Family

It’s not their fault.  We have far fewer examples of big families in our culture today than we did in the past.  In case you fall into that category, I will share some of our reasons why we like being a part of a big family.

I made my own list and then interviewed the other family members to see what thoughts they could add.  Interestingly, every single one of them asked, “Is this for your blog?” before they answered me.  Now why would they ask that?  Hmmmm.  It was neat to see that many of our pluses about having a plus-sized family overlapped.

Day 28: 10 Ways to Handle Rude Comments

Rude Comments

It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.
1 Peter 2:15
The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven’t thought of yet.
~Ann Landers

It is painful when an already challenging circumstance is made even more difficult by the careless words of another.  Rude comments often leave us feeling kicked when we’re already down.  Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can break our spirit.

A couple of summers ago, my husband was in the middle of a 6-month deployment and I ran out of diapers.  Not a big deal.  I decided to stop by Walmart on my way home from church to pick up more.  My oldest three children stayed at church for the second service to attend youth group, so I took the younger five and headed off to the store.

While I was in the diaper aisle trying to find the right size, an incredulous older man stared at me with my two children standing beside me and three more riding in the cart.  He scoffed and said, “You should get a TV and watch it more often.”  I was mortified.

A Few Things Most People Don’t Know About Me

The Liebster Award: Discover New Blogs

Next week my little corner of cyberspace here at Blessed Beyond the Mess will be six months old!  I have learned so much and connected with so many amazing women in just a few short months.  I have met several women that I wish I knew in real life because I know we would be great friends.  The internet can be such a great tool and blessing when we use it well.  I’m excited to see what God will do in the midst of our community here as we share our journeys with one another.

Things Most People Don't Know

The Liebster Award ~ Discover New Blogs

Almost three months ago, I was excited to learn I’d been nominated for the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is all about finding new blogs and getting to know the people behind those blogs.  Bloggers nominate other bloggers and we all get to learn interesting things about one another by answering questions and sharing obscure facts about ourselves.

Bloggers get to link to other blogs we enjoy and share the love.
Readers get to meet new people and read new blogs.
Everyone benefits!

Liebster Award


The word “Liebster” apparently has German roots and means a myriad of things like dearest, favorite, lovely, and valued—all suitable adjectives for describing what we like to read and who we enjoy hearing from.

I was nominated by Tiffany over at  She is a fellow military spouse and homeschool mom, so we have a lot in common right off the bat.  Like me, she started out “blogging” by writing lengthy posts on Facebook.  (That’s my mini blog.)  As the title of her blog suggests, she is all about sharing the amazing grace of God with everyone.  She has some great ideas about getting the most out of your daily Bible study.  Read that next and be sure to share it with your friends!


So why did I wait three whole months to post about this award and present my own nominees?  Good question.  I’m so glad you asked.

Those of you who have been around for a while might remember what I was doing three months ago.  That’s right!  I was moving!  My husband is in the military and we tend to do that from time to time.  I got a tweet on my phone from Tiffany notifying me of my nomination literally hours after all my household goods had been pack up and shipped off.  I would not even see my computer for another 2 weeks.  All ten of us were crammed in our camper trailer which serves as our transient residence while we are in between homes.  It took me about a month to get unpacked enough to resume work on my blog.

I’ve been working on this post ever since.  As a hard core introvert, it’s hard to talk about myself.  As a busy mom of eight, it’s been a while since I really pondered my favorite…anything.  I feel really silly saying this, but I feel like this post has involved more hard work than my regular posts.

Each question stirred up different thoughts and stories.
Each answer is almost a tiny mini post of its own.

So let’s get to it.  I will answer the 11 questions Tiffany asked me and share 11 interesting facts about myself.  Then I will announce my own nominations and the questions they must answer.

Jesus Can Get You There

Even if You're Stuck in the Twilight Zone

I’m joining Kate Moutang and friends for 5-Minute Friday today.  In the interest of full-disclosure, I must admit this post took me WAY more than 5 minutes to write because my lovely little blessings interrupted me about 1,432 times.  Also, we are not supposed to go back and edit, but I deleted the first half of what I wrote.  Trust me.  You don’t want to read it.  It was whiny, but even worse, it was boring. So here’s what’s left.

Today’s word is HERE.

Well, here I am.  Another year, another house, another town, another church.  For someone who craves routine and order, this ever-mobile military life is becoming increasingly disruptive.  The fact that directions and driving are not my strengths further complicates not living in the same place for very long.

We lived in our last location (which was an island) for only 10 months and I had just figured out how to navigate the various bridges and which lane to get in on the traffic circle when it was time to move again.  When we first moved there, I made every mistake imaginable getting on and off the bridges.  I’d get in the wrong lane and overshoot our entire island or spend 5 minutes going over a bridge I didn’t mean to only to have to turn around and come 5 minutes back the other way.  And this was a toll bridge, so my mistakes weren’t free!