We Weren’t Meant to Carry the World’s Burdens

Hey friends, and welcome.

It is Friday. Ah, I love Fridays. Before we know it, a fresh weekend will be upon us.

I’ve spent the day doing some light cleaning and exercising. I finished two Etsy orders and got chili in the crock pot. Chili is super easy for Friday night! It has been my go to lately.

In a few minutes I will tie up some loose homeschooling ends for the week. I’m pretty excited about that.

It’s been a wonderful day!

I guess since Thanksgiving is in November, I tend to think more about what I’m thankful for during this time of year. I’m so happy to have all of the blessings in my life.

This year has been tough on a worldwide level. My heart has ached to see so much tragedy unfold half a world away. And yet, here I am, basically untouched at the moment. I can’t help but feel extreme gratitude.

I wish evil didn’t exist and I could figure out how to put a stop to it all. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I think that I do have the ability to shine light on my little corner of the world, though. I can be kind, thoughtful, and generous. I can make my home comfortable and warm. I can appreciate and love my husband and children.

These “little” things really do matter.

When it comes to bigger situations which include a lot of hurting people, I can pray, share, and give. At times it just seems like too much, and I pull back to refocus on my family. I don’t think we were ever meant to carry the burden of the world on our shoulders. When I can tell my mental space is becoming filled with fear and worry, I know I must step away from the fearful and worrisome news for a time. My children deserve a mama who greets them with a smile instead of a frown.

Tonight I hope to spend time reading and hanging out with my family. We might take measurements to add stairs into our woods. Right now we must nearly slide down a slope to access part of our property, and stairs would be absolutely lovely.

I hope you have an amazing weekend, friends!

Blessings, Nicole

A Fall Fitness and Running Update

About two years ago, I decided to take up running. I thought it would be something I could do to get in shape that wouldn’t cost too much money. After all, I had a driveway I could run on. No special equipment required.

I didn’t realize that I would fall in love with it! Running has helped my mind stay sharp and my emotions remain more in check. I think it is amazing. This is funny coming from someone who avoided running like the plague in high school.

This fall, my husband and I signed up for two 5Ks. I was hoping that my times would improve from last season, but to be honest, I hadn’t run very many fast miles. While I like running, I don’t particularly enjoy running fast!

And then we caught COVID in September. This really threw a wrench in my running schedule. It wasn’t a bad case, but I didn’t run much at all for a couple of weeks, and then didn’t feel as strong after I was better.

October rolled around, and I decided to try my very best at my first fall 2023 5K. I was really shooting for a time under 28 minutes. I had run a 26:00 5K in the spring, but that one was downhill. Literally running down a mountain will do wonders for your time, ha!

I was disappointed with my October time of 28:42 for just a little while, but then I remembered that I tried my best and that this was just for fun. I ended up placing second in my age category.

In November we ran another 5K, and two of my children ran a Junior Marathon at the same event. This time, I decided to not give it my all, and kept up a more comfortable pace. I ran it in 29:29, and placed third in my age category. I wasn’t expecting this at all and it was a pleasant surprise!

My husband ran it in 25:17. He is so close to breaking 25 minutes!

My girls had a fabulous time, too!

Next up is a half marathon in December. I decided I wanted to try to participate in one using the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method. I think this will be a great way for me to go longer distances without my knees giving me trouble. We shall see how it goes!

I would love to encourage you to find an exercise you love, and to get involved! I used to think that spending time exercising was selfish. Not anymore! I realize that it is much better for my children to have a healthy and fit mama than one who is sluggish. I feel so much better than I did two years ago in every way, physically speaking. I’m so glad I gave it a shot while encouraging my children to get involved, too.

My goal this fall and winter is to stay consistent and hopefully get in more of those fast miles that I don’t like too much. I also would love to add in some leg exercises to help with my knees. I had several knee injuries as a child/teen, and they catch up with me if I run too long.

I will try to let you know how the half marathon goes!

Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends. I hope your day is wonderful!

It is So Good to be Home!

Hey, friends! It’s been a minute since I wrote on this blog. I have been very busy with all of my homeschooling and homemaking things. I’ve also needed to take the time to regroup and be “quiet” for a season.

I think this is true for most of us. It can feel so nice to retreat and examine ourselves. I like to take these times to grow as a person and find better ways to do things.

This weekend was very busy. We had three straight days of plans outside of our home. While most of these plans fell into the fun category, I still kind of dreaded it. A week beforehand I really just relished being home.

Once the weekend was over, I was so excited just to be here. To wake up in my own bed, knowing nothing pressing was at hand, is priceless.

While my home is not the fanciest around, I have grown to love it. I love sitting in my cozy living room with my family. I love looking out the window at my now dormant gardens.

I truly feel God’s peace here. I know He has blessed me with this home and I am grateful to be a steward over it.

Related: Accepting Our Homes

Every word and task here is a labor of love. I think this is true for most of us. The care we put into our home matters. I know my work here is really important, and as a bonus, I get to hang out with my sweet family each day instead of leaving for a job.

In my time of reflection lately, I’ve determined yet again that it is best for me to be fully content with what I have been blessed with. I go through seasons of struggle with this, especially given the current economic situation of our county. Inflation is tough, and at times I want to continue with our current standard of living while I know it simply isn’t smart to. It is better to count my blessings and be resourceful!

(These are flowers I saved from our first freeze. They definitely cheered up our home for awhile!)

I have so much to be thankful for! We have everything we need. My home is safe, warm, and dry. I get to stay home with my children each day. This is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for.

I hope you are having a special and blessed November so far, friends. I hope to talk to you again, soon.