Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Will You Build a Life With Me?

I don't do a lot of topics about marriage because, quite frankly, I have zero experience when it comes to it. However, today the topic was brought up while we sipped on coffee with a friend. The boys were wrestling in the background and having nerf-gun wars in the midst of us as we talked on this serious subject. Must have made for an interesting picture.

This friend, mother of two boys, was talking about how the standard of living for her boys when they grew up and got married would be much more different than that of her and her husband's at the current time. We were all agreeing and it got me to thinking about it.

Quite honestly, I think that many young ladies in general are a bit spoiled. MYSELF INCLUDED! I'm most certainly not pointing fingers (or if I am, it's at myself). :-) See, we've grown up in homes where we each have our own sewing machine, or computer, or car, or whatever. Now, maybe your parents didn't buy those things for you, and in that case, then I commend you for making those sorts of purchases on your own. However, there are several things that we can allow ourselves to be spoiled in. We can buy clothing, makeup, hobby supplies, etc with our own money because we have no other purpose for it (except to put some by into savings, but we're not talking about that). The point is, we don't have to care for a family. We're not feeding six children, clothing them, and buying their school books. We're not making house, car, or insurance payments.

So, what is our expectation going into marriage? Quite honestly, if I were a young man, I would be rather intimidated by girls who 'had it all' because I would wonder if they expected those things on my low-income after we were married (I honestly have no idea if that's how guys feel, I'm just saying it from my perspective)

Now, before I go further, I want to share a bit of a story. Most of y'all may not know, but 9 years ago, our family moved from a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house into a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. Quite a difference. Now, 9 years ago, I was a pretty bratty kid. Maybe not terrible, but let's face it, none of us are perfect, especially at a young age. Needless to say, I didn't have much of a relationship with my siblings, and moving into a tiny house where there was no space to 'get away' just about drove me crazy. That's where my lilac bushes came in (as most of y'all probably know about). In any case, it really stretched me. I had to learn to love those around me even more than I had before, to accept them for who they were and love them still. It was tough, but it certainly grew and matured me in a way that nothing else could.

Then, not long after buying the ranch, the mortgage business plummeted. My dad was a mortgage lender and, naturally, we felt the brunt of the economy's down slide pretty hard. We came very close to the bank foreclosing on us (as it was rather difficult making loan payments for the ranch when there was no money coming in). Living off of beans and rice taught us a lot. We had to live with the bare minimum. No 'pleasure' buying. No ice cream. No 'fun food'. Literally, the bare minimum.

But ya know what? I'm so very glad we went through that time. Not only was it an awesome testament of God's amazing power and love for us, but we, as a family, bonded together in an amazing way. We had nothing except God and each other to lean on. Our spiritual lives were strengthened as we learned to trust in God completely to provide for us.

However, one of the things that I look back on now, as a young woman, is that it taught me how to live with nothing. To be content with very little, and to make do with what I had. I honestly was so very thankful for that time because I feel that it has maybe prepared me a bit for the future.

If God sends me a husband, I don't know what our financial situation will be. I know that my husband will provide for me, but 'provide' doesn't mean that I'll get to buy lots of fun gadgets or clothes any time I want. Providing means that there is food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads (whether it be a small or large roof!). What more do you really need?

So, as we were having this conversation with our friend, I was thinking about how our family grew together during that hard time with the ranch and I wondered how young, newly married couples grew together. No doubt, what strengthens them together is the fact that they stick together through thick and thin, that they trust one another and grow over the tough things, the rough parts in life.

"House Hunters" is a TV program I like to watch when I get the chance to. I find it extremely interesting to watch the different couples finding houses. The ones that drive me nuts the most are these young, newly married, or 'pregnant-with-their-first-child' couples. They can be the pickiest people alive! They are looking for houses in a budget of several hundred thousand, and that means they are going big and grand. One couple I remember in particular was looking at one house and didn't like the paint color. They were complaining about how they didn't think they could live in a house with that particular color on the walls.

I was flabbergasted. Really? You would be so discontent with a paint color, something so easily changed, that you don't want to consider that house to buy?? Really?

As Americans we are fed this lie that we deserve the best, when in reality we don't "deserve" anything. We can work and save for luxuries, but we most certainly do not deserve them. Yet so many young couples go into marriage thinking that they deserve the best. 

When I think about "building a life" with someone someday, I don't want to expect that I will have everything that my parents do now. I want to 'build up', starting with the foundation. Although I wouldn't say that you 'can't' build a relationship when you have everything right off the bat, I will say that I have seen stronger relationships forged on very little.

Now, I won't lie and say I don't have a 'dream house' with the perfect kitchen and porch, or that I don't enjoy buying a cute shirt every now and then, because I do. However, I don't want to set up this expectation of my future husband to provide those things for me in our first year, or first half, even, or our marriage. In fact, I may never get those things, but ya know what? I could live with that. So long as we were happy, following Christ, and growing stronger together each day, then what more can I really ask for? And right now, I can be practicing that sort of thing by being content with my life right now. As it is that this very present moment.

And that, my friends, are just a few randomly put thoughts that went through my head today. What are you thoughts on the subject?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Give Away!

Everyone loves giveaways, so I'm kinda glad to be here to say that I'm sharing one with you. :-)

I don't like to spend tons and tons of money on makeup products. However, I have also been learning more and more about all the chemicals that go into cheap makeup. It's pretty nasty, let me tell you. So, this year I made the resolution to go ahead and try some 'natural and organic' makeup. I figured, it wouldn't hurt to try. Well, so far I've been really pleased. However, it does run a tad on the expensive side (But you just have to remember that it lasts longer!).

Well, a friend introduced us to an Etsy shop that sells very natural and organic makeup. Willow Tree Minerals is giving away an eyeshadow trio over at Samantha's blog. You might want to go check it out, read Lora's story, and enter!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Post to Please Read

I'm posting a link here to my other blog because I would greatly covet your prayers on something. As a lot of you know, I am an author, and I have a separate profile and blog as my 'author' thing. Trying to keep my author and personal life separate. However, I would greatly appreciate it if you would read this and pray for me. It doesn't apply to book writing only. :-) Thank you.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

What You'll Be Seeing

I honestly hate coming up with blog post titles... can we just leave 'em blank?? I guess you could, but that would actually drive me crazy (more than coming up with a title would!). Maybe I tend to be overly creative and I want to think of some fun title instead of what it is actually about. Ok, Sarah, just be plain and simple. New Years Resolution #5,145. ;-)

So, in honor of some of my resolutions that I just posted about, my plan is to actually blog about them. I've lately been doing lots of herbal/heal yourself remedies and would love to talk about them. So that fits perfectly with the 'health' part of my goals. I would also like to post how I'm doing with keeping up in my Spiritual life and how God has been growing me.

Basically, I'm hoping to sort of cover those few things I listed. More pictures of projects I'm doing, what folks are doing around here, etc.

Lately I've wondered what my point was in blogging. I'm not really sure if I know the answer yet, but I tend to think of it as my 'online journal', in a sense.  A place to share thoughts on subjects and get other folks' opinions. Somewhere to keep distant friends and relatives up-to-date on what we're doing, etc. However, I would also like to make it an informative blog. Not that I'm an expert on anything, but I know that I enjoy reading other people's experiences with things they're doing, so I hope y'all enjoy hearing mine. Maybe you don't, though... Perhaps my blog is rather boring. Well, if it is, I do apologize. =P Sometimes life isn't always on the 'fast lane'. Often times I'm just toodling along life's highway at an easy pace.

So, be prepared for some new blog posts this year that will (hopefully) hold your attention, share interesting things, and keep you updated on what this crazy ranching family is doing.

Now, the point of this post? Nothing, really.... =P

Thursday, January 2, 2014

With The New Year Comes New Things

Hello readers! Happy New Year! It seems so very odd that 2013 is already gone. It went by rather quickly, it seems. 

A lot has happened this past year and so I thought I'd give a basic highlight of the more major things in my life. 

1.) I have been teaching fiddle to several students. Although I've had a couple students in the past, this year was when it really became more serious. I took on more students and am quite excited about it. I'm planning on doing a couple of recitals this year. 

2.) Drama. Play drama, that is, not the real drama. I have been extremely blessed to be part of ABC drama since it first began. I have always been interested in acting, and having this group has really helped me to develop my skills while still being in a family friendly, God-honoring environment. This fall semester I was blessed to get the role of Elizabeth Bennet in the play Pride and Prejudice. This is a role I have wanted for a rather long time. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it (300 lines anyone?)

3.) Got my drivers license. This was definitely great for me. Because I'm starting to branch out and beginning to do my own things apart from the family, it has really helped. Not to mention that mom and older sister love it that I can run to the store for last minute shopping instead of them. ;-) I'm still getting used to it and haven't gotten comfortable enough to drive in big towns yet, but I'm getting there. 

4.) I got a job. Yup! This was quite exciting. I've learnt, over the years, that money really doesn't grow on trees. And when you are trying to save up or need cash for gifts and whatnot, it really is quite a bother that it doesn't. So, the Lord blessed me with a job. I am now a Nanny. Sounds kind of odd to say it, but there it is. :-) I go once a week for a wonderful, godly family. It truly was amazing how the Lord orchestrated this, but that is a story for another time. :-) 

5.) I got a book published. Seriously. A lot of you have already seen it, maybe even read it. It is a children's book and the Lord gets all the credit for it actually coming about. If you want to learn more about it and that, you should check out my author blog at I'm currently in the process of writing another children's book (sort of the 'second' in the 'series'). 

6.) We are filming a movie. Yup. That's right. Though it isn't professional grade or anything, we are filming nonetheless. It has been quite an experience. It is a 'medieval' sort of movie. A friend and I wrote the script (took about a year and half) and it has now almost been a half a year since we have been filming. Still not finished, but almost. I did all the costumes (which was quite the fun undertaking!). I am also co-director, cameraman, actor, and stuntsman. ;-) lol! 

That is probably it, although I'm sure I'm forgetting something. When you get old, it happens. (yes, apparently 20 years of age is very old, according to some of my friends... I've already been dubbed a 'senior' and 'ancient'). ;-) 

So, now that the old is out and the new is in, what am I going to do? Well, here are just a few goals I'm hoping/planning to accomplish. 

1.) Music. I really want to incorperate more music into my life. I've recently been learning more guitar stuff (finger style and adding new chords to my 'library'). I know the fiddle, but you can always learn something new. So I want to continue growing in that area. 

2.) Sewing. I actually did a lot of sewing due to the movie we are making with some friends, but I'd like to do more sewing this year on a more casual basis. Such as clothes for myself or crafty items. I'd also love to try my hand at refashioning. 

3.) Read more. Yup. It is very difficult for me to read a lot. Mostly because I read very slowly, and I have a hard time finding books that can really hold my attention that are still good literature. So, my resolve is to read more this year. For real. 

4.) Do better at keeping up with friends. This last year was so crazy, I feel like I really lost connections with friends near and far. I really want to make sure that doesn't happen this year! 

5.) Blog more. Blogging is something I enjoy, actually. It gives me a chance to write out thoughts (which is a good exercise for writers!). And I get to meet new people! That's always awesome. 

6.) Make it a healthy year. I have not always been so health conscience in my daily habits, but this year I'm determined to do better at that. Eat better, exercise more, etc. Trying to remember that my body is a temple of the Lord and I need to treat it as such. 

7.) Audio drama. Although I love movie/film making, I kinda feel as if I weren't cut out for it, really. It's been rather difficult for me to get a lot done in that area. One thing I have had a lot of 'luck' with is audio dramas. I have done several radio dramas with some friends (short ones, granted) and this year I plan on doing a big project. Can't reveal anything about that yet, but you'll get to hear about it eventually. :-) 

8.) *Really* dedicate time to the Lord. A lot of people make this sort of resolution (me included) and I want to make sure I really do keep it this year. I'm not a perfect Christian, and, therefor, I have failed in this area many times. However, a new year brings new beginnings, and "His mercies are new every morning". So, I shall begin anew. Mom gave me a great daily devotional that I'm determined to go through EVERY DAY. My brothers and dad also got one and my brother challenged the other two to get up early enough each morning to read the devotional and spend time in God's word before work/chores/school/play. I'm rather proud of him for that and I'm taking on my own challenge as well. :-) 

I think that is about it. I know I've got a lot of others, but these are a few of the main ones I want to focus on. 

What are some of your New Year's Resolutions?