Tag Archives: julie rothacher

A Journey of God’s Goodness

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Today’s post is a guest post from my amazing Hubs, Matt Rothacher!

A journey of God’s goodness

When guests come to our house I often find myself telling various length versions of how we came to reside in 5 Concord Drive, and my wife asked me to share one of those versions here (she was vague on the length so if this gets really long, she brought this upon herself)…

About a year ago my lovely wife and I began to feel that God was moving us into a new place of ministry and, as with any move, perhaps the most important facet is where you will live. My bride loves looking at different houses and so anytime a new church would contact us it would free her up to scour the internet looking for our next home. Now, I’m not as big of a house enthusiast as my wife, but I did get excited to search for our next abode, so I helped in the internet hunt. As I did, I stumbled across an enormous house in the area of town we were looking for a price well below the norm. The house was listed on multiple sites, but the majority of those only had a single picture of the outside. With much effort, I found the one site with pictures of the inside. The aesthetic condition of the inside appeared to be a big part of why it was priced where it was, and I set my heart on it.

To understand the whole picture of this gift I have to let you in on what God was doing in me apart from just relocate. For weeks, prior to beginning the interview process, my emotions had been going haywire. I would find myself tearing up when watching the Biggest Loser, which isn’t totally abnormal but I was crying when they’d step on the scale before any emotional twist came. It was always the same- I felt the need for the emotional release and tears would start to come out and then it was if someone just shut it off and the fullness would remain. Then God clued me in on what was going on.

I was sitting in the initial interview meeting with the staff of our new church, and noticed both of them using iPhones which of course set off my “I want one of those” rants, and they assured me that all staff received an iPhone. I couldn’t tell you anything else about that meeting after that but I came home telling my wife all about the iPhone and little else about the church. This caused me to stop and ask God why I was so excited about a silly phone. What I found is something I’m not proud of; I had lost my faith in God’s goodness towards me and my life. Now I could with great confidence and belief tell you that God desired to give you the desires of your heart, I just had become jaded to the fact that He cared about my desires. Or rather that my desires just never matched His for my life.

This poor thinking was a direct result of the birth of my first child, Maggie. I, like most men, really wanted a boy (for the record I would not trade my Maggie for a thousand boys) and the entire pregnancy I wanted this baby to be a boy. I knew though, from the very beginning, that she was not a boy. We didn’t find out the sex until her birth but I knew. I knew because I wanted a boy and therefore God would not give one to me. It was a horrible image of God, I knew this, but it was my image of Him. Apparently it was set in place almost two years before I realized it bothered God even more than it bothered me. So back to the iPhone and my question, “why this phone was so exciting?” God’s answer to my question was one that spoke healing into my heart. “I am going to prove my goodness to you through this move. I want to give you the desires of your heart even the ones as small and seemingly insignificant as an iPhone.”

I mentioned that the house was already listed well below average, so much so that you looked at the price, and then at the square footage and concluded: problem. Something’s gotta be wrong with it. We were sure that there was probably something wrong with the foundation and clearly the interior needed some immediate attention, but I loved it and began asking God to give it to me at a price our family could afford. We made an offer $25,000.00 below the asking price, contingent on there not being  foundation damage, and they took it! Our home inspection found nothing wrong with the foundation at all, which came as shock to everyone but my wife and I. The price of the house versus the size of the house was so  unbelievable to the bank financing our loan that they sent their own inspector and made a structural engineer come out to look at it; it passed again! Every step of the move God showered His goodness upon me with the house being the second biggest blessing of it. God capped off our move with a completely unexpected blessing. His name is Benjamin and he is the son of my right hand. My God gives the best gifts; he truly cares about the desires of His children’s heart!

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” –Jesus (Matthew 7:11)

*To learn more about My handsome hubby or to read Matt’s blog click here.

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #17 and 18

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 17 – Your Cleaning Style

Mary Challenge: Take the D.I.S.C personality test (http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/aw8npyx/DISC-Personality-Style) and allow yourself to get to know you better. Descriptions of the different D.I.S.C types: http://www.discinsights.com/cyber/scripts/disc.asp

I’m not so sure this test tagged me correctly overall or just the kind of mood I was in while taking it. hehe Either way, the descriptions were helpful so I can work on my cleaning style depending on what I’m struggling with at the time.

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean and organize shelves. Shine wood furniture.

We don’t have much furniture in our room so this was quick! (Pictures of our rooms were posted in another cleaning day)

Day 18 – Making Your Personality Work for You

Mary Challenge: Try one of the ideas listed with your personality type.

There were several different areas in all the different “personalities”...humm, does this mean I have multiple personalities???

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Clean out and organize closets. Purge baby, purge! (And give to Goodwill)

LOVED THIS TASK!!!

Master Closet

This still isn’t as organized as I’d like it but I wish I had before pics to show the PURGE! It was Packed with nonsense.

We could still use a little more purging before our yard sale but we’ve got a while.

The far right side is now empty except for hangers that used to have shirts on them. The back rod is mine, and the far right is Matt’s. The bin under my side are maternity clothes and sentimental shirts I’ve yet to let go of even though I will never fit in them again. Oh, and the crazy pillow is my amazing J-shaped pillow my hubs got me for pregnancy. WONDERFUL!

Girl’s Closet

This is just sorted by size (24 months-4T, right to left) because they share a lot of clothes. The clothes in the bins on the shelf are hand-me-downs or sale items we found for the next season or size. The clothes on the far left bar of the closet are long sleeve items or jackets for next season. The shoes on the self below are shoes they aren’t wearing yet. The couple of pairs they wear stay downstairs in a basket in the entry way. Oh, why do I always have some randomness I feel the need to explain…the fan is waiting to be installed in the girl’s room. This house had NO lights in the ceilings…Wierd!

Nursery Closet

Jamin’s clothes are sorted by size (current and next size so we transition easier) as well as dressy or casual, long or short sleeve. We store everyone’s diapers in here, the humidifier, and the clothes on the shelf are the hand-me-down items or sale items we bought of the next size/season (crazy, I know).

Guest Room Closet

I don’t really want to confess this but here it is…

WARNING: This is not a before picture

scary stuff, right!?!

Excuse: this is my hold area for my consigning, yard selling, ebaying stuff, then donating. I hope to soon post pictures of this neatly organized closet with all items hung on hangers to consign at the Duck Duck Goose Sale, sorted for my yard sale during the White Hall Trade Days, and my huge donation pile. Ebay stuff is in the Wally World bags, have already been posted and sold!

More confessions…this isn’t all of it…there is another HUGE pile in my basement and another in my garage of  house hold items we purged. Although I am a huge fan of donating we also feel we were given this stuff to steward to the best of our ability. At this time, we feel like we can sell some of this stuff, rather than just donate everything, and the cash can be significantly multiplied to use to further the gospel overseas.

Ooops, sorry. That needs to be another post. When you’re passionate about something, it tends to eek out in every avenue. Let me know if you’re interested in and would like to hear more about that adventure God has been and is continuing in our family’s life!

Have any passions you need permission to let eek out? Share it here!!! I wanna hear!

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #15 and 16

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 15 – I’d Rather Do Anything But Clean (Motivation)

Mary Challenge: Write up a lesson plan for your children about the eternal value that taking care of your domain has. Find scripture, inspirational quotes, books, anything, that will reinforce the “why” behind getting ourselves in gear to clean. There is just something about teaching our children that will dig truth deeper into our own hearts.

Martha Challenge: Bedroom – Wash mirrors, walls, and insides of windows. Wash window treatments.

Yay, we don’t have mirrors in Any of the bedrooms!!!

Confession: didn’t do it (wash walls/windows)…yet. Upstairs time is scares at my house with 3 under 3. I haven’t figured out a way to work upstairs while they are not sleeping in their rooms. I did wash window treatments and finally hung the ones in the girls room (rather than the sheets blocking the light). I hate washing/dusting blinds though…any helpful hints?

oh, and I’m 5’2″…ceilings…prolly never happening. Maybe the cobwebs in the corners with a broom ;o)

Day 16 – Willing Hands

Mary Challenge: What’s your block? What’s holding you back from allowing your ideals to guide you in the day-to-day? What can you do about it?

IRONY: I just wrote a post about my ideal. I still believe letting go of it and letting God reshape it is best right now and totally agree that I can accomplish {close to} my ideals with God’s help and with “willing” hands!

Martha Challenge: Bedrooms – Steam clean carpets or area rugs, wash hard-wood floors.

I think I’ve given up on steam-cleaning any of my carpets this month…in the near future. Not because of inability. Just not the priority right now. Renting one, moving all my furniture, waiting for it to dry, and doing all this in 24 hours would be asking too much of our budget (this month), too much of my hubby to either watch the babes while I did it all or did major moving things for me, it would be a huge inconvenience for my family to be displaced while I attempted this mega goal in their space, and on top of all that, they would have to deal with the mad women that came with that. I vacummed…does that count?

Have you found a trend? I seem to be picking and chosing what works for me, my family, our lives. How are you adjusting this challenge but also allowing yourself to be stretched?

My Day

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I walk downstairs into my immaculately clean home that is tastefully decorated, already showered, fully dressed in adorable mom clothes, hair look’n great, with a full (modest) face of make-up, ready to take on the day. I grab a cute coffee mug of coffee and cozy up in this cute comfy nook in the corner of my kitchen with my adorable Bible, Bible study notebook and a cutesy pin. I delve into God’s word for a refreshing, inspiring, meaningful time with just me and God as my handsome hubby and gorgeous children remain asleep in their well-decorated, clean, organized rooms upstairs. As I wrap up my motivating time with my Lord, I move straight to cooking a beautiful breakfast for my family. As I begin to bring my well-balanced meal to the table in serving dishes still hot, they (my 4 children who are evenly spaced two years apart and cheerful hubby) all enter the dinning room with smiles on their faces, fully clothed, and ecstatic to see me and the rest of the loving family. After we enjoy our meal together, as the morning sun glimmers in through the clean windows, I go around clearing the table as everyone goes immediately to grab their things, neatly prepared the night before by the door in cute cubbies, and head out to work and school with kisses and hugs from me, their God-fearing, put-together, beautiful, amazing in all ways, Proverbs 31 wife and mommy.

UGGG! You KNOW where I’m going with this…

This has been my ideal day. As a new believer in junior high I would fantasize about having this life. It was inconceivable idea that there would ever be a day where a shower wasn’t possible. If the lady in the commercial can clean up that giant mess her baby just made with just one  paper towel  in an adorable comfy looking skirt and button down then I could pull that look off easy; ya know, ’cause my child’s not gonna even make messes. I don’t even like coffee (no offense Sarah Mae) but everything looks more grown up in a cute coffee cup rather than my simple can of cold Dr Pepper. If I love Jesus and I’m working hard enough I should be able to pull of being a “Beth Moore” every day of my life. If I’m not serving my family a wholesome meal out of serving dishes then I don’t care about them enough. I don’t know what I thought I’d do before my gorgeous children could actually dress themselves or much less walk down the stairs by themselves. When was I going to prepare their things with night before? After feeding, bath, bed, chores, or finally getting to chat with my hubby before passing out?

Today, MY plan: accomplish my idea. This was actually yesterday’s plan but that was a big FAIL! When I finally made it up, 30 min after my alarm (on my phone- who would have ever thunk it?), I showered way too long, put on a t-shirt and long cotton shorts (which had become my mom uniform), and with wet hair and a little make-up on, I slugged my way downstairs to greet my simi-clean home (thanks to 31daystoclean), grab a poptart and a can of DP, add some items to the grocery list, sit down for a quick devotional thought(provided by someone else), began typing this to get it out of my system just in time to hear my 4-month-old crying to be fed, hoping my handsome hubby will grab him for me before his crying wakes the two girls, (almost) 3 years old and 16 months old. ______ Ok, fed my little man and am currently super jealous that the day I chose to wake up early rather than my husband everyone is sleeping well past 8:00am rather than 6:45 or 7. Rrrr Oh well. The rest of my day will probably be a fight between trying not to be frustrated because I am not accomplishing my selfish goals and that of being the loving idea wife and mom I desire to be already. I want my children to love the Lord and follow Him closer than me, which right now will not be a challenge. God is messing up my ideal. He knows what is best for me! He is refining that desire of my heart to look more like His for my life. Not all of it is bad/unrealistic. But I cannot do it. ALL things are done through Christ who gives me strength.

God is doing a work in our family’s life and I don’t want to be left in the dust! I am seeking to joyfully follow the leadership of my husband who I see is chasing God at a quick pace. It would be nice to have that ideal day but I’d like to focus on the seeking God for God right now. Learning to hear Him. Excited about new tools for this adventure that have fallen into my lap: 31 Days to Clean, Radical (aka The Evil Orange Book), and Brave, Honest Questions Women Ask. I have never considered myself someone scared to say yes to what He is calling me to but it’s been easy things so far. I think my world is about to totally change.

surrendering my ideal today

*8:30 and still no peep from the girls, the hubs, or my little man who went back to sleep after eating. I’ll take this as God’s gift for allowing Him to begin this work in my life.

*Disclaimer: That was not a slam on Beth Moore. Feel free to insert you ideal, amazing godly women who has inspired you and whom you have possibly put on a pedestal hoping to one day be like.

31 Days to Clean: Day #13

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 13 – Fighting Fatigue

Mary Challenge: Pick something (or a few things) on the above suggestions list for fighting fatigue and put it into practice for one week and see what happens.

Move: I have been attempting to wear my tennis shoes all day to keep myself moving. It really seems to help although my feet hurt more and it’s a lot harder to move quickly around the house with sleeping babies all day long.

Only get the sleep you need: Started this…trying to get up every day at 6am, shower, do some kind of bible study with my breakfast before the babies wake, then dry hair while Matt does his normal breakfast routine with the kids. That way, by the time he leaves I am fully ready (tennis shoes and all) for accomplishing things.

Caffeine: I probably already utilize this tip too much. My OB said (while prego) I should only have 2 cans for Dr Pepper a day, 3 at the most. I have carried this rule over while breastfeeding. I would like to move to the lower end of this and intersperse WATER more often. I despise water; I drink it like medicine rarely and fast when I do!

So far (2-3 days) I have done ok at waking up (near) the desired time, moved a lot more, and have had a big FAIL in the less caffeine department. Speaking of giant FAIL…

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Steam-clean carpets or area rugs and wash wood floors.

All wood floors have been washed (from mop the kitchen day) but I have yet to rent/borrow a steam cleaner and do any of my carpets. Maybe next months budget and schedule will allow for this.

31 Days to Clean: Day(s) #11 and 12

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 11 – Limitations (Life is Hard)

Mary Challenge: Let grace cover the areas you cannot change. Don’t beat yourself up or think you aren’t doing enough. God knows where you’re at; His grace is sufficient.

LOVED this! I am a “Martha” type personality so I need to hear and meditate on this often!

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Wash your walls and dust the ceilings.

Washing my walls seemed silly. I put it off for several days then finally caved. It took less than 20 min to do this room. Thanks goodness for big windows, french doors, wide doorway, and a fireplace on washing wall day but not on window day, ugg. I have a hard time cleaning things if I can’t tell a big difference. vacuuming, organizing, washing off a grubby table, etc I see the need in. I’m sure it’s a great idea to wash your walls every so often, just not motivating.

This is a panoramic view of my living room (minus the fireplace wall behind me) taken with my handsome hubby’s iPhone. I finally found a benefit for all the silly free apps he has ;o) Sorry the colorings a little weird by the windows because of the sunlight.

hehe and the adorable (almost) 3-year-old blurring through the middle of the room. 

*Thanks for letting me play with your phone, hunny!

Mary Challenge: Think about some areas in your life where you have been striving to be perfect (or nearly so). Perhaps you are comparing yourself to another mom, or putting unnecessary burdens on yourself because of what someone has said or written. Take these areas before the throne of grace and ask God to replace any lies you are believing with the truth.

Very similar to several other “Mary” thoughts. I am learing to let go of my ideal day, person, way of doing things and learning to search/listen for God’s ideal for my life!

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Clean and organize shelves and electronics. Shine wood furniture.

Again, my amazing hubby helped and (more importantly) approved of me PURGING our electronics and movie collection! We have several “lots” listed on eBay now and more for our yard sale pile. I know Sarah Mae encourages you to just rid your house of these items (ie Take them to the Goodwill) but I am attempting to balance necessary purging with our “Dave’n It” (what we call Dave Ramsay’s FPU plan). We will (and have been) trying to sell things at a consignment sale, yard sale, or eBay and then donating what is left over in several different ways, friends in need, pregnancy crisis center, goodwill, salvation army, etc.

Sorry didn’t get before pictures of our entertainment center where all of this was stored.

31 Days to Clean: Day #10

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Mary Challenge: Picture your home in all its clean and organized glory, and then burn the image into your brain and heart. Now grab your journal (or notebook, or scrap of paper) and write down your big picture. Ask God to help you physically create the vision for your home life.

I am having a hard time with some of these Mary challenges. They have me doing more physical doing than I expected for it being a “Mary” challenge and then it’s also having me do a lot of me discovering what I want. This life I live is no longer mine but Christ’s…I feel as though I should be re-evaluating the importance I place on my picture of what I want. Yes, if Christ is in us, He will give us the desires of our heart but I also know that Satan’s main way to weezle his way into our lives is with deception. Satan can use something harmless (ie the ideal clean home), twist and manipulate it until we are fixated on it and truly believe that is what God is asking of us.

I went the opposite direction in this challenge and have been trying to sweep the ashes from my burned in “big picture” out of my mind and heart so there is uncluttered abundant space for God’s “big picture”. I don’t just want His help “physically create the vision for [my] home life”. Right now, in my life, He is fixing my gaze on a larger world view outside my windows rather than inside.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe my home is a gift from God to be used for God but I don’t want to get caught up in what I want to accomplish here.

 

Martha Challenge: Living Room – Clean your window treatments and wash the inside of your windows.

Windows…WHY did I say I loved lots of window to let in natural light.

Mags thought it was hilarious to be “sprayed” on the other side of the windows and then apparently I missed a few spots ;o)

 

Izzie was a scrub’n machine. She’d say, “wa wa wa” the entire time she was wiping the windows. Then she came to show me all the grime she’d cleaned up and when back for more. Love having my girls help with cleaning!

 

  

31 Days to Clean: Day #9

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 9 – Confronting Laziness

Mary Challenge: Every time you find yourself saying, “I will do that later,” I want you to stop and pray, asking God to give you a spirit of diligence. then, with an obedient heart, go to work. If (and when) you fail, allow His grace to lift you up and begin again. I know you can do it!

I so popped a squat to read over this chapter again to “take a break” from the chores I was supposed to be accomplishing while my girlies were playing well together and read over these challenges and had to shut the computer immediately, ask God for that spirit of diligence, and get to work with an obedient heart! Crack’n me up. Just when I thought I didn’t deal with laziness.

Martha Challenge: Kitchen – Sweep, vacuum, and mop floors. Add some fresh flowers to brighten your day.

Mopping, I HATE mopping!!! I decided that if I was gonna go to all the trouble to get out those evil tools to do the kitchen I might as well do all the “hardwoods” down stairs. Ugg! I did and it ended up not being too bad. I was even able to evolve my girls with minimal stress and injury…pics to come:

BIG helper, and very ingenuous as well ;o)

You already know where this is going don’t you?

 YEP! There it is! and…it’s nap time! Poor girl wiped out 3 times. But that was some good scrubbing she was doing!

 This one was dancing and singing. Great little helpers!

 

 More dancing! (FYI: I’d already mopped the floors well and just let her push around the wet mop this time)

 

 

 

Oooo, almost forgot our “fresh flowers”. We opted for a little “science” project that would last a little longer and cost $1.o0!

(ignore the rough-looking mamma in the background…Mopping-remember!)

We already have GROWTH! (~3 days later it showed up)

Totally recommend this cheap lesson for preschoolers! (~1 week’s growth pictured):

31 Days to Clean: Day #8

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 8 – Overcoming the Curse

Mary Challenge: Think back to a time when God refined your character through difficult circumstances. Write it down and thank Him for His faithfulness.

Martha Challenge: Kitchen – Clean out and organize your drawers.

These were messier than I would have liked to admit…I almost had a Couple “junk” drawers. This helped me re-evaluate, again, which things I actually use, how often I really use them, as well as where the most practical placement of items would be since I had just been using them where they landed last year when we moved in. Some worked for us but some needed moved up away from little hands and some drawers are now accessible and just for my (almost) 3-year-old to keep her supplies/craft items in so she can be more independent. Dividing the towels and washclothes is going to make for another chore my preschooler can help with added putting away the (colored) silverware- great sorting skills.

Before and After’s of Silverware and Linen  Drawers

Before and After’s of Knives and Utensil Drawers

Before and After’s of Supplies, Bibs, and Baking Utensil Drawers

31 Days to Clean: Day #7

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31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary way

Day 7- The Curse (What We’re Up Against)

Mary Challenge: Read Romans 8:20-21. What is the hope in the Curse?

My hope is that because I’m a bond-servant of Christ I have been released from my burden to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of being a child of God.

 

Martha Challenge: Kitchen – clean out and organize your pantry.

Like I’ve said before: We LOVE hosting all kinds of things in our home! We make up excuses people over. We have been blessed with an amazing accommodating kitchen all necessary and unnecessary items for just such occasions. Our pantry is no exception. We could store food for an army in there! I am kind of what some may call OCD and love keeping things organized so this task wasn’t dreaded but it was kind of time-consuming given the size of the God-given pantry. My girls were so excited to “help”. They moved items from one shelf to the next so I could wash each shelf and then help group things (great lesson on sorting/matching). Although, I may be creating OCD babies. My (almost) 3-year-old had a hard time when I decided to relocate things from the previous areas she’d become acustom…oops!

Here are the befores:

and afters: