Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

I did a very uncharacteristically brave thing today.  I summoned every courageous fiber in my being and channeled strength from 2 Timothy 1:7 (God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind) and did the bravest thing I have done in a while.  

I asked my neighbor for a favor.  

I realize for those of you who seem to make friends every time you grocery shop, this may seem like small potatoes.  But for me, it was a pretty big deal.  

If you know me, you know that I am not outspoken, outgoing, or outrageous.  I tend to be more … timid, quiet, and easily intimidated, at least when it comes to new people and new/potentially uncomfortable situations.  I usually shy away from circumstances that might put me “out there” in case someone decides to be really mean and throw me under a bus.  

Today I was different.  

We only had one large branch fall during the hurricane, thank the Lord.  And to be completely honest, it didn’t even fall. It broke off from its mother tree and had been hanging there until my dad pulled it down on Saturday.  I was kind of leaving it there on purpose because I wasn’t sure what to do with it once it came down, coupled with the fact that it was pretty stuck and my arms were too weak to pull it down.  Anyway, since Saturday this relatively big tree branch was sitting next to my trash cans and I was not sure what to do with it.  

So now its Tuesday, which is usually my yard work day.  I had just finished cutting the grass, thanks to my lovely mother-in-law who actually had to start the lawnmower for me (again, weak arms) when I noticed that my neighbor two doors down was loading some branches into the back of his big red pickup truck.  

For a minute or two, I thought about how nice it would be for him to take the branch.  I mean, we don’t have a truck or anything and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the monster.  But I also realized that him hauling the branch for us would mean that I had to ask him.  Yikes!  Way out of my comfort zone.  What if he looked at me funny or asked me how dare I ask him such a favor and why don’t I take care of my own stinkin hurricane yard debris?  Or what if he said no!  {dramatic shudder} 

Well anyway, I realize this sounds very silly, but thoughts like these really do hold me back from talking to strangers.  But for some reason today my hatred for the ugly decaying branch defeated my much-afraidness and I marched two doors down repeating 2 Timothy 1:7 in my head, and asked my neighbor to drag away the branch.  

And you know what?

He didn’t look at me funny, or shake his fist at me, or scoff at my apparent helplessness.  He just very kindly said yes, walked over to my yard, and hauled the branch down the street to his truck.  We even engaged in some friendly chatter along the way.  How nice.  

I felt pretty proud of myself for stepping out of my box today.  Its nice to feel brave every once in a while.  

Here is a song by one of my favorite Christian song artists about how her little boy makes her want to be “Brave.”  Hope you enjoy it, and I hope you get to experience your own courageous moment this week, no matter how big or small.  

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  • pj7 - Good for you Sarah brave and courageous! Such a cute lighthearted post, it made me smile πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • L-hen - GreatnessReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Good for you!!!!!
    What a gift you encountered today – the experience of going out of your comfort zone, and the gift of being helped and allowing someone to help you!
    It is ridiculously hard to overcome those fears of others' responses…..really, I experience them everyday! Thankfully, God keeps placing me where I have to rely on other people – and it keeps me relying on Him.
    Good job Sarah!ReplyCancel

  • David Rieke - When my friend, Bob, asked if he could borrow his neighbor's tool, he said to the neighbor, "Someday I'll get my own tool, and I won't have to bother you with this any more." The neighbor said, "I hope that day never comes." He liked being able to help someone–being needed in the world at least for a tool.ReplyCancel

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is about to start nurse anesthesia school at the end of the month.  It is a very grueling program and it will probably suck the life out of him.  He will basically be throwing himself into studying and has been told that the program is like working a 60+ hour week.  Yikes.  

We know what we’re getting into, sort of.  For the complete story of how Josh got to this place, click here.

I think my biggest worry is finances.  Josh won’t be able to work and I am not working either.  Well, not getting paid for the work I do I should say.  If I got paid for every wet diaper I changed or every kiss I gave, we’d be rolling in the dough!  But alas.  

A couple of weeks ago I actually had the opportunity to make some money.  A friend of a friend wanted me to watch their two and four year-old kids a couple days a week.  They were nice kids and a nice family and an even nicer house (they lived on a golf course so … yeah).  But after meeting them and spending a day watching the kids, I honestly just did not have peace about committing to them for the school year and possibly longer.  

I can’t really explain it.  I had been praying for direction and asking the opinions of trusted friends and family and I just felt much better saying no than saying yes.  Josh felt the same way, which just helped to solidify my decision.  

I realize this must sound crazy to some people.  I mean, if you have no money coming in and then the opportunity arises to make some, why wouldn’t you take it!  I get it, I really do.  And I just don’t know what to say except that the Lord did not give me peace about making that commitment.  I’m not sure why, He just didn’t.      

Maybe one day I’ll see why.  Maybe Josh will need me to be available at crazy times of the day.  Maybe Micah will just need to snuggle with his mommy a lot since his daddy will be busy.  Maybe the Lord is saving me from feeling harried and pressured to take care of my home, husband, baby, and someone else’s family.  Or maybe I’ll never know the reason until the Lord explains it to me in heaven.

At any rate, we are about to embark on an unknown path and the only thing I know for sure is that the Lord will be there for us leading us every step of the way.  It’s a little scary, but that is really all I need.

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  • beccajoy - That's my favorite verse. I rely on it a lot. Looking forward to hearing allll about your guy's wonderful life that God is putting together! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

As a stay-at-home mom and housewife, my primary responsibility is to keep the house running and in relative order.  Truth be told, I was kind of feeling overwhelmed at this task.  I mean, since I am home all day, why shouldn’t I be able to swiffer every floor, organize every closet, fold and put away all the laundry, and still have dinner on the table by 5:30?  This was the incredibly unrealistic expectation I had put on myself and needless to say, I went to bed feeling quite defeated almost every night.  I needed to make a serious change.  

Enter the Ladies Sunday School class.  I decided to go a couple of weeks ago because I had really been missing the fellowship of the Ladies Bible Study, which is currently on a summer hiatus.  The class is doing a study on how to be a Titus 2 woman (see Titus 2:4-5), and that particular day, they were talking about better managing housework responsibilities in order to eliminate the “overwhelmed” feeling.  

Towards the end of class, one of my friends mentioned a website called the FlyLady, and said that it was really helpful to her in making a game plan for effectively cleaning her home.  Later that night, I decided to check it out.  While perusing through the site, I honestly think I heard angels singing; it was exactly what I needed.  

Basically, the FlyLady breaks down all the areas of housekeeping that need attention, from vacuuming to bookkeeping, gardening to closet organization, and even knocking down those nasty corner cobwebs.  She has a game plan for each day of the week and suggests how to start your day, spend your day, and end your day.  Certainly one must customize the FlyLady’s plan to fit one’s own lifestyle, but it is a great tool, especially if you are struggling like I was.  

Today is the start of the second week of me doing it FlyLady’s way, and I am feeling good!  My house is cleaner and I feel much more accomplished and way less overwhelmed.  My day ends with me tidying up the kitchen after dinner and I feel no pressure to continue aimlessly cleaning because I know I will tackle x, y, and z later in the week.  

I hope this website will be able to help you of you need it.  It has given me more purpose in my day and made me feel more organized, and believe it or not, a little less harried.  

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  • Lauren - I found the flylady about a year ago and LOVE HER! πŸ™‚ My favorite is the shiny kitchen sink rule… a clean sink always makes me so happy. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • KayeMargaret - My mom used to do flylady… It annoyed us kids, but it did work! hahaReplyCancel

I realized this week that I reached a milestone.  That milestone is (drumroll please) … I can now fit into all of my pre-pregnancy pants!!  Woohoo!!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to fit into my old clothes and start looking halfway decent again instead of feeling like a frumpdog millionaire.  

Along with my newfound ability to jump into my old wardrobe came the rebirth of a little hobby of mine: thrift storing.  Since we do not have piles of money in the bank, nor will we anytime soon, I really like to hunt for trendy items at the thrift store.  It’s fun, but tricky, so here are a few rules I like to stick to: 

1. Enter the store with a plan, i.e. know what you’re searching for.  I have a few places where I like to look for inspiration (specifically here, here, and here), so I am able to go to the thrift store with a picture in my mind (or out of a magazine, catalog, etc.) of what I’d like to attempt to find.  It’s really fun what you can snag for just a few dollars!

2.  Most thrift stores (at least the ones I go to) don’t have fitting rooms so I don’t buy anything that has a questionable fit.  Pants are usually out for me.

3.  My favorite things to look for: tops, belts, purses, shoes, scarves, and jewelry.  You can usually spend pennies but totally update an old outfit.  

4.  Don’t buy anything that needs hemming, altering, button-sewing-on, etc.  History has shown that it never actually happens.  At least for me.  This might change if you know your way around a sewing machine, but I don’t.  

5.  Don’t buy something unless you are 100% sure you love it and will wear it.  There are some super cute vintage-type dresses, tops, etc. that looks really great on some people, but I can’t seem to figure out how to wear them without looking like a bag lady.  Even though you might only spend a few dollars, many mistakes like this can add up.  I know from experience, unfortunately.  

Anyway, those are my suggestions in a nutshell.  If you don’t have a large budget but are looking to update your wardrobe, I would seriously consider going to your neighborhood thrift store; you never know what goodies you might find!  

Here are some of my most recent finds:

short-sleeved sweater: $2.98
floral scarf: $1.99
brown gladiators: $3.98

Happy Thrift-Storing!

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  • beccajoy - I LOVE thrifting! I actually went this passed week hah. We should go together some time! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • pj7 - My young family was clothed and my house decorated on thrift storing, I was an addict, Tuesday was 1/2 price day at Amvets and I found the best stuff! I moved up to curbside hunting and re-doing it. Now I pretty much make it or hit up Marshall's, they are my go to place for shoes!
    Thrifting was a kind of therapy too, got me out of the house, hunting, without breaking the bank!
    Your tips are great!ReplyCancel

  • KayeMargaret - Thrifting is one of my favorite things! I took some twins that I "babysit" (they're 12) and taught them my thrifting ways… the little girl got 4 shirts for $7 total! LOVE thrifting! Yay Sarah! πŸ™‚ We should go some time before I have to go back to school!ReplyCancel

Yesterday my wonderful husband Josh and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary.  Even though we were not able to spend the day in a very romantic way, it was still special to remember the excited anxiousness of the wedding day and to recap all the events that have taken place in our lives since then.  

Here are some photos from our wedding day; a day that was filled with lots of good family and friends and of course, love.   

Josh write me a sweet little note to read before the wedding.  In it, he basically told me how much he loved me, how excited he was to see me walk down the aisle, and how he couldn’t wait to start our lives together as husband and wife.

My sweet mother-in-law snapped this photo, and I am so glad she did.  This was Josh’s face as he saw me walk down the aisle.  He is so full of emotion right here and it makes me sort of choke up every time I see it.  

I now pronounce you husband and wife … you may kiss the bride!!  
Here we are walking out of the church feeling so, so happy, excited, content … the list goes on.

Our wedding day was so special and I can’t look back on it without a huge smile on my face.  I am so grateful for five fantastic years of marriage with one of the best men on the planet.  My prayer is that God will bless us with many, many more.  
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  • Teresa - Wonderful memories!!ReplyCancel

  • Darla - you had a fun wedding! 5 years has flown by! Congrats and many many more to an amazing couple!ReplyCancel

  • KayeMargaret - adorable. I wish I had known yall back then… it was right when we had just started coming to church(ish)… I loved stalking your pictures though! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel