By: Jennifer Murray

Fresh Year, Fresh Starts


Even in its bitter harshness (ummm -7 this morning was completely unacceptable, Indiana), there’s something I love about January.  I love fresh starts. I love the blankness of a clean slate.  Do-overs are embraced, and we all cheer on each other’s ambitious. There’s real beauty in that, Friends.

After if we all learned something in 2014 wasn’t it that “the past is in the past”? (Got it in your head for the rest of the day, Your Welcome.)

A new year and a new start remind me of God’s patience, forgiveness, grace, and mercy for a zillion and 3 restarts in 2015. Grace upon grace.

Perspective comes from both learning from the past and looking ahead, which helps me in making goals for 2015.  Resolutions will be broken, but goals can always be tweaked, restarted, and readjusted.

Writing down goals makes them more achievable.  Sharing them with you keeps me even more accountable.

43% of those who write down their goals, accomplish them
64% of those who write down their goals and commit to action, accomplish them.
76% of those who write down goals, commit to action, and have WEEKLY progress accomplish them.

~ Research by Psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews

Here’s some goals I have for this coming year:


  • Listening. {Especially in times of conflict or when someone is in the wrong.}
  • Teaching the boys to be diligent workers. {More on this in a later post.}
  • Not taking life too seriously, and being able to laugh at myself more.
  • Equipping them to be men.


  • Scheduling date nights once a month. And hopefully a couple of nights away together this year.
  • Being more intentional with the time we do get together.
  • Less defensive, more teachable.

My Relationship with God~

  • Spending consistent time in the Word daily.
  • Journaling what He’s teaching me by writing out prayers, Scripture, and truths from the Word.
  • Investing in the church through ministry, Bible study, small group, and pursuing relationships.


  • Less sugar. Less carbs. More real food.
  • Working out consistently. {I’m currently trying out PiYo from my brother-in-law, Ryan, and really liking it.  It’s a good push, but not impossible. It’s only been a week and I can already tell a difference in my strength and flexibility.}
  • A shot of Ningxia Red (superfood drink from Young Living) every morning {hello, sustained energy and better digestion than I’ve had in forever}
  • Less work in the evenings. Unplugged is the new black.
  • Blogging more consistently because it’s good for my soul, a keepsake, and because I love the community here.
  • Reading. {This one affects my mood so much. I need to have my nose in a book or in my Kindle for some quiet time several times weekly.  I’m currently reading this and this and devouring them!}
  • Scheduling self-care visits {dentist, eye doc, etc.}

—> How about YOU?  What are your goals?  What are you looking forward to in 2015?  Do you write down your goals? 


Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a tiny affiliate commission – so THANK YOU. Know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to your lives, because I genuinely care about you!



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By: Jennifer Murray

Presence Over Presents

Back to Reality. Back to Routine. Back to Life Outside of Pajamas.

There’s definite advantages to the rigamarole of getting back to a schedule, but none of us were ready for break to end this morning.

The beginning of Christmas break was busy with multiple Christmases, new toys, and honestly a lot of conflict.  There were some hard parenting moments and exposure of heart issues that needed addressed.  Sometimes presents do that, because it’s the hard reality that things don’t make you happy, and it exposes what you are holding too tightly.

There was some great Christmas memories made in there also, but even though we tend to fall on the “less” side of Christmas, we will be striving for even simpler next year.


The PRESENCE of Christmas far outweighed the presents. Having the boys HOME was a gift.


Pajamas until noon, snack foods, games, puzzles, reading and fun outings filled our days and nights.


We learned how much fun Quirkle can be!


Our house was filled with family members many of the days – boy cousin time x7, my great nephew’s first Christmas, time with Brad’s family, traditions, and time with those we love most.

On NYE we got to crash our sweet friend’s suite hotel room, which involved swimming, bounce houses, movies, 7 boys screaming in the New Year, and a fun catch up with friends.


Hello 2015. 2014 gave us some pretty great times and some crazy hard time, but you’ve been pretty fantastic so far!


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By: Jennifer Murray

Christmas Card 2014


Merry Christmas Eve, Friends!  I hope you are soaking up this season with family and those you love most.  We’re having Brad’s family here for soup and sandwiches and dessert of course before heading to our Christmas Eve service.  I’m so looking forward to a day to focus on family and our Savior who is our hope!

May you be filled with peace, joy, and love throughout the end of 2014!



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