No Fake Happy Face, Just My Usual Transparency

Hillsong I Surrender devotion and video

As Christians we sometimes paste on a happy face and gloss over our wounds and struggles. After all, we're supposed to have it all together, aren't we? If we don't have the answers then who does? I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't. I hurt. I cry. I ask the Comforter to intercede when I can't even form the … [Read more...]

What Happens When You’re at the End of Your Rope?

Ever feel like you're at the end of your rope? Know that the sweetest and most profound dreams are often born in the tiniest slivers of leftover life.

Bible study teacher Beth Moore (Living Proof Ministries) and I have a long history. I have taken several of her studies through the years and her words have spoken life into me at critical moments in my life journey. I am so grateful for the way God has used her to teach me His truths. One little detail you may not know about her is that she and … [Read more...]

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me

Marty Walden shares her faith and how God helped her release her anxiety and pain when her husband faced surgeries, unemployment, a teenaged son runaway and a family death, all within a six month period.

I started this post last Christmas because I knew my husband and I were headed into a season of uncertainty. The single lyric of Let It Go was stuck in my head and for good reason.  Tim was scheduled for hernia surgery followed by rotator cuff surgery in early December. As a painting contractor that meant a six month recovery and … [Read more...]

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

Great advice for new dads from a first time father, with everything you need to know to make it through those sleepless, scary and adjustment filled days!

Welcome back my daughter Rachel and an especially big welcome to her husband Donny!  Let me tell you about my son-in-law. Throughout the courtship/dating process he and Rachel spent a lot of time in our home. We got to know Donny so well we considered him as just another fixture in the house! He loves to tease me and I try to give as … [Read more...]

9 Tools to Survive a Crisis

Marty's Musings shares her personal story and 9 tools to survive a crisis. From taking care of yourself to knowing when to ask for help, there is hope!

  Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day?  Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is set to cover the yearly emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn't predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Right … [Read more...]

3 Tools for Organizing Your Life!

Need help organizing your life and your family? Let digital apps, old fashioned paper calendars and consistent routines make your life easier!

  Since we've just finished celebrating Mother's Day I'm here to share a few of the tools I've used through the years to keep our home running smoothly. Or at least an attempt at order amidst chaos! I remember the day we brought our first child, a daughter, home from the hospital. I looked at this perfect, beautiful baby and … [Read more...]

Our Teenaged Son was a Runaway

I Am Not Alone worship video by Kari Jobe reminds us that even in the midst of the darkest night God gives us hope and strength for each new day.

I have been paralyzed for over a week. Unable to write a word or formulate a thought.  I'd find myself staring at the floor for untold moments. Only feelings of grief and shock.  You see, this past Tuesday, April 28th, our 16-year-old adopted son became a runaway. Our son is the youngest of a sibling group we … [Read more...]

Cinco de Mayo Party and Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Fun ideas for throwing a themed Cinco de Mayo party on a budget with inexpensive decorations and easy recipes including pineapple salsa and taquitos.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #DelimexFiesta #CollectiveBias To celebrate my youngest daughter's 17th birthday she invited several of her friends over for a themed Cinco De Mayo party. Teenagers + taco bar and fixin's = tons of food and fun! As … [Read more...]

5 Helpful Tips for Organizing Your Car

These 5 helpful tips for organizing your car will help you make sense and streamline all the accumulated "stuff' that ends up in your car!

  Is organization a struggle for you? Do you live out of your car? Or maybe you have kids? If so, I have 5 helpful tips for organizing your car! Often our vehicle is a reflection of our lives, filled to the brim with people and their "stuff!" Since it's often easier to do these unpleasant tasks in short amounts of time, … [Read more...]

Easter Blessings Through the Years

Counting your Easter blessings can transform your family as the years pass and your children grow into adults. Celebrating faith and family is important!

  Easter has always been an important family holiday for  us, a time to gather together for a meal and share a common faith. Our family has changed immensely over the years. From a family of four to a family of seven overnight.    Years of Easter baskets, worship music and family pictures on the … [Read more...]

Rice Krispies Treats® for Easter

Enjoy celebrating the holidays and everyday with your kids in the kitchen with these 3 ingredient Rice Krispies Treats and perfectly adorable Easter nests.

I am a seasoned mom and have lived to tell the tale. Yes, after raising and homeschooling five children, I'm nearing the end of that season. Endless days and sometimes even longer nights are now being replaced with eating bon bons by the pool. Nah, not really, but it was such a sweet thought!   Anyway, one of the most … [Read more...]

Just Breathe In and Breathe Out

Amazing Grace - Marty's Musings

   I take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. What was that breathing technique I saw online? 4-7-8 Inhale for a count of four. Hold for a count of seven. Exhale for a count of eight.  Heart still flip flopping an extra beat. I open my email and watch as the messages flood my … [Read more...]

Handmade Card Ideas in Under 10 Minutes

Add the perfect touch for a gift or send encouragement and well wishes with these handmade card ideas created under 10 minutes with a Project Life kit.

This month on Crafty Hangouts we were challenged to come up with a craft that could be completed in under 10 minutes. Just my style. Quick and easy. Lickety split. In a jiffy. (Consumer Crafts sponsored this post but all opinions and ideas are my own!) I ordered some goodies from Consumer Crafts and came up with … [Read more...]

The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Struggling with body image after giving birth, a first time mom encourages women to embrace the beauty and gift in those pregnancy stretch marks.

Thank you to my daughter Rachel for sharing a precious reminder of the beauty of motherhood with "The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks."    When I became pregnant with our son, Aiden, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I knew it would help to lose a few pounds but my husband thought I was sexy when I was … [Read more...]

When a Heart Breaks

When a Heart Breaks - Marty's Musings

There are joyous seasons in life, days filled with sweetness and precious memories, almost to the point of taking my breath away. Then the seasons of grief arrive, days filled with inconsolable heartbreak, crushing the wind from my lungs. Blessedly I've known both seasons and every one in between. Ordinary days full of diapers … [Read more...]

A Southern Snow and Cute Puppy Pictures

Ever wondered why southerners fear of running out of bread and milk when it snows? Marty's Musings tells why and shows you cute puppy pictures, too!

(Note: I was working on this post last weekend but the news of my brother-in-law's sudden cardiac arrest changed everything. As he clings to life our family clings to hope in God and we still covet your prayers.) I'm born and bred Southern, y'all. And I actually use the word y'all in everyday language. All.the.time. But somehow … [Read more...]

3 Practical Ways to Add More Meaning to Your Life

3 practical ways to add more meaning to your life by finding and meeting the needs of others, especially the homeless people in your community.

  I am a big believer in modeling behaviors I'd like my children to imitate. I want to reach their hearts in teaching them compassion for others. But let me be honest. In the area of helping others outside of the family, I often fail. I get caught up in the minutia of everyday life and modeling these important elements of … [Read more...]

Our Family Needs Your Prayers

Our Family Needs Your Prayers - Marty's Musings

I had every intention of sharing an adorable post today full of pictures this weekend of our new puppy and, of course, our baby grandson. Unfortunately, life sometimes shocks us into reality and heartbreak. Saturday was one of those days. We got a call early in the morning that my husband's brother had a heart attack. No … [Read more...]

Elephant Themed Baby Shower

With tips and tricks on throwing a DIY Elephant Themed Baby Shower, these ideas on food and decor will thrill both the expectant mom and party guests alike.

My first grandson is now nine weeks old and I promised myself I'd share the shower I threw for my daughter before he was crawling around!  Aiden James Baldridge entered the world four weeks early and threw us all into a panic (you can read the story here). He was worth every minute of those days and was the best reason … [Read more...]

Exciting News and a Dare to Dream Big Dreams

Marty's Musings shares how to to dream big dreams and embrace the unknown when God touches your heart and changes your plans.

  A few weeks ago I was sitting at my computer working (not unusual in the least) and felt a moment when I believe God planted a dream within me (quite unusual for me!) Today I want to share just a few thoughts on how I believe God is working in my life and family. I have been working diligently on my blogging business for almost two … [Read more...]

4 AM Feelings From a Sleep Deprived Mom

Honest and transparent feelings from a first time new mom will reassure that faith and love will see you through! from Marty's Musings

Many of you longtime readers have heard all about my oldest daughter Rachel, with everything from her DIY wedding in 2011, baby gender reveal party last August and the unexpected arrival of baby Aiden early in December. From age eleven and a half and up when we adopted a sibling group of three in 2000, Rachel was so faithful in … [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

With just a few common ingredients, this deliciously sweet Chocolate Chip Cheeseball is an easy yet impressive dessert to share with friends and family.

  Have you ever had a silly argument over practically nothing, especially with your spouse? ~raising hand~ Me, too. In marriage it's usually the little things that drive me insane build my character. Little habits like when Tim kicks the sheets out from under the mattress or goes to the grocery for me and calls me 10 times … [Read more...]

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues - Marty's Musings

  I've been amazed at the way my recent post with my story on when to see a family therapist has resonated with so many people. For the most part I don't consider myself an anxious person, but there are definitely times that I lose sight of my blessings and only focus on the problems. My goal here is to encourage you so I thought I'd … [Read more...]

Unafraid: Why I Went to See a Therapist

Not sure when or how to ask for professional help with a personal situation? Blogger Marty's Musings shares a personal story of encouragement.

When I started this post several days ago I had no idea that our lives would again be filled with a new crisis with our adopted son. I just knew I needed help coping with my own feelings and hurts God had been revealing to me. As we continue to walk forward with our son, loving him and getting him help to continue the process of healing his … [Read more...]