The "I'm Bored" List

by sarahmfry, June 10, 2020

The summer has just started, but on the heels of an 11-week quarantine, it feels like the summer has been going awhile.  The boys love playing together.  Except when they don't.  Then there inevitably ends up being weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  

We do have screen time around here, but it is a double-edged sword.  It keeps everyone happy while I clean out a closet, but in the meantime they forget where they put their brains and imaginations!!

I've used a list like this for years.  It has changed as the kids change.  Obviously, ours is heavy on the boy stuff.  But you can make one with baby dolls and unicorns too!

When the kids can't think of anything to do, just whip out this handy-dandy list and let them go for it!  Make a list that fits your family.  Include mostly things they can do with little help from you, and a few things that require your help.

Questions to ask during an emotional crash

by sarahmfry, May 07, 2020
These questions do not solve your problems or necessarily pull you out of an emotional crash, but they can gently lead you to the answers and tools you need to deal with where you are in a healthy way.  
IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you are having recurring thoughts about suicide, call a friend right away and ask them to check on you.  It is hard.  I know how hard.  But you must.


Am I safe?  Am I having reoccurring thoughts about suicide? 
a.       My 3 safe people:
      b.  My 3 reasons for living:

Is this a new or old struggle?  Do I already know why I am struggling right now?

Are there physical or hormonal issues at work?
a.       Am I getting 8 hours of Sleep?
b.       Hormones?
c.       Vitamins?
d.       Nutrition? 
e.       Dark days (less sunlight)
f.     Being inside a lot/lack of movement

What are my primary stressors?

Am I too busy?

Write down all of your responsibilities.  Is there anywhere I can:
Let go
Ask for help

Are there reoccurring thoughts that are bothering me?
This is who I will talk to about my troubling thoughts:
This is what I will use to break the cycle of those thoughts:

Are any of these happening?
Triggers (being with difficult family members, hurtful conversations, significant dates)


by sarahmfry, December 13, 2019

Sitting on the floor in my room, over our corn chowder and fruit picnic. Hands clasped with my sick 3-year old. Singing the Doxology as the prayer of thanksgiving for our meal.

Her body is thin and weak - her eyes sunken and dark from almost constant sicknesses that her body has been fighting for months. But her eyes are closed and she sings the doxology in the strongest little voice she can muster.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Hosts!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

And the tears come. God is good. All the time. In sickness, in health. In times of exhaustion and energy. He changes not.

Our blocks creations are spectacular - a castle, a highway, a city skyline topped with half-grapes. We watch pieces of online Sunday night services together. We try to nourish her body and let it heal.

And I desperately wish that my love could protect her. But I know that it can only buffer.

And I admit that my fear for her health nags me. I know first hand that the phrase "God will work it out" does not always mean health, wealth and rest. And watching children suffer is a very difficult thing to understand, indeed.

Just the other day, my high school students shared some of their own fears. The things that challenge them in their Faith and Trust. But things haven't "worked out all right" for all of them, either.

So we talked about it...what exactly is it that we're trusting in? That things will turn out allright? No - certainly not in this life. Most of us have seen enough that we should understand that. For peace in the storm? Not always. Sometimes the storm so surrounds us that we must patiently wait for peace.

We dare not trust that God honors those He loves by dumping benevolent happiness and health upon us in direct proportion to our holy performance. Because when those good things are taken, our faith crumbles beneath us.

We must trust something deeper, stronger - Eternal. My faith. My joy. The rock of my life - is grounded upon the fact that God is who He Is. He is good. He is love. And that cannot change.

I do not believe this is a concept that you can understand without fire. When the good things are still piled around you, or you've never walked through fire with someone dear, it's very easy to still trust in the good things. Instead of the Good God.

And when that rock is established. And as my spiritual muscle builds through the trying of my faith. Then I am free to enjoy the blessings that he does pour out in unspeakable abundance.

The fluffy falling snow. The dew on the flowers. The brilliance of the sunset. The softness of my babies. The companionship of my lover. Because my faith is not based upon these things. Not based upon a God who guarantees any of these things in this life.

But upon a God who guarantees that He will be to me....I am that I am. The eternal, unchangeable God who is Love.

God is life. Everything else is details.

From the 2007 Archives

Thanksgiving Resources

in , , , by sarahmfry, November 15, 2019
Fun Family Resources for the Thanksgiving Season:

(Images are clickable)

Gratitude Activity Printable Pack 

This is my  newest resource - just downloaded it today from Kim over at Not Consumed.
30 free pages of Thanksgiving ideas and activities! Bible verse cards, Gratitude journal for kids, Thanksgiving scavenger hunt, Thankfulness hymn & verses, Gratitude cards, and a link for how to have a "Blessings Party."

Good Advice

by sarahmfry, November 13, 2019
Some "Good Advice" I ran across somewhere long, long ago....
                                  a fantastic list to live by...

   'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.


in , , , , by sarahmfry, November 10, 2019

Calmness is the cradle of power.

J. G. Holland


For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,  
Isaiah 30:15, ESV

 The Brain:  Anxiety, Depression and Self-Care


Understanding some of the basics
How the brain functions
 Layers of life
Upward spiral – practical points that bring it all together
Practical Tools (with clickable links)

Link to recommended booklist

GraceStory: Reading Resources

in , , , , by sarahmfry, November 07, 2019
Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and HealthGraceStory Note I am bringing almost all of these books to GraceStory!  They will be on display in a booth with 2 wine colored chairs.  If you're the kind of person who needs to flip through a book to see if you want to buy it, come by and take a look before you purchase something on Amazon.

View the post for a topical, clickable list of recommended reading.


in , , , , by sarahmfry, November 05, 2019
Why these fears?

I have learned to know myself, and I suspect several practical reasons, but as usual the presence of fear within me feeds fear itself.

I don’t like the nagging of fear. I much prefer the sigh of rest and trust and have learned to nurture it. But as a child and even beyond I spent countless nights fearing things eternal and temporal and specific and vague and realistic and imaginary.....and always fearing fear itself. It has paralyzed me, at times. Made me stare wide-eyed into darkness and double lock doors and dive behind beds. Made me picture God wrongly and turned heaven into a place of unknown dread for me.

I have remarkable awe and respect for my mother’s unending patience in talking me and walking me and praying me through night after night of fear. Spiritual fear, physical fear, mental & emotional fear.


in , by sarahmfry, November 04, 2019

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.

~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros