The Times, They Are a Changin’


Hello, Dear Readers!

Please, do forgive my absence, but my little family has been in the midst of absolute upheaval, chaos, and undone-ment. That’s right: we were moving house! My husband Ben has been given a wonderful opportunity for full-time ministry so that means the Snyderhaus has up and moved. After a month of packing and prepping and sorting through our old house of 12 years (a task that reduced me to overwhelmed tears more than once), we are now officially ensconced in our new home, which is far beyond anything I ever envisioned. We have spent the last two nights here, the rest of our furniture arrived yesterday, and, this morning, my daughter and I sat at the table in our DINING ROOM and ate breakfast together. Then she went upstairs to her bedroom to play and my husband settled at the dining room to do some work, while I enjoyed my first cup of tea on the couch in my new house, with the blinds open on our NEW PATIO DOORS to look out on our deck and backyard.

Can you tell I am a touch excited? I (and, by extension, my anxiety) am actually allowing myself to be so, now that the major push is done. I have also found a new job and that alone is miraculous, never mind the gobsmacking circumstances that surround it. We still have the old house to finish cleaning out and cleaning up to get it ready to list, and I am ever so thankful for the resources and family/friends that are helping with that task. God has deeply provided and is truly wonderful! I pray that He will bless this house and all that come into and go out from it. May they leave better than they arrived.

Now, that is not to say that this first month won’t be challenging. It will. It absolutely will. I will be transtioning from one position to another, Ben will have just begun his new pastorship and all its responsibilities, and Elizabeth will be acclimating to life in a new city, neighborhood, and house. But I believe that God is good, that this is what He has planned for us, and that He will, as I have prayed so many times and continue to, be our meal and oil and provide what is needed. What we want can wait for a little while. God has provided what we need thus far, and so I believe He will not let us down now.

Again, thank you for your patience, Dear Ones. I appreciate your encouragement, your support, and the Love that shines from you. You are what this world needs. Let us continue to show up, show Love, and do what is needed.

Hero on, Dear Ones!

Choosing Again


My head ached and my stomach roiled as I looked over the papers the other night: the lease for what we had been dearly hoping would become our new home. This was the next step in a new chapter for our little family, and I felt as though all my sense and surety had fled and failed me. All my certainty seemed to wobble underneath me, all that I was sure of before lost in a haze of “I don’t know,” and “Is this right?”

During a recent bedtime, our daughter told us that she believed God had told her that the house (over whose lease I was now laboring) was perfect for us. Honestly, we all thought so and had prayed and hoped deeply that our application might be approved. Then it was and now there I sat, suddenly questioning the last two weeks of my life and every decision made therein. It has been twelve years since we rented a home; was this lease fair? Where would the extra money come from for all this if something went wrong? What if no schools accepted my job applications? Was this indeed the next right thing, the right choice for our family? Now, we do believe that our little girl did indeed hear God’s voice in her heart, that she did hear Him answer her silent question of a new home.  Yet, here I was: feeling sick to my stomach with uncertainty.

Needing a minute to clear my head, I sat down with a box of encouragement cards that a friend had given me, and this is the one I pulled out of the stack:

I had made an old choice, and I had chosen wrongly. I had chosen an old frenemy: fear. It has stood between me and the new many times before, and I have missed much through its uncertainty. And, though I believe in this next chapter for our family, I had chosen fear again and it had made itself uncomfortable in my belly.

I need to choose again.

I want to choose again.

I will choose again.

This time, I choose love.

When I say that, I do not necessarily mean that I am choosing love for others, though that is always a good (and a God) thing. What I mean by choosing love is that I am choosing God’s love for me. His love which means He has a plan for me, a plan for my good and to prosper my future. I do not want to choose fear and let it paralyze me again. I want to choose and believe in God’s love for me, no matter how nervous I may feel about the big changes coming our way. I want to continually choose God’s love for me and have faith that He will open the necessary doors and that all will work out. 

One thing is for absolutely certain: God has never failed me yet. I choose to believe that He will not start now.

Amazing the Change


Author’s Note: I posted the beginnings of this earlier on Facebook but decided to expand upon it here.

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Yesterday, I called going to Planet Fitness “my zen”. Those who have known me a long time know that this is a hugely marked change in my life. I HATED conventional exercise and the idea of going to the gym seemed like an exercise in desperation. When I started belly dancing, I started conditioning/drilling movements as well as using planks, yoga, and other toning exercises to improve my technique and to build up strength and stamina. That, I actually enjoyed and still use some of the exercises. And, yes, I still tiny-shimmy while I am waiting in line or the like.

Now for the honest nitty-gritty. I am five foot one. Before I had Elizabeth, I weighed 120 lbs. and was a 34 D. I rose up to 150 and a 36 D by the end of my pregnancy (the day I saw that on the scale, I definitely yelled out “WHAT?!” in the doctor’s office) but lost the weight rather quickly after I had my darling girl, dipping down to 124 lbs. again. When Elizabeth was still young and able to be carted about in her buggy with no complaint, she and I had a beautiful schedule. She would get up around six or seven in the morning, we’d have breakfast, get dressed, read and play a bit, and then be out of the house by nine-thirty, off for our walk around our little town. Those days, I would speed walk at least a mile, if not more, pushing her in her buggy, my little girl giggling her encouragement as I breathlessly reminded myself to keep pushing. By the time we would wend our way home after a mile walk, stopping at the post office, sometimes the bank, and me fetching myself a strawberry smoothie from the coffee shop, Elizabeth would be ready for her morning nap. I would get her down to sleep, finish whatever cardio and conditioning I had planned for my workout, and then take a delicious shower, undisturbed and all to myself. But, of course, children grow and their routines change. So do their mothers’, and, even though we still walked and whatnot, my weight slowly began to tick up again.

By the end of December 2014, I was 139 lbs. and some high ounces and I decided that I had had enough of not feeling good about myself and, for once made myself some New Years’ goals. As such, I got myself to the Planet Fitness about twenty minutes’ drive from my home. My trips there had been sporadic at best up until that point. Now, I determined that it would be a regular occurrence, at least twice a week. And so it is. With a good friend running by my side, I have never lacked for challenge or encouragement. For the first few months, all I had the courage to try was the elliptical. It was hard at first, really hard. I won’t lie about that. I don’t like running. I was a sprinter, inherited it from my father. Long-distance running just made me shudder and groan. So getting on the elliptical for half an hour sounded like an impossible goal. But, eventually, I found myself developing more endurance, breaking my personal performance records, and actually starting to ENJOY running. It is something that has become just for me, something that is building my strength and my health, and where I can set goals and push myself more and more. Recently, I branched out into the weight machines as well and found that I really, really like strength training on them. I also walk with my little family, work out at home, and play outside with my toddler daughter. My legs are currently mostly muscle now from running, and I love feeling the ache of muscles pushed to greater strength. It is an absolutely stupendous thing to find yourself stronger and being able to add weight to the machine or resistance levels to the elliptical. To walk into the gym feeling like a warrior and walk out feeling like a conqueror. 

Since December, I have gone from 139 lbs. down to 132 and then, as I have built muscle, I have ticked back up to 135 (my weigh-in this very morning).  No, I’m not as light or thin as I was before my pregnancy. Yes, I have gone up a dress size since then. Yes, I’m still a 36 D. BUT. I know that I am stronger and healthier than I was, and my body craves movement and exercise more now than before. I am also eating better/making better food choices while still treating myself at times. I post my fitness and exercise on Facebook as well as in a journal as a means of tracking and keeping myself accountable, and I am always grateful for the encouragement that my friends and family give.

So, almost seven months down the road, I can honestly say now that I LOVE my time at the gym. It’s time just for me, doing something that will make my life better and, therefore, make me more able to hopefully better the lives of my loved ones.

It’s hard. It’s a struggle sometimes. It’s a daily series of conscious decisions. Sometimes I do really well, sometimes I’m just middling, and sometimes I fail. But I always get up to try again. I’m doing it and so can you, without a doubt! Keep running, keep lifting, keep dancing, keep breathing, keep doing. Keep on!

The Landslides of Life


Today, as I drove home from Planet Fitness, I began to sing through my Glee playlist on iTunes. One of the songs I came across was Gwyneth Paltrow and the Glee cast’s rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. I love Glee’s arrangement of this song and, as I sang alone in the car, a curious thought struck me.

“This could really be my song for 2014.”

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A Change of Space


When I arrived at my parents’ house on Monday, we let Elizabeth familiarize herself with the house while we got settled. Ben and I are sleeping in my old room, of course. The reality, though, is that it looks nothing like the room I grew up in.

Gone are the pink, then white, then blue walls, now a soft taupe leading up to an ivory ceiling. the bookshelves, the desk, the stereo, the shrine to boy bands on the corner shelves by the window. Gone is the window unit air conditioner, inserted and cemented into a cutout in the wall; the entire house is central air’ed now. The windows o the north and east wall are smaller, fewer. The closet contains my mother’s clothes and shoes (both of which far outstrip my own collections, I am fairly sure; the shoes, I am CERTAIN!). The furniture is all different and only a few years new (the bed is a thing of beauty and comfort from top to bottom). The dresser holds my mother’s clothing and several collections of knickknacks and crafty stuffs. Only one drawer contains a few articles of clothing of mine from my teenage/college years that either my mother could not bear to throw out, as they were my staples for around the house, or that she has kept on just in case I should ever desire or need to wear them again. As a matter of fact, I am wearing a pair of pj pants from that particular dresser right now.

In the corner is a pile of stuff that includes hand-me-downs for Elizabeth, craft supplies of my mom’s, a photo poster of Elizabeth to be framed and hung somewhere (and she always finds the room), and seasonal decor/gift items. There are few, if any, vestiges left of what made this room my room for 13 years. And yet…I don’t mind.

I don’t mourn the changing of this room, the changing of the entire house since I’ve been gone and married these almost eight years. It has been improved and redecorated from top to bottom inside and I think it’s great. The house is beautiful and clean and excellently-cared-for and I envy my parents that. I hope that I can do such wonderful things with my own home some day.

So it’s not my bedroom, technically. It’s the guest room (and mom’s work room) but I still find myself comfortable and safe in its space. I miss my own home, for sure, but no amount of change will ever cause me to forget that this is my home, too.