What I Loved About January


The first month of 2015 is in the books.  Crazy huh?   I always picture the year as a pie cut into 12 pieces and I just finished a slice.  I don't know about you but my first month had a huge learning curve.  It wasn't the easiest month, but I learned a lot, lost a few pounds, found peace in some tough situations and embraced the moments that brought me joy.  Consider this a mini scrapbook of our January 2015.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love journeying through life with this man.  He is such a gift of strength & encouragement in my life.  We took this picture January 30th on our way out the door to celebrate a birthday with some fabulous friends at my new favorite Southeast Kansas restaurant, Ernestos.  Yes Ruthie...did you read that...my new FAVORITE!  Another fabulous memory "us" this month was when Dane came home with "Friday Flowers."  You know, flowers to celebrate the fact that it was Friday.   I love you Dane Wutke

The biggest part of our month was the Daniel Fast.  I shared a bit about this in the last post, but I think it defined January for me: it was hard but it was worth it.  I will never forget the moment we broke the fast together.  Yes we stayed up until midnight and enjoyed Papa Murphy's Pepperoni Pizza and a couple bites of cookie dough, then off to bed.  The next morning we sat down to a proper meal...breakfast and bacon (two sides of bacon if you are Dane) from Bob's Diner.

Our good friend Trent captured this picture.  We spent a few evenings with Trent before shipping him off to Brazil to study for a couple of years.  Together we got in some good games of Settlers of Catan, a few rounds of ping pong, and dreamed of our future trip to visit him for the summer olympics....fingers crossed!  You can follow Trent and his Brazilian adventure on his instagram page here.   Tell him the Wutke's say hi!

My latest big design project has been a webpage for our church.  It is ALMOST finished and I can't wait to share the link with you all here soon.  Until then...here is a picture from the homepage.

We had several beautiful days in January.  When I say beautiful, I am talking 75 degrees beautiful.  Meanwhile, the east coast was being hammered by 2 feet of snow.  I'll take walks outside and front porch sitting anytime I can get it during a January in Kansas.

There has been a lot of music playing in the Wutke house lately.  We have taken advantage of Dane's Christmas present, a record player, and picked up a few of our favorite artists on vinyl.  Michael Jackson, Bon Iver & the Killers.  After some record player tips in tricks (aka: taping a dime to the needle head) we are up and running.

Our nephew Corbin, celebrated his 1st birthday on January 21st.  The family all gathered together for the ceremonial "cake eating."  I can't even begin to explain the joy this brought me.  If you can't tell from the picture this kid likes cake like his aunt likes cake.  I've always believed you should never trust a person who doesn't like cake.  I cannot wait to enjoy year 2 with my favorite little buddy.

A few other moments to remember: We celebrated Christmas the first weekend of the month with the Bebermeyer family.  I really don't have pictures from that weekend.  Instead of holding my phone all of the time, I tried my best to be in the moment just taking it all in.  It was Corbin's first Christmas, and it was SO cute!

Dane has been overhauling a Fender Strat that a friend blessed him with at Christmas.  He soldered in a new pick up switch selector as well as made some other set up adjustments.  Just a few more steps and it will be ready to make its Dane Wutke debut!

I started a Bible Study with my good friend Tre called "Made to Crave"  It is all about approaching weight loss with a Godly perspective.  Girl, I think we are taking fabulous steps in the direction God would like us to go with our health.  Holding on to the truth that we aren't being denied but are empowered!

This & That:

Music We Listened To:
Dane: The Killers: Sam's Town & Elevation Worship: Wake Up the Wonder
Christy: Violents: Red Lights & Taylor Swift: 1989 (I just can't get enough)

Movies We Watched:
Dane: American Sniper & Fury
Christy: Labor Day & The Giver (you must see this movie!)

A New Treasures We Found Along the Way:
Dane: T1M Buffer for my guitar pedals
Christy: Dane bought me new Westone In Ears

Something New I Tried:
Dane: Spaghetti Squash.  I like it.
Christy: Switching my daily devotionals to morning.  Sets my day up right.

Books I Am Reading:
Dane: Bon Iver by Mark Beaumont
Christy: Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst & Divergent by Veronica Roth

See ya soon February!

21 Days in 2015


Writing this post has been rolling through my mind a lot lately.  It is something that I wrestled with sharing, but at this point, the secret is pretty much out, and I would love to write it in order to help people better understand intensions and answer a lot of questions that we've received.

Starting January 5 Dane and I began the Daniel Fast together.  The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast based off of the fast Daniel did in the Bible.  I am not going to go into a lot of detail about the specifics,   there are many other websites and books available that can explain it much better than I (like this).

But just to give you the basics: for 21 days, Dane and I committed to eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, water, spices.  We don't indulge in meat, dairy, sugars or chemicals.  It is not a diet, it is not something we are doing to lose weight, it is not a detox and it is not a cleanse (although all of those things have happened).  Here's what it is: a spiritual journey, helping us turn our hearts and focus to God for strength, direction and wisdom.  Relying on Him and His word (not food) to support  & sustain us emotionally and physically.

Back in December, Dane and I began talking about what we would like to see happen in our lives in 2015.  The list is kind of personal, so I'm not going to share it here, but we knew in order to see those things happen, it was not going to be on our strength.  We also wanted to make sure our list was not driven by us, but that it was God's will and desire for our lives.  So we decided to set aside some days at the beginning of 2015 to really focus on these things in prayer.

And here we are, 15 days in, 6 days left, and am here to say I am so pumped we have done this together.  Here are few surprises that have happened along the way:

- The first few days were awful.  I have never had such persistent headaches.  Coming off a serious sugar, caffeine and chemical addiction was a lot harder than I thought.  I knew there would be a bit of this, but I didn't realize how much my body was addicted to these three things.

- God's Word is sweeter.  Seeking Him with very specific things in mind has been so good.  When scripture says that the Word of God is living and active...well I couldn't agree more.

- It has strengthened our marriage, opening up communication about our prayer life, scripture & personal struggles.

- We are pretty creative in the kitchen and cook at home a lot!  Bonus, you save a lot of money when you don't eat out or pick up a soda at the gas station several times throughout the week.

- Fruit really can taste like candy.

- Discipline is something rare in our world today.  The looks on people's faces when we tell them why we can't go out to eat or why we don't want anything to drink but water is pretty interesting.  What's more interesting is the look you get when it is realized that you don't want to cheat...even though they promise they won't tell anyone.

- It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.  21 days is a lot longer than I thought.  I figured I would blink and this would be over but it hasn't been quick and painless, but slow with growing pains. The growing pains are worth it.

- Tofu is in the refrigerator section by the fruits and vegetables.  Knowledge that is helpful if you ever decide to try this out yourself. (I could spend an entire blog post on my first time shopping for tofu).

- It does get easier as you go.  In fact, you begin to forget what life was like before the Daniel Fast.

I think overall we are both so excited we have went/are going on this journey.  I feel like we have set ourselves up for a win in 2015.  I feel like we have had a lot of clarity and have heard God's voice several times during this.  And yes, I am really excited for next Monday morning, when Dane gets off work and we sit down to a plate of bacon, eggs & pancakes and debrief the entire experience as well as lift of prayers of thanksgiving for all of the goodness God has shown us!

So there ya go, that's what Dane and I have been up to lately.  Hopefully that answers some questions and maybe even encourages you to try something new out yourself!

A Commitment to 2015


2015 is here my friends.  I can't help but sit here and think about all that this year will hold.  Joy, Laughs, Opportunities, Accomplishments, Friendships, Memories.  I get excited when I think about the new music that I will listen to, the new places I will travel, the new people I will meet, new restaurants I will discover, the new things I will try.  All measured within this little section of time we call a year.

Of course, with a new year comes the feeling of a fresh start and with that fresh start comes the resolutions.  We've all made them, we've all broken them.  Honestly, I have several things I would like to see myself accomplish in 2015.  Some really general and expected, some more personal and  scary to share in this space.  With that said, I thought it might be fun to do a resolution together, with you, the readers of "The Kids Down Under."

One of my goals for the year is to memorize a new Bible verse each month.  I thought it would be fun to have several other people in my life doing the same. We could encourage and hold each other accountable.

The value of meditating and knowing God's word is immeasurable.  There is so much in this world that comes into our minds and hearts and etches itself there.  Some of it really good, some of it pretty worthless (I highly doubt knowing every lyric to All About that Bass is really doing me a lot of good).  So I decided, I want to make sure that by the end of 2015, I have etched some good in my heart.  Some good that will stick with me and guide me for a lifetime.  And that's where the goal to memorize a verse a month came to mind.

In the past I have taken part in Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team Challenge.  I highly recommend it!  Beth challenges her readers to memorize 24 Bible verses in a year, two each month.  I am going to admit, I was really good at remembering to get a new verse each time I turned the calendar page, but I would always forget on the 15th of each month to find a new one, and would often find I still didn't have my 1st one down.  So I thought, "tis better to know 12 than to know nothing at all." Time to insert a new game plan:

This year, I wanted to create some memory cards that I could download, print off, and place all around my house, so that my day was filled with God's word and hopefully by the end of the month, I will truly have the verse hidden in my heart.

So how can you get involved?  Well it is pretty simple.  First off, if you want to use the verse I am using each month, all you have to do is download the the card (available here), print, and cut.  I made them small enough that you could stick them in lots of places.  The bathroom mirror, on your car steering wheel, next to your computer screen, and of course one for the kitchen sink.  They are also the perfect size to slip into a project life album (just in case you're into that like me), or glue/tape into your own prayer journal.


You can come up with your own verse that has personal meaning to you at this point in your life.

Whatever you do, chose a verse that speaks something to you.  On the 1st of each month, there will be a blog post here with my new verse for the month, as well as a little explanation into why I am choosing it.  Feel free to post your month's verse in the comments or possibly your thoughts on the verse that I have chosen.

Phew...that was a lot of explaining, but I hope you're excited, because now we are to the good stuff.  The January Verse:

One day when I was reading, I stumbled upon this verse and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It tells me that every single thing I do, I should commit it to God, which means, let Him take control, allow Him to guide my steps, seek him for wisdom in my decisions.  And when I do that, when I seek what He is desiring for my life, my plans will be established.

So I started with my day:
I woke up and said, God I commit this day to you.
I put on my running shoes and said, God I commit this workout to you.
I went home and made some breakfast, I decided to commit my food to God, letting him guide my choices.
Dane came home, I committed our conversation to God, allowing him to help my words be loving & kind.
I began my work day and committed it to him, letting God be the one who filled me with creativity, direction & wisdom.

The day went on and on and on and I continued to try and commit whatever I was doing to God, allowing Him to establish what happened next.

It really was a beautiful day.

Honestly, I don't do this everyday.  I should, but I don't.  But I find myself, when struggling in something, when I stop and commit it to God, seeking what He desires for my life, it works out so much better than me trying to meander my way through.

So then I realized, I want to commit my 2015 to God.  Letting Him establish my plans.  And so that's the way I am trying to approach this year, excited to see what sort of heart journey He takes me on.

So there it is, a little insight I have into my verse for January.  I really really really do hope you'll join me in this, and if you do, please drop me a line and let me know how it is going.

Happy New Year Everyone!