Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paring down the Unecessary

I've had this running through my head for a bit and I decided recently that I was just going to do it.

I guess I'm a bit hesitant as it will involve me being committed to it for a year. I didn't want it to go the way of New Year resolutions, losing steam halfway through January.

So, I did what any person in this modern age does to stay accountable: I put it on social media.

I don't think that I have alot to offer when it comes to talent or exemplary attributes (I had to marry someone who had that instead!) But, I have been told by many that I have a knack for organization.

And, well, I kinda like doing it. Cleaning, organizing, purging, putting things where they belong. Ask my mom: it started at a very early age.

But, just like a Contractor whose own home is in need of some overdue remodeling, my own home is getting a bit, umm, disheveled.

We've lived in this house for 2.5 years, and although I regularly purge and clean, things still tend to get away from me. In our 14.5 years of marriage we have moved 7 times and all that moving helped keep things pared down. But, unless God opens doors for us to be missionaries in the near future, we will most likely be sitting in our current location for awhile. Which means: accumulation.

So, this year, join me as I work to purge the unnecessary, hold on to what it meaningful and useful, and focus on what really matters in this life.

It's less about feeling bad about what we have and letting it control us, and more about organizing what we love and need and eliminating what we don't.

Weekly, I'll post a section of the house that I am working on, show before and afters, and hopefully spur on others to join me along the way.

I'd love for you to be one of them. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Suvar Christmas Letter

For the last 5 years we have taken the money that we would have paid for Christmas cards, pictures, and postage and put that money towards a charity.  For the last four years that money has gone to World Vision to buy a goat and few chickens for a family in poverty.

This year, with the added commissions from my Rodan+Fields business, we are able to add a cow into the mix.

So instead of a picture in the mail with a happy holiday greeting, you get this update. And a montage of pictures taken this past summer by my friend, Jess (

Owen is 10 and is in 4th grade.  He is reading books at a high school level, building fantastic creations with his Legos, and aspires to be a surgeon someday. Hannah is 8 1/2 and is in 3rd grade this year.  Hannah is our in-house creative and singer.  Daily she is writing stories, drawing pictures, and creating new things out of items found in our recycling bin.  All of her requests, questions, and stories come to us through song and melody.  Sometimes it takes 3 minutes to tell us something that really only takes 30 seconds, but at least there is entertainment through it all.  Madeline is nearly 7, in 1st grade, and has quite the personality.  She is the most independent and headstrong of the three.  She loves to make little people out of simple ordinary objects (erasers, corks, clothespins), cuddle on the couch, and make us laugh daily with the little things she says and does.

In June, Paul finished up his second year of teaching with much singing and rejoicing from me.  Having put in more hours in 8 months than a full time job does in 12, I was so very thankful to have him around for the summer.  There was still lesson planning to do, but we enjoyed some respite through the summer months. I continue to work for Gateway Woods as the Secretary in the Foster Care Department. I love being the support behind the department as we license foster parents and support them as they take care of hurting children.

I haven't been very active on this blog over the past year as I have poured my time usually spent writing into building my side business. In November of 2015 I took a leap and joined as a Consultant of a skincare company, Rodan+Fields. For quite some time Paul and I have desired to live off as little as possible and give most of our income away. We felt like we were about to the point of squeezing blood from a turnip, when God brought along this out-of-the-box way of funding His Great Commission. This past year has been a lesson in trust, waiting on God's timing, getting a better understanding of what giving really looks like, and changing our question from "How much should we give?" to "How much should we keep?" 

Each of us is called to serve the Kingdom in different ways, and different capacities. I pray that each person who reads this will realize they have a part in furthering the Kingdom, and that 2017 will bring it into clearer focus just what that may be.

We thank you for your prayers and want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.  We are so thankful that so many years ago Jesus was willing to come to earth and live a human life, devoid of sin, and die on the cross for each of our sins.  We don’t deserve His sacrifice on our behalf, but we are SO very thankful for it!

A very Merry Christmas and a joyful, Happy New Year!


The Suvars

Paul, Nichole, Owen, Hannah, and Madeline

November Lookback

I woke up this morning, got ready for the day....and then the 2-hour delay text came through.

It was incredible tempting to go back to bed fully dressed, but I know from past experience that I would regret it later.

So, I drank my coffee, did my devotion, and decided to take this little window of time to finally post my November Lookback.

I know I am the one who enjoys these the most as it is myself looking back over my own past month.  Still, I thank you for walking down memory lane with me.

And as I sit in this slightly chilly house, with the outdoor thermometer reading -2, it’s sort of pleasant to look back on the warmer days of November.

A field trip to a self-sustaining farm, a morning drive to see the Blackhawk Christian Braves win the Championship in volleyball, a weekend trip to Detroit to sing with the church choir, many afternoons of raking leaves, taking a night walk to see the Super Moon, and of course the Thanksgiving traveling.

November didn’t see crazy hectic, but looking back at the pictures and remembering, I guess it was pretty full.

I love November and the central theme of being thankful. It’s something I strive for daily, all year. Though there are days I fail miserably. But to have a whole month where everywhere you look someone, something is reminding you of the gift of gratitude, well, it’s a great change of pace.

And now, as we are in the midst of Christmas week, may we not get so lost in the to-dos, and wish-I-didn’t-have-to, to stop and reflect on what temperament ushered in this Holiday Season: thankfulness.
And there is always, always, always...something to be thankful for.

 Nearly complete! Just needs the door handle...
 Cooking outdoors has it's perks: the mess is outside, the heat is outside....and I don't have to cook.
 We had to take a little walk in order to see the Super Moon. It wasn't very 'super' from our perspective, but the kids sure thought the walk in the dark was fun.
 Super Moon in the AM, still going strong.
 Field trip with first graders
 And early morning drive and an exciting game: Blackhawk Christian Braves State Champs!

 "Quick mom! Take a picture of how strong I am!"

 A weekend trip to Detroit, and the 'exciting' bus ride experience

 After a year, the braces came off!

 A night of fellowship and worship with the Band.

 We were fortunate to get one of the turkeys that Gateway Farms raised this year. it barely fit in the oven, and gave us close to 10 meals in leftovers.

 I got chilly enough to fire up the woodstove

 Thanksgiving with the Garrisons
 And no, I did not mean to make a face in my mashed potatoes...

 Post-Thanksgiving gathering with the Gramms

And at the end of the month: the start of Basketball Season and game announcing. Our view from the crow's nest.