Not what I Expected



Last spring Dustin and I made a decision. That decision was to live differently. We’d go forth in this life doing things intentionally. The only things that got to be done were things that mattered.


Before we could do so, though, we had to step back and look at our lives as they were in the past. Were they better last spring than they were before? Yes. Much better, but really, was better enough? Better is only enough when we intentionally focus on what matters and continue to pursue it.

So together, for the first time ever, we were on the same page about life in general. We’d do what mattered, be intentional, and live the life we say we believe (and live the life we want).


What was it that we wanted?



Freedom from past hurts, habits, and hang-ups.

Freedom from addictions.

Freedom from people who continued to hurt us.

Freedom from the traditional just because it was traditional.

Freedom from worry. Fear. Rejection.

We did not realize the magnitude of this decision to live in freedom. It’s changed us—individually, as a couple, and as a family.  It’s allowing us to heal. It’s allowing us the opportunity to not allow generational sin to continue down the line into our children. Will our children struggle, yes I’m positive of that. I’m positive they will be susceptible to the struggles both Dustin and I face. We’ve already seen glimpses of it.


Living in freedom isn’t easy. The enemy seems to hit just at the right times. He doesn’t hit with things that are minor anymore, either. It’s usually big things. Things that hurt to the core. But walking in freedom means I remember. I remember where God has brought me from. I remember my priorities. I remember I am not who I once was and I now have a choice. I can choose to surrender when I’m struggling. I can choose to stay in my own lane and let God stay in his. I can choose to act or I can choose to sit back.
Freedom, for us, also includes homeschooling. We did not realize the magnitude of freedom that homeschooling brings. It’s provided us the opportunity to serve one another and to serve others. We’re able to say yes to so much more. Traditional schooling constricts families with its bells. It tells you what you will learn and what you won’t. It isn’t flexible and accommodating to those with special needs. It isn’t flexible to families who just need a day to recover from mental taxations. Daylan would be so far behind in school work due to her many appointments. I cannot imagine how discouraged she’d be with piles of work that never shrink.


Dietrich shines. He is learning to take ownership and become an independent learner and thinker. Yes, teaching my child to be an independent thinker is scary. It’s truly freaking me out that teaching him to think for himself is the right thing to do because that means I let go of control. If he were in traditional schooling, who knows what he’d be taught to think. I don’t mean to go extreme right-wing, but it’s the truth. What my kids learn about who they are and whose they are are important to me because freedom isn’t found in a thing or a person. It’s found in God.



Del—He desires to learn more. He’s learning much quicker than the other two did. He wants to keep up. We foster a competitive environment, but also let him know he doesn’t have to be anything more than who he is in this moment. He has a choice in that as well. At two and a half years old, Del knows “Jebus came to fave finnerd.” Del loves his older siblings so well and they love him back well. Del is learning to use his words to describe how he feels instead of just yelling or crying. The other day in the car Daylan was singing a song on repeat and wouldn’t stop. He said, “Day Day you annoying me.” We laughed, but really, how emotionally smart is that? How safe does he feel to be able to express his feelings already? We teach the others to respect each other’s feelings, too. Again that’s huge when it comes to living in freedom.


Freedom looks good on our family. It can look good on you, too.

What does freedom mean to you?
What’s holding you back from living life to the fullest—in freedom?

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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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