A Weekly Rundown: Busy Hands, Quiet Mind

Hey friend, how was your week? Our week wasn’t a typical one. We have spent so much in South Dakota over the last nine months. We moved away back in 2011 to North Carolina and then to Minnesota at the end of 2014, and I can’t remember a year we’ve been gone that we’ve spent more time than this year in South Dakota.

Something about the world turning more upside down makes me yearn to be near family, far away from the city, more insulated from the noise.

We were away most of the week, so not much school was accomplished. But we did work heavily on life skills when we got home.

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I am loving these weekly rundowns as a chance to catch up with you since taking time away from social media. It’s been such a breath of fresh air! If you’re new, you can check out my first weekly rundown from last Saturday. I’ll be sharing what’s going on around the house, what’s on my heart, what we’re reading, and more.

The theme of this week was: busy hands, quiet mind.

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During these crazy times, I'm finding that busy hands = quiet mind. Here is what we've been up to all week. Projects, books and more!

Busy Hands, Quiet Mind

Instead of “making home,” our actions this week would more accurately be described as “destroying home.” Ha!

We have worked really hard on getting the backyard looking like we want it to, and we have done lots of projects inside, but we haven’t gotten around to actually tearing out the stuff we can’t stand and making it more us.

Our house is on the small side, but we do have three bathrooms, which is awesome. What’s not awesome is how they look. Yikes!

We’ve been trying to find the time to get started on the main floor bathroom for ages. There is a vanity still in the box that has been sitting there since mid-summer. The pretty tile is all dusty in its boxes. I’ve been reworking the fireplace and built-ins for ages. The time finally arrived to get started this week!

The boys took to the bathroom with crowbars and the girls and I took to the fireplace with sledgehammers. Busy hands, quiet mind.

As I type we’ve allllmost gotten to the point where Jarrod can lay the fresh flooring underlayment and replace the damaged sheetrock where the shower surround was.

I loved watching the boys sort out how to remove the toilet, the old vanity, the tub, and all the details. They worked really well together and seemed to actually have fun with the demo. I’m planning on making them come along for the rest of the process. It made a picture flash in my mind of them starting a house-flipping business of some sort together. Wouldn’t that be the cutest? Hutch Bros. Contracting…I can see it now 🙂

Imagine that…working hard and being productive leads to a happier life…just like God said it would. (I Corinthians 4:12; Colossians 3:23; Proverbs 14:23; and more!)

My friend Cindy recently recommended Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men by Bob Schutz and I really want to start on that!


Like I said, not much sit-down schooling happened this week. But we were a 10+ on the life skills front!

Jack is plugging away on his Apologia Physical Science and he finished an experiment with batteries.

I’m really loving the structure of the Apologia science for him. He’s working really well on his own with it.

RELATED: See all of our curriculum for this year HERE.


I started reading Live not by Lies by Rod Dreher and I can already tell it’s going to be amazing. SO relevant to what’s happening right now. Dreher calls it “soft totalitarianism” and explains why it’s so detrimental for our country.

The first part of the book explains what soft totalitarianism is and interviews dozens of immigrants that have moved to the US to escape totalitarianism. The second part of the book talks about what we can do to guard against it in our own homes. Spoiler alert: it begins with having a strong family.

I grabbed a couple of books for Vera from Christian Book as well this week. These are even so much better than I thought they would be! The theology is SPOT. ON, unlike some Christian children’s books you find. Some are really surfacey and some are just OFF theologically. These are so good!


If you’ve followed me for long, you know I love essential oils. We use them for almost everything in our house. I’ve shared about Sixth Scents Oils lots of times, but they have a new-ish feature I thought I would share.

This week, I received one of their build-a-box shipments. It includes six oils of your choice at a great price! I don’t know of any other place you can get six oils with this quality for this low of a price!

I chose the following:

  • Grapefruit–I diffuse this constantly!
  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Tangerine
  • and Juniper Berry

You can grab your own personalized box with $10 off with my code: ALICIA10


The big news of the week was, of course, the swearing in of a new presidential administration. It was…ummm…interesting, was it not? Very Hunger Games-esque with the flags, the 25,000 troops, the…bird pin.

As far as the actual people sworn in, LOL to the folks who voted for Biden because he was moderate. Yikes! Barely three days in and he’s blasted the Keystone Pipeline, putting more Americans out of work, sabotaged girls’ sports, and dodged questions about rescinding abortion laws like the Mexico City policy that blocks nongovernmental organizations that receive federal funding from providing abortions.

No mean Tweets though, right?

It was really interesting to see lots of Christian moms applauding Harris on being the first female VP. Interesting because I thought as Christians, we are to look up to people that are seeking after the Lord. I would never teach my kids to admire or applaud someone simply because they have the same body parts. Why would a Christian mom encourage her daughter to look up to a woman who stands for abortion up to the point of birth? Just typing that feels absurd.

There are many Christians out there keeping quiet about political dealings right now. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable. If you’re adhearing to the Truth of the Gospel, you’ve chosen the unpopular stance. But if we don’t speak to these things in our homes, in our communities, in our extended families, then how are we advancing Truth? How are we making an impact for Christ at all? Hint: we’re not.

It’s time to speak up. (Proverbs 31: 8-9; Leviticus 5:1; Isaiah 44:9)

I didn’t vote for this, but because I know that everything that happens only happens because of God’s sovereign will, I will continue to pray for our leaders, just as I always have.

John 12

I’m behind on my John reading plan, but there are built-in days to catch up if you’re behind. One thing I read this week that stood out was from John 12:

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. there is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him and the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.

John 12: 47-50


  • God is the judge
  • There are consequences for rejecting Jesus
  • God the Father told Jesus what to say
  • God’s command leads to life eternal

On My Nightstand

I just published a big list of all the books I read in 2020– go read it here!

This week I’m thankful for time with family and starting long-awaited projects. I’m thankful I don’t have to have it all figured out because I have a Father in Heaven who’s working all things together for good.

Happy weekend, friend!

Keep your hands busy and your mind quiet.

During these crazy times, I'm finding that busy hands = quiet mind. Here is what we've been up to all week. Projects, books and more!


  1. I’m also reading Live Not By Lies right now, at a friend’s suggestion. Only on chapter two but it’s really interesting. I’ve been saying for several months that this all feels like A Brave New World, and felt a bit validated when the author wrote the same, haha!

  2. Loving your boldness in pointing the way back to Christ and using the scriptures. We should be looking at people’s actions instead of the surface level things of appearance. When I read about the damage done to women/girl’s sports, I immediately asked myself “where are the feminists on this?” But they are applauding it when they just put a permanent glass ceiling on women. The hypocrisy is glaring on so many of the executive orders being signed.
    I love your call to continue praying for our leaders.

  3. Alicia, oh man, can I say how glad I am for what you are writing about these days? I decided this year is the year I majorly scale back on IG and I’ve been looking for fellow bloggers to follow and I’m so thankful for all that you have written in the last number of years but especially what God has been putting on your heart this last year. I have so much more I could say here but I want to do a catch up of a lot of your older posts so I’m going to go check all those out!

  4. You are right, Scripture doesn’t talk about God valuing based on gender or race. That is because God is perfect and values each and every human life…us humans fall so short of His standard.

    Take Hagar, she names God as the God “who sees”. I’d infer from that name and his treatment of her that he placed a lot of value on the life of a brown skinned enslaved woman. Meanwhile, if a brown skinned poor enslaved (let’s say a prostitution) goes missing here in the US, guessing that not much of an effort would go into finding her.

    Pray and hope we can get to where we value lives like God does, I know I’m not perfect, I have no problem valuing my sweet baby son’s life but I struggle with valuing his grown mother’s life and showing her as much love as I show him.

  5. Alicia, I think you are spot on with your remarks about our new administration. And like you said, whether we voted them in or not, we do need to pray for them. Lord knows they need it. I’ve been most encouraged reading your posts and the other mom’s comments and knowing that as a Christian home educator, I’m not alone in how I’m feeling. We’re all in this together. So I will pray for you and all of them too, that we don’t lose heart in doing what God has called us to do. We’re making a difference every day in the lives of our children. On another note, I need to know the details of how you are remodeling your bathroom shower area with a window. We have a window in our bathroom too, with a tub, and I really want a shower surround, but without losing our window and all the light. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  6. What a breath of fresh air you are! Lord bless you for your boldness. You spoke truth in this post, don’t let haters discourage you. Jesus was only concerned with what our Father thought of Him. He is loved by and well pleases our Father.

  7. Just finished live not by lies. A sobering and important read. And a mantra to cling to, especially here in California. Appreciate your strong stand for biblical truth in this post.

  8. I certainly don’t feel like I’m better than anyone. In fact, I’m certain I’m a worse sinner than many and in need of a Savior every single day.

    I made the comments that I did because it’s important to value what God values. There is not one scripture reference I can find that shows where God places value on gender or skin color. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) He values faithfulness (Hebrews 11:6), obedience (1 John 5:2-3), integrity (Psalm 15: 1-2), guarding our hearts (Matthew 15:18-20), keeping good company (I Corinthians 15:33), and lots more– my point is, God cares about the inside, not the outside.

  9. You’re better for it, Morgan! I’m barely there these days either. Thanks for reading!

  10. That’s a perfect combo, Lauren! We left our church for similar reasons. BUT we found a much better church with solid teaching and wonderful people!

  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Please let me know if you have any biblical evidence to go along with your critique.

    My purpose for pointing out Christians putting Harris on a pedestal is not about them not agreeing with me. Helping someone get to the Kingdom of Heaven is certainly important, and Jesus preached on it a lot. But there is much more to the Christian life than getting to Heaven. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked…” or Proverbs 4:14 “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.”

    I said what I did because I think it’s extremely important that parents think about who they’re upholding as righteous and worthy of our admiration. Paired beside scripture, the Biden/Harris policies are not admirable, they are immoral. We are absolutely allowed to critique moral behavior–not condemn, but yes, critique.

    The NT has much more to say than how to get into Heaven. Of course, that is important, but to leave it there is dishonest–Paul’s letters to the churches, the Sermon on the Mount–so much more about repentance and leaving your sin that we don’t always like to hear.

  12. Sounds similar to what happened with our church situation this spring. We left for similar reasons. And, like you, we found an amazing church with solid teaching and amazing people!

  13. I think a LOT of people are spending less time on socials and I think it’s a really good thing!

  14. Yes! Yes to it all! Thanks for sharing and so appreciate your blog. Trying to quit social media is tough when blogs have died out, so I’m glad you’ve been active on yours! God bless you, Alicia!

  15. Well I’m one of those Christians moms who applauded Harris. I work in a male dominated field and I know how hard it is to have people take you seriously. Do I agree with her on everything? No. I am excited that brown girls out there see that they can reach that level of political office if they want to? Yes! Am I excited to see diversity slowly trickling into political positions, diversity that represents the population that the political offices serve? Yes!

    I get the frustration of not understanding how other Christians came to a different conclusion than you did but I’d encourage you to reach out to those Christians and get a dialogue going, rather than writing them off or feeling like you are better than them.

  16. Loving the weekly round up, can’t wait to see how to projects turn out.
    I have heard great things about Live Not By Lies, I need to check that out.
    Thank you for saying hard things and speaking truth!!

  17. I am enjoying reading these weekly round ups so much! I have been spending less time on socials as well and it is really so much more mentally and emotionally freeing. Thank you for speaking truth and encouraging us, as Christian women, to stand up for the truth in God’s Word.

  18. Really enjoying your posts! Please keep speaking the truth, it’s so refreshing to see someone brave enough to do so.

  19. Love your weekly rundown! We have also been film of busy hands and quiet mind days. I just can not deal with a busy head right now, with all that had been going on and the new presidency situation. So, busy busy hands it is! And I totally agree with you on the VP. I’m slightly stunned by my “Christian” friends who have been so excited because she is a female and a person of color. So much hyper-fixation on such a surface level thing. As one of your other commenters mentioned, we also had to find a new church this summer after our pastor and a large amount of the congregation was supporting and participating in the BLM movement and several other things that we just could not overlook any longer. It was a sad moment to realize that the past 10 years of your church involvement had ended and you were going to have to start again. But, thankfully, God’s grace is faithful and we have found the sweetest congregation with lots of dear friends from our home schooling community already built in.
    Can’t wait for more updates on the renovations!

  20. I’ve followed for you for quite a while and have always enjoyed doing so. But your views on what’s happening politically are so narrow minded and unlike anything Jesus would ever do. Check your heart girl. Putting politicians (& those who voted for them) on blast, whether you personally agree with them or not, is NOT how we get others to know Christ. There’s a difference between standing bold in your faith and putting others down because they don’t agree with you. Ultimately you need to ask yourself — will this get someone to the kingdom of heaven? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t say it.

  21. Thank you so much for this!! I love everything you said and see things the same exact way. I really struggle speak up though, so thank you for your encouragement!

  22. I left IG and Facebook after following Wendy Speake’s Social Media Fast. I contemplated going back to IG for one reason…I missed you! I’m so glad you’re getting back to your blog and the weekly roundups!! I can still keep “in touch” without having to be on soul sucking social media!!

  23. I have ditched all social media – so I am absolutely loving these emails! It’s encouraging and everything you said is SPOT ON!! ??

    We are finding encouragement by reading through the Bible this year, via the “One Year Bible” and have been keeping our hands busy gardening!

  24. I love these updates so much and I’m so grateful for this quieter space you’ve created. Thank you for sharing such honesty and truth! I too was so puzzled by my many Christian friends reaction to Harris. Thanks for your boldness and for encouraging critical thinking amongst believers. Keep writing Alicia, your words matter! ?

  25. Yes to all of this!

    I know so many Christians who are struggling with their churches who have brought in critical theory and BLM propaganda, which has forced them to dive deeper into God’s Word for truth and admit they may have to find a new church. There is a refining going on it seems, which is always a good thing.

    Good books and busy hands is the best combo!

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