Monday, April 29, 2013

Easy Path? - Naomi Elle

The path of relationships is not easy. It is impossible to walk through life without your heart being hurt in some way, shape or form. God has given us emotions because we needed to feel. Feeling lonely is not a sign that you are weak, but rather, that you are human. And that you have a capacity to love. Honestly, loneliness and the desire for marriage is also a sign that God has not called you to lifelong singleness. I was always very grateful to remember that God does not torment His children, and if He had given me the desire for marriage (as He has for the majority of people), then He will provide a husband. God will fulfill the desires that are in your heart. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Things that just make you smile

So, I was checking the spare bed to see if the sheets needed to be washed.  I found this little papery-leathery red thing there.  Hmmmm.... ding, ding, ding.  Light-bulb moment.  Grandma last slept in the spare bed and apparently she still reads her well-worn Bible in bed, just like she did when I was a kid.  Yep, those are the things that make me smile.

Keep Holding On - Naomi Elle

God is the best father you can imagine. He desires you to have the best life, because He really, really, REALLY loves you even more than you can comprehend. He's making a way for you right now, preparing your future for you and giving grace to live in the present. God is always good. And He is always good to you. 

When it seems hopeless, keep holding on.
When you feel lonely, keep holding on. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post by Naomi Elle

Christian singles go through a lot to find "the one."  And, many deal with fear that they may be alone forever.  Without further ado, here are some thoughts written by Naomi Elle regarding Singleness. 
God cares about your future even more than you do. God is not limited by circumstances, small churches, age, history, looks, or anything. God made a wife for Adam out of a rib; He can certainly direct a(n amazing!) husband into your life. 

If you are living focused on Christ, living faithful to His Word, doing all that you can to be obedient to Him... it's impossible to "miss" God's will. God is not "holding out on you." And if it takes a flashing neon sign for you to get to know the man that God has for you, He'll do it. You're not gonna miss it!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Perfect love

One of my goals in life is to get really good at loving people.  I want to love my husband, my children and others like God wants them to be loved.  How to do this?  If you handed me a sheet of paper and told me to write instructions to fulfill this goal, I'd probably scratch my head and give you a blank stare.  I read this verse the other day:

1 John 4:11-12 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us." (NASB)

Love is perfected by loving people.  I practice loving others and correspondingly, God's love is perfected in me.  How encouraging!  To get good at loving people, just keep loving them with God's love.  That's one person, one instance, one situation at a time.  I can do baby steps of love.  Thank the Lord for that.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nothing secular

Our pastor has been repeating this to us lately:

"There is nothing secular about any part of a believer's life.  Nothing." 

Every part of what we do on a daily basis is unto the Lord.  No believer would have a problem doing something excellently if they remembered this.  Do it all as unto the Lord.  It's service to Him.  Nothing, nothing, NOTHING is secular in my life.  I don't compartmentalize my life.  I don't walk with God and then help my husband and care for my children.  It's all intertwined and it's all unto the Lord. 

There is nothing secular about my life.  Cogitate on that a while and let it change your day-in and day-out life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Serve with strength...

I love when the Lord drops nuggets for me.  A friend of mine once shared that it only takes one word from the Lord to feed one of His children... and that's what I'm waiting for when I wait on God - that one life-giving Word that sustains me again. 

1 Peter 4:11 - ..."Whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ"... (NASB)

Service is my life.  I serve God.  I serve my husband.  I serve my children.  I serve others.  It's important that I serve with the strength that God supplies to me.  That is how the Lord will be glorified.  It can be a tiring life.  Service can zap you of energy (filling sippy cups, doing wash, packing lunches, etc).  But, God promises to give strength to the weary.  He wants me to serve with the strength He gives me.  A refreshing wave washed over me as this verse sunk in.  He supplies me with the strength and grace I need to fulfill every aspect of service that will glorify Him.  I seek that strength again and again.  I start over when I find I've returned to my own strength.  After all, service to others is ultimately service to Him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Galloping Horses

That's what I have in my house right now.  We went through eight pounds of powdered sugar in the past four days.  Yes, I said EIGHT.  Why?  Well, I got the bright idea to make a variety of four or five Easter candy recipes for a candy platter to take to family gatherings this coming Easter weekend.  (You're reading this after the fact.)  And, today, I managed to try out a new recipe called Old-Fashioned Potato Candy.  It involves mashing a potato and then adding two pounds of powdered sugar to it, rolling it out like pie dough, spreading it with peanut butter and then rolling it up like a cinnamon roll, refrigerating it and slicing into thin slices.  I let the Blossoms sample it at snack time today.  I think you know why I have galloping horses in my house at this moment.  It was the two pounds of powdered sugar that did the trick.  :) 

By the way, here's a link to the recipe, if you feel like cranking your kids full of powdered sugar:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Little by Little

I've talked to a number of Moms about getting things done.  Those conversations, combined with my own personal experience have led me to realize that each Mom MUST adjust to doing everything (yes, I mean EVERYTHING) little by little.  Most of us prefer to start a task, avoid interruptions and do that task until it's finished.  In fact, way back in the day (7 1/2 years ago) when I worked my 8-5 office job, my boss related to me that it is proven this is the most efficient and intelligent way to work.  You think more clearly, make fewer mistakes and keep a more intelligible train of thought.  Enter children.  Reality.  Yes, the reality is that most of us don't get to work that way, especially with children.  And, it can be so frustrating.  The frustration finally melted away (mostly) when I realized that I had about 15 minute increments to work with, sometimes more and sometimes less.  I just didn't like thinking of my children as interruptions.  It rubs me wrong.  I say that and what I really mean is that in my heart, that's not how I feel about them and that's not how I want to treat them.  I started planning in a way that reflected that.  The year Skipper (#3) was only a few months old (born in January, planted the garden that May), I literally planted a garden, kept it up, harvested, canned or preserved the produce successfully, all in fifteen minute increments.  It took perseverance.  It took self control.  It took wisdom.  But, it worked.  I apply that concept to everything now.  If I have a few minutes before we start school, I clean a bathroom.  (There are three in all.)  At least one is clean.  And the children are still happy.  Little by little things get done around here.  Big projects take a million tiny steps, but I conquer them.  I encourage every Mom to apply this concept to her never-ending to-do list.  I'm convinced you'll be happier and so will your children.  Don't worry, they grow and maybe your work increments will get longer too.  Just think to yourself, little by little.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Don't get sucked in!

I love Pinterest.  It is an amazing tool for me.  Recipes.  Educational ideas.  Science Experiments.  Cheap DIY projects.  Easy sewing projects.  Cute things for my Blossoms that don't cost a fortune.  It's an idea goldmine for me, a stay-at-home wife and mother.  However, there's definite possibilities of being a quagmire of time-wasting and day-dreaming.  There's no room in our daily routine for time-wasting.  God gave each one of us 24 hours.  And, if I'm striving toward fulfilling His desire and plan for each day, I must stay the course.  Sometimes I have to jump on Pinterest often, to review a new recipe for tonight's supper, to check what ingredients I need for my homemade pledge dusting spray and then, inevitably, I see all the intriguing things people are pinning and think, "I've gotta pin this now.  I'll never see it again!"  I get sucked in!  And, 15 minutes are gone before I know it.  A friend of mine offered this solution.  Just add a link directly to your own boards to your favorites.  Now, I never see my pin feeds from those I'm following until I KNOW I have time to browse a little.  And, Pinterest has remained an amazing tool for me.  Sometimes we just have to keep things in perspective and use them instead of letting them use us.  I believe that's wisdom.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bible Version Recommendation

It's very important to me that my children know how normal it is for a Christian to read the Bible on a regular basis.  That translates into starting our Blossoms reading It young.  And, much as I value the linguistic beauty of the King James Version, I don't think that a 5 year old appreciates it yet.  I did a lot of research on the reading levels of different versions when Skeeter (#1) was young.  We bought her first Bible the Christmas she was in Kindergarten.  She was approximately 5 1/2 years old.  We settled on the International Children's Bible.  I read samples.  I checked font sizes.  I LABORED over this decision.  (Seriously, internet research can make you nutty because of the sheer vastness of information available; I'm convinced of this point!)  Now, although I personally read the New American Standard Bible on a regular basis, I just didn't think my 5 1/2 year old was ready for that (yet).  But, we didn't want just a storybook of watered down happy-go-lucky stories.  There may be a time and a place for that, but we wanted a real Bible for this stage.  Fast forward a couple of years, Scooter (#2) is now 5 1/2 years old.  She got her very own International Children's Bible this past Christmas and she was SO excited over it.  Now, she regularly reads aloud out of it to me during school.  Next, we usually transition them to reading independently at naptime aka rest time.  I think this builds a foundation for their own personal devotional time with God.  I'm so happy with the ICB.  The research was worth it.  When Skipper's 5th Christmas rolls around, she'll find a pretty red Bible under the tree, complete in a homemade girlie-looking Bible cover.  And, I can't wait to sit and have her read it to me.  The ICB has been a means to an end for us.  Maybe it can be for yours as well.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Good questions

"Mama, what does noble mean?"
- Scooter because her real name means, "Noble and Serene." 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

An easy system

Do you realize that with three children, if each Blossom used a new cup every time they wanted a drink (just at meal times and snack times), there would be EIGHTEEN cups in the dishwasher at the end of the day.  GAH.  So, we needed a system.  And, Mommy remembering whose cup is whose only worked when there was one or two girlie-Blossoms.  When Skipper (#3) came along, my brain over-loaded and rebelled.  And then I saw an article in a Food Network magazine about a family with multiple children.  They used different colored rubber bands!  Genius.  So, this system has been for working some time for us.  Every morning, Skeeter (#1) puts the dirty cups in the dishwasher and gets out fresh cups for the day.  She knows that:
Yellow = Skipper (#3)
Red = Scooter (#2)
Blue = Skeeter (#1)
Those cups stay on the designated countertop area in between meal times and snack times (for the most part).  At the end of the day, Mommy only has to wash THREE cups.  What a beautiful thing.  It makes my organization-loving heart beat wildly.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An app for Skipper

So, Mommy's got a Kindle now.  And, I like to read my Bible on it.  It's important to me that my children see a good example of reading the Word regularly, so I was slightly concerned that they might think I was playing a game or surfing the 'net, when I was really feeding my Spirit.  Somehow, they understand.  Skipper came up to me with her pretend iPhone.  She pointed to an app and said, "See dat app.  Dat my Bible.  Me wead my Bible."  BLISS.  Mommy is a happy camper.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Glam

Apparently everyone needs a little Easter Glam.  Skipper (#3) "helped" Mommy make the new Easter hair rosette clippies, which she proceeded to wear the rest of last evening.  And, this morning, when she got dressed in a long sleeved blue t-shirt and blue wind pants, she insisted on that snow white rosette being clipped in her hair.  Why not?!  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Skipper on snacks

"Mommy, me eat you out of home."
- Skipper on why Mommy can hardly keep enough fruits, veggies and string cheese in the house