Thursday, October 31, 2013

Solitude

Solitude: A state or situation in which you are alone, away from society, usually by choice.

When was the last time you experienced this?

True solitude. Away from society. No cell phone. No TV. No computer. No noise. No kids. No work. No planner or calendar. Alone in peace and quiet. With nothing but the presence of God.

It's hard - there are few moments in our busy, schedule filled, "app for that" world, that we can set down our phones, close the computer, shut off the TV, and experience quiet times. Think about when your home or life is the most calm and quiet. Maybe it's early in the morning when no one is awake yet. Or late at night when the kids are in bed. What do you do in those moments? Are you usually in front of the TV or on the computer?

If you want to hear from God... you have to start listening. And it's hard to truly hear Him with all the other background noise. Your heart has to be open to listening, but that can only happen when we are in His presence. When was the last time you took time alone in solitude with God?

Here's a challenge:
Pick a time to have solitude every day. Whether that's early in the morning before work or school or later at night when the kids are in bed - choose a time and stick with it every day!

Pick a place! It doesn't make sense to try and get peace and quiet at your kitchen table when the kids are running around getting ready for school or when you're sitting in front of the TV because there are distractions. Pick a safe, serene, quiet place that is off limits to distractions when the Word is open and the eyes of your heart are open to the Lord.

Pick how you want to learn in your solitude. If you don't have your Bible with you, then how can you read the Word of God and harbor it in your heart? Start a Bible study or a book that will challenge your growth. Take index cards, pen, and paper so that you can write key verses down and start to memorize them.

If your ears, eyes, heart, and mind are filled with the noise of the world then how can you hear, see, and feel Christ?

Solitude.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moses

Hello Ladies!:] I am really excited to write this post because I really want to share with you what I learned in my Bible study this week.

In Beth Moores' study over Deuteronomy, her last lesson covers the last few chapters in Deuteronomy. She focuses on Moses and his death. I still can't believe Moses dies... he seems like the character in the Israelites story that is invincible and will never die! But obviously Moses was human and he did end up dying. Did you know that God told Moses where and when he would die??

Deuteronomy 32: 50-52
"There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gather to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not updold my holiness among the Israelites.Therefore, you will see the land from a distance, you will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel."

Imagine knowing when you are going to die... Would you want to know? It is a difficult question to answer for me... I'd want to do some things that I otherwise wouldn't do. I'd definitely spend a lot of time with my family and friends! But it might be a little intimidating too. Anyway, I haven't even gotten to the really cool part yet!!!:]

If you read the last chapter on Deuteronomy, chapter 34, you will find out that Moses climbs the mountain(Mount Nebo) and God shows him the promise land from one end to the other. Imagine Moses' old eyes opening up and seeing clearly the land God was giving to the Israelites! Here is the neat part!

Deuteronomy 34: 5-7
"And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."

Did you catch that?!?!?! GOD BURIED MOSES!!!!! And not only did he bury Moses but God placed his body in the valley... Moses died on the mountain and God moved him to the valley. A place where no one would ever find him!!! Holy cow! When I heard Beth putting all this together my heart skipped a beat! What a way to die... first God tells him where and when then Moses goes up that mountain knowing he would die there. God shows him the promised land, what he had been working toward his whole life. He sees it's beauty and dies in God's loving arms as He carries him down the mountain into the valley. What a way to go, in the very presence of Yahweh! I hope each of you learned something new or were reminded of the amazing life of Moses and God's promise to His people. Have a very blessed rest of the week ladies!!:]

P.S. If you would like to read up more connections and interesting facts of Moses and his death look up these verses:]

Deut. 1:31            Deut. 32: 10-12         Jude 1:9          Luke 9: 28-36

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels

 
 
 
 
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of fat pretzel sticks
Halloween sprinkles
wax paper
baking pan
metal bowl
pot


Place a little bit of water in the pot. Probably 1/4 of the pot and boil it until it's gently boiling then reduce to low. Place your metal bowl on top of the pot and pour your chocolate chips into it.

With a spatula start mixing the chocolate chips as they melt. * You have to keep mixing and keep the heat on low or else your chocolate will burn and get dry (and will also taste horrible)

While the chocolate chips are slowly melting, cover a baking pan that can fit in your freezer with wax paper.

Then take one pretzel stick at a time and dip the end into the chocolate ( I used my spatula to help goop on the chocolate a little further down the stick) and then place on the wax paper.

Sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles.

Once the baking pan is full with evenly spaces pretzels that aren't touching, then place in the freezer until the chocolate hardens.

I left all of mine in the freezer until it was ready to set them out to eat!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Your desire WILL be


I am the type of person that when I read my Bible I need a plan. It seems like after I finished reading the Bible in a year, my bible studies started quieting down because we are wrapping up. And for me that means less structured time in the Word & more digging in deep all by myself.

Intimidated? A bit

I've never really just opened up my Bible to read wherever my heart desires. I typically am in the Word with a bible study next to me, a devotional, or a reading plan.

Now, it's all up to me. I have highlighted a bagillion Scriptures & also wrote down the verse references on note cards. I sat here & thought, okay God what's next? What am I supposed to do? I want to study the depths of Your Scripture but You've got to give me some lead way. And point blank He said, "Tiffany, you have underlined so many Scriptures, review them, memorize them, meditate on them, & live.them.out."

Okay, God. You got it. 

Genesis here we go.. In the beginning.. Underlined... Adam & Eve.. Underlined...

Genesis 3:16 -- Your desire will be for your husband, & he will rule over you.

Ouch, okay God I hear You loud & clear today. 

So, I reread it & reread it.. Opened up a brand new journal (which will now be my Scripture memorizing journal) & I wrote it in there. And then I wrote it on a note card (so I can carry it around with me to be reminded of what God is telling me).


This is my first verse that God laid on my heart to dig deeper with it. And I know why. 

This week has been such a blah week. I don't want to be negative with my word choices but I worked a lot. More than normal. My hours were a bit different this week. My work load just seemed to triple in this past week & I have felt... Well grumpy. So when I come home I am not chipper, happy, excited, full of energy.. But deep down I really want to be these things. My family comes first, but it seems like work always comes first because it gets that dedicated 40 hours of work no matter what. And this is where I battle not being at home more because work gets most of me & not my family. 

So God, wants me to focus on this verse this week.

Of course I desire my husband. He's hot & sexy, what's not to desire? Okay there is so much more than that. He is funny, he is a fabulous father & a spectacular husband, he would at any point do anything for me,  I know this.. I just never ask him to.. Literally this list could go on but I will stop.

I  thought I had this down that I desire him. But I think God wants me to desire him more. Okay, I am okay with that. Why not? That will just help our marriage grow even more. Maybe He means be more intimate with him. Quit being "tired" & be intimate MORE. Our God knows my deepest desire for my husband & our relationship.. Maybe if I focus more on that then God will answer prayers & open doors.

Now.. He will rule over you. 

We live in a society that women belittle men.. All.the.time. Am I guilty of this? Unfortunately yes. And I am not saying I belittle him to the point he feels useless as a man. But do I crack jokes at his expense? I have. Do I tell him sometimes he is not helpful (even though I know darn well he is, I just want help in MY way & I don't want to have to explain myself)? I have. And I know I am not alone. And one that gets me every time is when we are in the car. He drives, but yet I still make comments. Hello, he drives a car without me on a regular basis. I think he's got this.

When we flip on the TV - women.. Independent, don't need their husbands, super woman, dad's the idiot, mom's the successful one, dad's the loser.. I mean literally the list could go on.

But that's not how I want my marriage to work. Right now we have a 50/50 marriage in my eyes. It means we each do 50% of the working outside the home, he cooks, I cook, I clean the house, he takes care of the stuff outside. We are both successful. We are not independent, but dependent on each other. We both need each other. We're both superheroes in our kids eyes. The only time we're idiots is when we are too stubborn to see eye to eye. And we are never losers, we always win! :)

This week I really encourage you to memorize this verse with me. Put it into action. Could your desire for your husband be a little stronger? Could you let him rule over you a little more this week than you did last week?


**Looking for some encouragement from others? Sign up to be a pen pal! Click HERE**  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Be Labeled - Guest Post By Christy Krezman From Rosette Ministry



Happy Friday all! Today I (Julie) have the pleasure of introducing you to the beautiful Christy Krezman who blogs over at Rosette Ministry! Christy and I attend church together and she spoke in my mom's group this week. I believe she has some really inspirational words to share with all of you girls of Gods heart! To learn more about the Rosette Ministry and Christy, check out her blog and her Facebook page. Without further ado... here's Christy!



Rosette Ministry
I'm Christy Krezman, wife to Rick for over 20 years and mom to son, Seth, age 18, and daughter Katelyn, age 16. I'm also a member of NorthPointe Church.
I love Thrifting...I love to spray paint items (over and over again forever changing my decor)... I love to craft... I love to decorate... I love fellowshipping with women and becoming fast friends...I love devotions... I love to speak at events... I love to share my ideas, thoughts and encouragements with others... I love coffee, but most of all I LOVE JESUS! Because of Him I have been witness to what started out as just making fabric flowers for myself, turn into something I could have never dreamed up. He used the ordinary and turned it into EXTRAORDINARY! This is how Rosette Ministry was birthed. The purpose of this ministry is "Repurposing for the Glory of God... transforming the discarded and unwanted into beautiful things just as Christ does for us."





Don't Be Labeled


   Who are you?  Really, really you.  Have you stopped to think about what makes you...YOU?  Why are you the way you are?  What makes you act in the way that you do?  Are you concerned about what others think of you?  Are YOU one of the ones that put that pressure on someone to be concerned about what others think?  OUCH!  Tough questions, but things that we must ask ourselves in order to dig deeper into whom we are and whose we belong.

Image is huge in today's society.  We are trying to reproduce or imitate things that "society" says is 'hip' and 'cool.'  By living this way, labels are developed and slapped onto people that do not "fit" in the current image society has set or they're slapped on so that we can "fit" in.  There are so many labels that the world puts on you...too many to list.  Not all labels appear to be in negative form.  Some may set such unrealistic expectations for you that it is impossible to ever be that.  Others are very much ugly and hurtful.  Ones that exclude, isolate and set you apart from what is considered 'living the life!'  Are you striving to live up to those labels?   Maybe not so much on purpose, but perhaps it's just been said of you for so long that you begin believing it for yourself.  So you begin living according to the label or labels that have been slapped onto you.  Is it true of what's on the inside?  Positively...NO!  I have an analogy that I had the opportunity to share with a young lady just about 4 years ago about how we do not have to live according to what the world has labeled us with.  Here's what I shared with her...

I asked her what her favorite canned food was and she replied with, "Peaches."  OK.  How do you know how to buy a can of peaches?  She said, "By seeing the label."  Of course that's how we know that, but do we absolutely believe that to be true by just the label?  What if I took a can of peaches and took off it's true label slapping on a "not so appetizing" one...say dog food.  "Eeeewww, gross!" she said.  Of course it's gross but stick with me.  I take that can of mislabeled peaches and put them in their rightful place on the shelf at the grocery store.  How many people will judge that can by its label?  Probably... most likely... every person who goes to buy peaches.  That can will be pushed aside, reached over, scooted with dislike to the back of the shelf.  Is the contents of that can of peaches any different than any other can of peaches?  ABSOLUTELY NOT but no one knows this until the contents are revealed when it has been opened up.  Then and only then the truth of the can is discovered.  The trueness of the peaches are pleasing and enjoyed.  Why, peaches were you hiding behind a label that contained you to a point that you were not able to enjoy or be enjoyed?

We are very much like that can of peaches.  We get stripped of who we are through hurts and/or disappointments in our lives and we feel very vulnerable in a weak way.  The world, which always has its label maker handy, begins to slap different labels on us.  Labels that are not true of us.  They hide what is truly inside.  But if we allow God to take us, go through the process of label removing with Him then our trueness begins to be revealed.


God's Imprint
You have a creator who designed you just the way you are and YOU ARE ENOUGH!  Psalm 139:14 declares, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."  You are a unique expression of God's love in this world.  Nowhere on Earth is there anyone with exactly the same bright eyes, loving arms that hold, hands that do, feet that go, life to live. You...are...uniquely...you!  Every physical quality...or flaw as we sometimes call it,  is absolutely designed to fit just you.  Inner qualities are also very much designed specifically just for you!  These are what make you special and different.  The way you laugh, the tenderness of your heart, the care and concern that show through your bright eyes as you listen to others, your smile alone...warms and welcomes others.

You do not need to be labeled to be like anyone else.  You do need to be YOU just as God imprinted Himself all over you to be just YOU!  Absolutely no one else can do that except for YOU!  You are an original, which is priceless...YOU are priceless!  Be the wonderful YOU that God has designed for you to be, being confident in yourself through Christ.  2 Corinthians 7:16 says, "I am glad I can have complete confidence in you."  And Jeremiah 17:7 says, "But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him."

We will be blessed by God when we allow Him to remove the labels from our lives so that His Perfect imprint on our lives will be exposed, seen and able to be lived out.  God's imprint is not removable.  It does not come off.  It is YOU.  He created your inmost being; He knitted you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13.) He knew you before You were YOU!

You are wonderfully, uniquely, fantastically, wonderously...YOU!  Live it.  Only you can!

Take Care and Be Blessed,
Christy Krezman
Rosette Ministry 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

All Because

You are forgiven.
 
You are loved.
 
You are wanted.
 
Your slate is wiped clean.
 
You are healed.
 
You are whole.
 
You are set free.
 
 
All because He died on the cross.
 
by Teryn Yancey

 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Cake

I always love the holiday times. Pinterest is loaded with fabulous seasonal food, especially desserts. This last week I attempted at making Pumpkin Cake. And by attempted I mean, every time I make a Pinterest recipe I hold my breath because mine NEVER looks the exact same as what I see & I just hope that it tastes as yummy as described!

This nailed it. I tested it out on the ladies for Bible Study. This week I settled for store bought pumpkin pie, but shh.

Pumpkin Cake
Step 1 - prepare cake
 Step 2 - Add brown sugar & cinnamon topping
 Step 3 - Bake
 Step 4 - Top cake with icing

I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as we did!

Save & print recipe below!

**Looking for some encouragement from others? Sign up to be a pen pal! Click HERE**  

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Truth Is - Free Printable

I love printables!  They are such a great way to decorate and it costs next to nothing. 
 Grab a frame or a clipboard or a magnet and you're set!

Do you need a daily reminder about who your 
Creator says you are?  The truth is...






From us to you. For personal use only please :)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

3 Simple Steps

Happy Thursday my friends! I hope your week is going well! I want to share some simple steps with you today about how to grow in a deeper relationship with God. And these are from my personal experience! Sometimes the hardest thing is knowing where to start. There have been lots of times through my walk with Christ that I needed another "starting point" and some guidance of how to begin growing again. That's the beauty of Jesus... No matter how long it's been since you've prayed or opened your Bible, God's grace opens the door for us every time we want to return. Christ is always wanting our hearts to be in tune with His and in order to do that we have prioritize our time with Him, begin and continue conversations with Him, and meditate on His Word.

1. Prioritize Your Time
    Get up 30 minutes earlier than normal in the morning. Or shut off the TV or close the computer 30 minutes before you normally go to bed. Think about the time you spend on social media or Pinterest or in front of the TV. Would you consider that time spent more important than the time you want to spend with God? Get real and honest with yourself. If you want to grow and have a deeper relationship with God, you have to choose to make Him and time with Him a priorty in your life.

Here's what I'm doing: I recently have chosen to enter my solitude with God in the morning. I've always done my deovtional and prayer journal at night right before I go to bed, but God put it on my heart to change that. So I did, and now I make a commitment (even setting my alarm) to be awake, in the Word and reading my Bible study/book before 7am. My husband is up and getting ready for work so by the time he leaves, I turn on my nightstand lamp and get my day started with God.

2. Begin AND Continue the Conversation
     This is prayer. And your relationship with God... Is a two way street. Just like a marriage or friendship, communication is vital to growth and understanding. So start talking and start listening. Start your day with prayer. Ask for what you need to get through the day. Pray for those in your home, including your spouse and children, and pray for wisdom, patience, and love toward them. Seek out God's guidance and ask Him for clear signs of His will in your life. Be specific, and continue this conversation throughout the day. Pray out loud in your car on the way to work. Pray over your meals, thanking Him for the blessing of healthy food.  Thank God for people you come across and ask Him how you can be used in their lives for His glory

Here's what I'm doing I start with prayer in the morning. I ask God for what I need and ask Him to help me retain the Words I just read in my Bible study. When I make the bed, I pray for my husband that just slept there; when I make breakfast I pray for God to give me the strength to get through the day with my one year old; I pray over my son's room when I lay him down for a nap; I pray for my husbands safety as he drives home; etc etc etc. I continue the prayer and conversation throughout the day because I need God every moment! And I pray aloud every chance I get!

3. Meditate on Scripture
     When God's Word enters in your mind when you read it, sometimes it's just words. But the more you study it, read the background behind why it was written/said, read different versions of the same verse... The more it becomes written on your heart, and the overflow will spill out in your words and actions. When we study and know how Jesus wants us to live, we should act on it; this is when we grow. When we read and leant how to believe and have faith in His examples of deliverance, protection, and trust... We learn how to trust Him and know He will be our Provider. 

Here's what I'm doing: The verses that have spoke to me over and over are the ones that I need to read, recite, memorize, and dwell on.  God uses His Word to speak to us in time of need. So to help me remember and meditate on Scripture, I write them down on note cards and post them to my bathroom mirror, in my Bible, on the top of my to-do list, on the background of my phone, etc. I put them where I can see them! I read them out loud! One new verse each week and all week I focus on that verse.

One small step at a time can turn into one giant turn around in your spiritual life. Start somewhere! God is anxiously awaiting!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learning From The Teacher

Recently, I have been doing the Beth Moore study of Deuteronomy with some ladies at my church on Thursday evenings. I tell you what this is where I am supposed to be!! There are things that have stuck with me throughout this study and they keep running through my mind.

One of the things Beth said that stuck out to me was when she was talking about God taking care of the Israelites. She says, "God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, to bring them into the promised land". Over and over she has been saying that! Every time it punches me in the face! SMACK! God has brought us out to bring us in! Right now I am in the middle, where the Israelites are walking from Egypt toward the promised land. Waiting for Him to bring me into His amazing plans for my life. I have been doing a lot of waiting but can you imagine how the Israelites felt??? They wandered the deserts for forty years and we complain because we don't get something the instant we ask for it! I believe that really puts perspective on things!!

Something else she said that has been sticking out to me is that a story she tells about her and her husband. I will paraphrase it! Beth and her husband Keith were going hunting together. All of a sudden Keith stops and points his gun at something in the distance. She leans over and asks, "Do you see something"? He doesn't say anything to her but motions for her to lean her head on his right shoulder and look down the barrel of the gun.  Then he points and says, "See?" At the end of the gun some ways away is a dear. Doesn't this happen with God and us? How many times do we ask God why he is doing something? Then pretty soon we lean our heads over on his shoulder and He says, "See"? He is pointing and showing us what our future holds we just have to get there. I have been thinking lately... how many times do I question God and not squint my eyes enough to see what he is pointing at? I know there are times when I miss that message but other times He only has to tell me once and I'll hold on to that forever!

I just thought it would be nice to share what God has been teaching me:] What has He been teaching you?? Have a great week ladies <3

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The power of being a parent

 
7 years ago yesterday my son was born.
 
Little did I know that he would change my life.
 
He has brought so much joy, happiness, and laughter to this family.
 
He loves deeply, cares for others, and protects his little sisters.
 
He has a mix of mine and my husbands humor.
 
Total HAM.
 
 
 
I had him at the age of 19.
 
Maternal instincts kicked in and I was in love with being a mom.
 
Being a YOUNG mom just means that I get to spend that many more years with him.
 
He is an amazing big brother.
 
He kisses my hand and cheek and tells me he loves me.
 
He tells me I'm a beautiful mommy..
 
He loves God, loves to pray and seek Him.
 
What more could a mother ask for?
 
I pray everyday that He would always walk in God's path.
 
That I would be able to raise Him up to be a Godly man and treat his wife well.
 
Even though I daily make mistakes and can sometimes feel like I'm failing as a parent, He can look at me and think I am super mom.
 
I have to remind myself all the time that I AM shaping the person he is to become.
 
I am shaping his behaviors, his likes and dislikes, and his HABITS.
 
It really is scary and overwhelming when you think about, as parents, that  as children we are molding who they will be as adults.
 
Cleanliness...hygiene...how they eat.
 
How often they pray.
 
Every detail of who they are.
 
Their morals and values.
 
So today I encourage you to think deeply about how you are guarding their hearts.
 
How often to they hear you pray?
 
What do you allow them to see?
 
What are they exposed to?
 
Guard their little hearts and eyes.
 
Keep them as innocent as you can for as long as you can for one day I will look back and think where did time go?
 
He'll have a family of his own and he will be teaching his children the things that I taught him.
 
His future starts with YOU.
 
Powerful.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, October 14, 2013

The best 365 days

Last year on October 13, 2012 I set out on a mission to read the Bible in a year. 

Saturday October 12, 2013 I finished the Bible. 
This has been a life changing year. 

Reading the Bible in a year seems like a challenge for EVERYONE. I mean it took me 7 years after I became a Christian to actually do it. It was something I prayed to God for Him to make me accountable because there was no one else doing it with me. And He made me accountable. 

2 things I recommend.. Do it when you are ready. Not January 1st, but tomorrow, or the next day. Another.. Do it in chronological order. These 2 things worked for me, I am not saying it'll work for everyone. But for me reading the Bible in order just seemed like the normal thing to do since that's how we read most books. We want a story to unfold, we know stories of the Bible & can't wait to get to them & see what events led up to them. And by starting in October, it did not feel like a New Years resolution that I never keep. 

Back to this year being life changing. I mean it. My walk with God has dramatically improved. And I can tell you one reason why. I was in the Word almost every day. Yes, that does mean I may have skipped a day or 2 or I was wrapped up in a Bible Study that day, or I was on vacation. But I didn't let myself get behind. I made God's Word a priority in my life. 
Do you make God's Word a priority in your life? Have you read the Bible in a year? Have you done it more than once? What do you do to stay motivated to stay in the Word? 

I love to know others advice when it comes to being in God's Word. God loves us SO much & to honor & love Him we should be dedicated to spending time in His Truth daily. Even if it's ONE VERSE. ONE VERSE!! Meditating over it, soaking it in, LIVING off of what it says!! 

This next year I am trying to think of ways for my personal one & one time with God, not just bible studies.. But digging deeper in the Word. What am I going to do next? Divulge in each book, studying it, memorizing, reading commentaries.. I am not quite sure yet. But I do know that I am not going to put my Bible down. I want to know God even more now. 

His Word leaves me hungry for more. 
**Looking for some encouragement from others? Sign up to be a pen pal! Click HERE**  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Easy Fall Gift Jars



Want a quick and easy gift for a teacher, friend, neighbor, favorite kiddo or even a party favor for your halloween party??  Look no further!  These mason jars are the perfect way to package a sweet little gift!

I found these jars for $1.49 each at Michael's craft store.  I already had the burlap and ribbon on hand.  The spider rings are from the Halloween section at Target.  You can fill yours with whatever you want... I chose candy corn, candy pumpkins and peanut butter M&M's in Halloween colors for one jar, and socks from the dollar section at Target with candy corn for the other.


 (Notice the candy bags are NOT full... It took me several days to get to my crafting after I bought the candy and, well, I couldn't keep my hands off of it!!)

For the candy jar I simply cut a circle from the burlap a little larger than the lid and tied it on with my orange ribbon.  I then stuck the spider ring on for a little extra bling.



Tada!  I love how it turned out!


For the sock jar I added a couple of handfuls of candy corn to the jar first, then rolled up the socks and stuck them in.  I added a little more candy corn around the socks as a filler.  I used a twist tie to hold together the ribbon design on top of the lid but it felt a little naked with just the ribbon so... I added some glue and glitter!  If it sparkles I'm happy :)  I used hot glue to attach the ribbon and voila!  I may like this one even better (I think I like cute socks even more than candy).




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Just Ask

Several times throughout my recent devotionals and Bible study, this thought has been written and discussed. It's really quite simple and yet we often find it so hard to do.

Asking for what we need.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, maybe when it comes to everyday life. Like asking for help with cleaning around the house, or asking the hubby to take care of the kids for an evening. But what about asking your husband to pray with you at night before you go to bed? Or telling him you don't feel appreciated and asking him to help build you up with his words? What about asking your sister or best friend to watch your kids for an afternoon because you don't know how much more you can take and you just need a break? Or asking your boss for support on a project because you want to know someone has your back? These mental and emotional needs are tough, and they're tough to ask for help in. But if you don't ask for what you need, then you'll never get it.

What about your spiritual life? You might find it easy to thank God for your blessings, to ask for healing, protection, or help for others... but what about you? Do you find it hard to pray for yourself? Personally, I've never had an problems praying for myself - I knew only God could help me! But lately I've learned a little bit more about praying for specific things and asking for specific answers. No I'm not demanding of God, but I pray that if something is in His will, that He can grant me what I'm needing.

Lately, I've learned to ask for help to get through tough days with my teething one year old. I ask God to help me forgive my husband for things he says that are hurtful, and he doesn't even know it. I struggle with my thought patterns. My mind always leads to horrible things, thoughts of what-ifs, accidents, disease, etc. I've always struggled with it and recently God has revealed to me that I need to stop believing fears, doubts, and lies that do not come from Him. So I've been specifically praying for my through patterns to change. And when I feel like my mind is going down the wrong path, quickly, I stop and pray for God to take over my mind. I'm learning to ask for what I need and to be specific, because I know that God hears my prayers, He loves me, and He wants me to live an abundant life.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Favorite, The Love Chapter


Does anyone else have certain scripture you always like to go to? Read and reread? I do. If I don't know what else to read in the Word one day or I am having a rough day, I like to go to my favorites. One of these favorites is 1 Corinthians 13. I feel like every time I read it, God has something new to teach me at the particular point in my life.


1 Corinthians 13: 8-13
(8)Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (9)For we know in part and we prophesy in part, (10)but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. (11)When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (12)For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully; even as I am fully known. (13)And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Last night I was reading this chapter again and felt God telling me to dig a little deeper than I usually do. Paul is talking about love and in verses 9 and 10 I noticed something that I had not before, God has given us spiritual gifts (knowledge, prophecy, etc...) to help the church grow, to help others see us as different and will help them come to Christ, and to praise God. Eventually these gifts will pass away he tells us. They will disappear. I found that a little odd... God blesses us with spiritual gifts then he takes them away? I believe Paul is trying to tell us here that spiritual gifts are good and beneficial but the thing that endures forever is love. When Jesus returns we will better understand his love for us. Now we have to believe what is given to us. Isn't it true that if we were given a picture of someone whom we had never met and if we studied that photo we would think we know everything(feature wise) about them? Until you meet that person for the first time do you realize that some things don't look like you thought because you can see more. It is no longer a 2D picture but a 3D person you are seeing. Just as in verse 12, it is the same between ourselves and God. We understand all that we can with the Word, Holy Spirit and the gifts He has given us but when we meet God face to face, Paul tells us that we will know him fully. We will understand His love fully and will be able to love the way he loves us!


I just think it is so neat that God can teach you different things from the same passage time and time again! So do you have places in the Bible God uses to speak to you over and over? This chapter in the Bible is so poetic and beautiful! I could read it everyday! I pray that Yahweh speaks to you through His Word today in a special way! God bless you and keep you!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
  • 2 pie shells (found in freezer section)
  • 2 9-10oz cans of chicken (white meat) or you can cook your own chicken from 2-3 breasts
  • 1 can of mixed veggies (well drained) or frozen bag (thaw right before using)
  • 1 can cream of potato soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
Pierce the bottom of the pie shell with a fork so you do not get air bubbles.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Pour the ingredients into the pie shell.
Take the other shell & place over the top of the filling.
Seal the sides by pinching the edges together.
Bake 375 for 35-40 minutes or until brown.


Before with all the ingredients mixed together.

In the making

And waa-lah the baked result. DELICIOUS. 


**Looking for some encouragement from others? Sign up to be a pen pal! Click HERE**  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prayer: A Private Discipline

This past Sunday morning, the way I thought about prayer shifted a little. It got better and deeper. A guest speaker named Scott Williams, formally from LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma, was doing a series a Private Disciplines; this Sunday was prayer. As he spoke, I took notes and realized what I thought I already knew about prayer and how to prayer, was just the surface.

We've all heard about Daniel and the Lions den from the book of Daniel in the Bible. Do you know why he was sent the Lions Den? In Daniel 6 it describes how Daniel, a high ranking, trustworthy "politician" (imagine that?!), was target by other jealous peers because of his religion. His "haters" went to King Darius and convinced him to sign a law that people could only pray to him, and no other gods, and if they did, they would be sent into the Lions den. Once Daniel had learned that the law had been signed, the FIRST thing he did was pray.

Daniel 6:10 "But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God."

Here's what I learned Sunday about prayer:

1. HUMBLE yourself before God.
     Daniel knelt before God. Kneeling is a sign of servanthood, lowering yourself before someone or something that is greater than you. To get on your knees is a representation of humbleness before God. It says, I am not worthy, I need help, I can't do it on my own.
     Taking time to humble ourselves before God allows us to be in a position of servanthood. Especially when we are in solitude. With our busy lives it's so hard to find a truly quiet place. Solitude = no TV, no music, no phone, no computer, no distractions, no to-do lists, etc. Hey, praying on-the-go is okay too! God still hears those prayers and knows sometimes we need to ask for His help quickly. But He desires just us, just as we are, humble before Him.

2. Be PERSISTENT
     Daniel 6:10 says, "...he went home and knelt down AS USUAL. ... He prayed THREE TIMES A DAY, JUST AS HE HAD DONE BEFORE."
     Daniel was persistent about his prayers. He prayed everyday, three times a day. We know this to be true because it says, "just as he had done before." It was a normal occurrence. And, as "usual" he knelt before God.
     When was the last time you prayed everyday for an entire week? Not counting praying for meals or quick, "Lord give me strength" prayers. But actual everyday, on your knees, in solitude, conversation with God? Gotta be honest... I do a lot of "Lord give me strength" prayers, and praying aloud in the car. But personally, I need to be better at being persistent about devoting time and solitude into my prayers - talking AND listening! Making it a daily occurrence! You can't just jump into devoted prayer and expect all your prayers to be answered at once. It takes time! And persistence!


Daniel was caught praying to God by his "haters" and they ran to King Darius telling him about Daniel's betrayal. King Darius was disturbed by this because he loved Daniel, but he also knew he could not go back on the law he signed. So when Daniel was arrested and as he was put into the Lions den, King Darius said to him, "May the God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you." King Darius had a prayer of his own.


3. Be SPECIFIC
    Can you imagine what Daniel's prayers were like in that dark den filled with hungry, wild lions? You better believe that Daniel prayers were filled with exact requests for God: "Lord, close the mouth of this lion looking at me right here!" and "In the powerful name of God, I pray no harm, not even a scratch would come to my body the entire night!" You get the picture! He was specific in his prayers! Daniel ASKED FOR WHAT HE NEEDED.
     A lot of times we ask for protection, healing, peace, direction. But what exactly are we asking for protection over and when are we asking for that? What exactly is hurting in our bodies and why do we want it gone? What types of decisions do we face everyday? Not just big ones like job changes, children, moving, etc. But what about little things like, "Lord please give me a clear sign and wisdom if I should wake up my teething 1 year old early from his morning nap, just so I can get my grocery shopping done sooner?" I prayed that prayer this week and guess what?! God gave me a clear sign (that mommy "instinct", aka God's voice, really kicked in!) that my child needed to keep sleeping!
     ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED! You don't get what you don't ask for! It's God's decision as far as the timing or specific way that He will answer.

4. Be EXPECTANT
Don't let your outward circumstances effect your inward faith. We have a BIG, POWERFUL God. Expect BIG, POWERFUL answers. You may have something tough going on in your life right now, but why should that make you doubt God less? Do you still have faith and trust in Him? Prayers should be expectant. Expect God to listen and to answer. Don't underestimate the power of Jesus Christ!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Romans 12:3-8

Romans 12: 3-8
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith  God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Have you ever thought about what your spiritual gifts may be? The bible only lists several of many that we may have! I am so thankful that each of us has a different gift to help the body of Christ. We are all woven together in God's beautiful, intricate blanket. Each of us helping another!

One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of encouragement, which I have recently found out. I love to send encouragement through the mail. Snail mail!! I know how wonderful it feels to get mail and I always hope that I can help brighten someone's day through that! I just bought 200 cards today and I am very excited to start sending them out!!



Remember that God created you different than anyone else. Your spiritual gifts are different from mine and your friends and your family! You are unique and beautifully and wonderfully made. 

Even if encouragement isn't your best spiritual gift, how can you encourage someone today? Smile at them? Give a compliment? Pray with or for someone? Encourage someone today the way you most like to be encouraged:]



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Scraped Knees and Broken Hearts

 
As a mother, it's hard not to notice other mother/child relationships. The way they interact with one another. How they show love. How they talk to each other. Most the time I see other mommies loving and playing with their kids or talking silly. Makes my heart happy.

Then there are the other ones. I say "other" ones as in "grumpy" moms. I am NOT judging because we all have our moments of being pushed over the edge. Irritated, kids push our buttons, we;re tired and kids are acting up. You usually see these grumpy moms at stores ect. Remember, I AM NOT JUDGING! We all know eachother feels!

BUT, when I see mothers continually, week after week, being rude, mean, make your child feel stupid....it's NOT ok.

I see one specifically. Yelling at their 4 year old daughter.

 Week after week I watch them. Same things always occur. Mom is beyond irritated. Putting the little girl down. She doesn't enjoy the moments and she never expresses that she's proud of her daughter. Other moms around along with myself, compliment our girls, tell them they are doing a great job, they are pretty and show how proud we are. Then there is the other mom. "Hurry up and do this. Get over here! Hurry and change! If you don't stop then we're going home because I'm tired. I don't have time for this. I have better things to do." SAD! Makes my heart sad.

Yes we all have our moments. But this has been every week. I'm not judging because I don't know her or her life. But I'm praying for her and their relationship.

It's good to be reminded how precious our daughters are. How they need their self esteem boosted. They want to feel like a princess. They want to feel pretty and that they are loved and wanted.

As  women we want to feel the same. So let's treat our daughters like we want to be treated. Let's rethink how we interact and how much time we really spend investing in them. Teaching them how a woman is supposed to act and how others are to treat her.  Manners and sweetness. Let's think about what we really say to them.

I want the best for my daughter. I want her to not go through things that I did and learn from my mistakes. I want the fairytale ending for my baby. I want what GOD wants for her the most.
 
She is precious, beautiful and unique in the eyes of the Lord.
 
No one was created like her.
 
Her little giggle, smile and the way she sings... it's precious.
 
 
We love them with all of hearts so let's make the extra effort to show them because one day they won't be running to us for scraped knees but for broken hearts.

And you best believe I will be there for both.