Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas from our family to Yours!!

 
 
"O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees..."


 
 
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!!!
 
 
Just a note: I will probably be pretty scarce around here starting after today and through the new year and just after...we will be having a lot of family things and such, so I hope you will be doing the same and enjoying some special moments with those who are closest to you!




Friday, December 21, 2012

"The Heart of Christmas"

I just quickly wanted to share a great movie idea if your needing one. We watched The Heart of Christmas the other night and I was bawling like a baby...so touching! It is pretty easy to get lost in the day to day things and loose sight of what and who are the most important things in our lives. I highly recommend watching this movie and I think it kind of goes along with what I've been talking about regarding Christmas.
 
If you'd like to watch the song and video go here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

More about Christmas at our house

Today, I'm going to talk some more about what my husband and I struggle with during the Christmas season. All to often it seems like it's the blind leading the blind regarding holiday traditions (not just Christmas). So therefore, I've started looking at the origins of many of our traditions. So today I'm going to tell you about our stance on Santa Claus.

We don't buy into the Santa Claus thing with our son. I have a problem lying to him and saying someone else (who isn't even real) gave him the gift that I so thoughtfully picked out for him. I also don't want him to doubt that we're telling him the truth about God one day when he would realize that Santa was a lie. I did read a blog about a family that is teaching their son about the real St. Nicholas, who did good things for people, but they aren't telling their son that Santa gave him his gifts either. I kind of like that idea! When I grew up, I never knew about santa in the way of he got me gifts, of course I saw him on movies and on decorations and things like that. My parents never really told me about St. Nicholas though and I think that telling my son where this fictional character really came from is a good idea. Just give him the facts.
 
Now just a little note: after telling you I didn't put up my tree and I don't do santa claus, I just want you to know that if you do do these things, that's okay. I think this is something that everyone has to think about, study and pray about what is the right thing for their family. I just wanted to give you something to think about during this season that often gets to be more about the traditions and the commercialized side of things, rather than about that little baby that saved our world!
 
I think this song says so much about what we should really be celebrating!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What is the origins of our traditions?

So today I'm going to go out on a limb and take the chance of "scaring" you all away...
As I've gotten older, I've heard more and more people around me talk about the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Now, yes, I think we all agree that the reason we celebrate Christmas is to celebrate Jesus coming to earth to ultimately give us eternal life. BUT what is the meaning behind many/most/all of our Christmas traditions?! I've questioned the real meaning of halloween for quite some time and this year took a look into what it actually originated from and decided that that is not something that our family wants to be a part of. So here it is, the bit of information that just might make you all know that I am truly CRAZY. I did NOT put my Christmas tree up this year!!!!
There, I said it....
Why? You may ask...
Well, I did a little research and came up a little disappointed.
A lot of the things that I found about the origins of Christmas trees had pagan beginnings. The trees were put up because people thought that they would keep evil spirits away. It had NOTHING to do with the birth of our Lord. There were a few accounts of Martin Luther putting up a tree with candles lit on it after seeing all the beautiful stars in the sky when he was traveling. He used the tree and candles to show his family the beauty. But to me that sounded like a good story to make us feel better about putting a pagan symbol in our living rooms.
So, I decided this year, I'm not putting it up. Although, my search didn't give me enough facts to make me go out and sell my tree (I still have it for next year, in case I decide that it can have some meaning tied to the birth of our Savior) but until I can find some better information supporting ties to our Savior I'm leaving it packed away.
Just in case you're wondering if I really did go off the deep end and not to anything Christmas-y at my house, I will let you know that I put up all my snowmen, put up my lighted garland, the stockings, a few other random Christmas decorations and of course my nativity scenes.
I'm not against celebrating the fact that my Lord came humbly to this earth to live a hard, earthly life and they die a horrible death to save ME!
 I just want to be sure that HOW I celebrate that, is honoring to my Lord, not tying to some  pagan belief from some hundreds of years ago.
And this conviction had gotten stronger and stronger as my son is getting older and getting to the point of understanding some of these things, at least on a 3 year old level. I want to be sure that he grows up knowing what Jesus did for him and me and you.
 
I'm hoping to do a couple more Christmas posts in the next couple days...so if I didn't scare you off to far, come back and check it out!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God is light

So this morning I was doing my devotion and this portion of scripture is what I read. It reminded me of a post I did a couple months ago about Evil or Good? and I thought I would share it.
 
"We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all sin."
 1 John 1:4-7
 
Note: emphasis is mine
 
How true! Jesus was our example of what the Christian life should look like and there was NO darkness in Him AT ALL! (granted we are human and we will make mistakes, but this is what we should strive for.) How much different would our day to day lives look if we truly lived this out?!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Time for Everything

 "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything.
 God's Word says so and God is trying His hardest to show me this.
After trying for 16 months to get pregnant, I took another one of those little tests and saw for the first time since I was pregnant with my son, two lines appear.
Relief. Excitement. Joy. Thankfulness.
Just a few of the many emotions that rushed through my husband and I when we saw those two lines. 
I only had a couple of pregnancy symptoms, which was the same for my pregnancy with Pumpkin. For almost a week, things seemed to be just as they should be. I was tired and needing to visit the bathroom more often.
Then I started spotting, which didn't cause me too great of concern because I had read many times that this could be normal. After a few days it turned to full blown bleeding and then I became terrified.
Then a few days later after continuous bleeding, after two HCG blood tests and an ultrasound, there was no other sign of pregnancy except for the lowering HCG level.
By this time, I had already pleaded with God to save my baby, then asked God that His will be done, on to asking for His strength to get me through.
He has gotten me through, but I still don't understand why we had to try for 16 months just to be devastated by the loss of the pregnancy.
I don't understand why I am still waiting to "be fruitful and multiply" all while my two and a half year old inches closer and closer to three without ANY hope for a sibling.
I. Don't. Understand.
But I do know God is here. He's been here the entire way.
Even when I want to cry when I see the newborn baby at church and I see friends/family that have their cute pregnant bellies posted on facebook, God is here.
He's telling me that there is a time for everything.
And for whatever reason, which I do not understand at this time, it is not time for us to have another child.
This doesn't make it any easier, but knowing that God is in control does make it easier.
Although it seems like there's been more times to weep and mourn lately, I have to remember that there are times to laugh and dance also.  
And they will come.
Because  "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—" Ecclesiastes 3:1
So whatever you are struggling with at this time, just remember to trust God because sometimes, He is the only thing that will get you through the day.



I wrote this a couple months ago, not long after my miscarriage, but wasn't sure I should post it (I didn't and don't want or need sympathy, not even many friends or family know). But it seems that maybe it does need to be out there, perhaps there are others struggling with the same thing or some other "trial" that can take comfort in knowing that there are others who are going through "trials" and that God is always there, He is my Rock and Foundation.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Distorted view of submission

Submission.
How many of you tensed up just seeing that word? For women, it seems that the word submission makes us feel powerless and afraid.
Let's see what God says to wives about submission.
 
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord."
Ephesians 5:22
 
When we read that, don't we quickly try to pretend that we didn't see it and quickly move on? Or try to make every excuse in the world, that that is not what it means in today's world?
Well, women, I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you, but God means what He says in His Word and when He said submit to your husband, He meant just that. Did you catch the end of that verse? "As you do to the Lord", we never question our submission to God; after all He's God! But we are to submit to our husbands in the same way.
 
Now in today's society, I believe that men are somewhat to blame for the shift in women's view of submission. Men are generally not MEN anymore. Many men do not step up to the plate and take their role of leadership (whether that be anything from spiritual leader to head of the house) seriously.
Let's look at what God says to husbands regarding their wife.
 
"25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
Ephesians 5:25-33
 
God tells husbands to love their wives just like Christ loved the church and therefore gave himself for her and also says that husbands should love their wives as much as they love themselves. Like it goes on to say, in marriage we are made ONE FLESH. This means that men, would never want to take their role of leader and abuse the fact that the wife submits to him. All his decisions would equally consider his wishes and his wife's wishes, because in reality they are now the same, "one flesh" through marriage.
Now see why I say that men are partially to blame for the woman's view of submission. Men abuse their power too often today and that is not what God planned. If we all read the Bible and lived out exactly what the Ephesians 5:22-33 verses say, men (in general) would treat their wives like gold and women would have no problem submitting because they would know that every decision that the man made, would be made knowing that the wife is an equal part of him.
 
Now, I've been pretty tough on our men, so let me get back to us women. Perhaps if we stepped back and gave men more of a chance to exercise their leadership, maybe they would take on that role naturally. God made men with a natural desire to lead and be in charge (He also made some women with those characteristics, and they are taking the job away from their husbands) and given the chance, I believe more men would take the gift and run with it. We have to be willing to tell our husbands what we think about the present situation, discuss it, and trust that in the end he will make the decision he feels will be best for BOTH of us. We have to TRUST, after all, we trusted him enough to marry him. Now why can't we trust him enough to decide whether we pay off the car or the house first?! (Okay, so I don't know what exactly we're trusting him with today, but that's my example!)
Submission.
It's really not that hard to swallow, when you see where God was coming from when He commanded us to submit.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Real Meaning of Halloween


Halloween.
 
It's such an innocent holiday right? I mean the kids dress up as their favorite character and are more than happy to go around getting loads of candy. But where did the skeletons, evil, demonic faces and ghosts come from? Is it just a silly coincidence that they are used as decorations for halloween?
No, they come from the superstitious beginnings of halloween.
It started as the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st, as it was the end of summer and the time of harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter; which was a time that was associated with death. They believed that on October 31 the worlds of the living and the dead crossed. The souls of the dead were believed to return to their homes in hopes of food and shelter, if these were not provided the evil spirits were believed to cast spells on those who did not give them what they wanted. The spirits caused crop damage and were thought to be able to make predictions of the future.
To celebrate the event, they would build bonfires and burn crops and make animal sacrifices to the Celtic deities. They would also dress up in costumes made of animal heads and skins and then try to predict each others futures.
It was widely believed that at death, the good spirits took the good people to paradise, but the wicked men were banished to the unseen world. These spirits were known to haunt the living and in order to exorcise these spirits, people had to offer them food and shelter during the night and if they were satisfied they would leave you alone, but if not they would cast a spell on you.
Today, Satanism and Witchcraft say this is the day that Satan comes to fellowship with his followers.
In 609 A.D. the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church and later included all saints as well as martyrs. It was celebrated on November 1. By the 9th Century Christian influence would spread into the Celtic lands and the church called November 2nd All Souls Day, to honor the dead.  The All Saints Day celebration was called All-hallows or All-hallowmas and October 31st began to be called All-hallows Eve, which eventually turned into Halloween. It appears that the church was trying to replace the evil Celtic festival with a church-sanctioned holiday, but without making the pagans drop their evil practices and accept Christianity, it just made it easier to miss the real meaning of halloween.
 
Did you know that Jack o' Lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits? That was their intended purpose.  To read the whole story, go here.
 
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
- I Peter 5:8
 
"reject every kind of evil."
- I Thessalonians 5:22
 
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead."
- Deuteronomy 18:10
 
 
 
 
I know that this post is likely to not be very popular. It will likely step on toes and it is often a subject that people are totally for or against. I am simply hoping that through this post, that you will do some research of your own and see what the Bible has to say about such subjects. Then let God give you the conviction for how you are to treat halloween.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Savings Tip-Cleaning

Today I have a little money saving tip. Do you have a swiffer? The one where you have the handle with a head on it and you're supposed to use those nifty pads to clean the floor?
Well, I got one because before we put some carpet in about a year and a half ago all but 3 rooms of our house (kitchen and living room being the two biggest rooms of the house) were hard floors.
I LOVED the swiffer and how easy it made cleaning those biggest area of floors in my house, but I hated the price I had to pay for those nifty overpriced pads. So I decided why not use my over abundance of rags instead?!
 
So I started to just simply put the rag on in place of the pad. Now it probably would work a little better if I would cut the rags down to size, but this is working just fine.
 
 
Then, you simply go about cleaning your floor as usual. I found it works best if you have some kind of cleaner to dampen the floor with. (I found a diy floor cleaner on pinterest and I just put it in a spray bottle and mist sections of the floor as I go.)

 
When you're done, just simply remove the rag and throw it into the laundry and you still get to clean the floor with a clean "mop" every time, just without the expense.


Since I've started doing this, I think I saw this idea in pinterest; so if you look on there they may have some even better tips.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Evil or Good?

So my husband and I were talking the other day and he made such a good point.
 
"Think about the things you did in the last couple days, the activities you participated in, the music you listened to the movies you watched, the conversations that you had. Now place them in 1 of 2 categories good or evil. For some it seems difficult but there really are only 2 categories."
 
 
Now at first this seems so so hard. Many of the things we do during our day are in between right? As we were talking about this, we said how it is really embarrassing to think how many things in our day would truly need to go into the evil category.
 
For instance, my husband said that every morning on his way to work he listens to some comedy show on the radio. At first glance this seems like it's not good or bad, but he said that a lot of the things that this comedian talks about aren't really glorifying to God so actually it would need to go into the evil category. I used to always listen to country music (some of which is not bad like a song about loving your spouse), but since I now have an almost 3 year old with me all the time, I've realized that some of the words used in a lot of those songs on the country stations are not words I want my son picking up. Therefore, if my son can't listen to it, it's probably not going to fit in the good category. We also like to watch a certain detective show on TV. There is shooting on the show and I guess I do struggle with that one when I think about it, because the detectives are trying to do good by stopping the bad guy and not letting him hurt others. The bad guy is obviously intending his shooting for evil. Also, the two main characters have been "attracted" to each other for seasons and seasons of the show, now this season they are often shown waking up in bed together and they are not married...this is against God's word, so therefore it is evil.
 
Those are just a few examples, but really EVERYTHING in our lives can be put into those two categories. God is pretty clear about what is good and what is evil (look at the 10 Commandments for starters), so if you put the things in your life up against God's word, it's not too hard to figure out which category it fits into. God only sees black and white, there is no gray area.
 
 
"What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter."
Isaiah 5:20
 
"Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."
Romans 12:21
 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some thoughts on politics

My husband has always been into politics, but just in the past few years have I really started having interest of my own. Now with, in my opinion, one of the most important presidential elections just 3 short weeks away; I have been seeing many different posts on politics and of course hearing all kinds of campaign ads and such.
Passivity to politics has amazed me ever since I've started having interest in it myself, but this election it is hitting me exceptionally hard.
God puts different people in different places of leadership over us and we are commanded to submit to that authority (as long as it is not going against God's Word) even if the authority figure is one that we wanted or not. And God IS in control no matter what and God's will will be done no matter the outcome of an election.
BUT this DOES NOT give us an OUT to not care about the issues or to not vote.
God gave us brains and minds that have a great complexity to think and figure out a multitude of things. God did not plan for us to just be passive figures on this earth, that just say 'God's will will be done and I don't need to do anything in the meantime'.
 
"Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you." - Deuteronomy 1:13
 
 
"But select capable men from all the people-men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens." - Exodus 18:21
 
So I believe that we should vote, we should pray for and about our leaders and make the decision that God is leading us to.
 Yes, there are things that I do not 100 percent agree with with almost any candidate, but I feel that I must make the decision to vote for the person who will most line up with God's Word and work to get our country closer in line with God's Word.
Just please do not take the road of least resistance and not pay attention to the issues and what is going on. It takes a little work to look into what the candidates stand for and to make an informed decision as to who the best candidate would be. Pray and ask God to lead you to the decision that He would have you to make when you go to cast your vote and feel good that you have made an informed decision.


Friday, October 12, 2012

"My own little world"

My husband and I have thought about adoption for some time now, in fact we talked about it before we were even married. In my mind, we would have our children and they would be older (still at home, but older) and THEN we would adopt. But over the past year and  half getting closer to two years all the time, we have been waiting to be blessed with another child of our own and we are still waiting.
During these many months, adoption has come to mind time and time again. The radio programs that I listen to, more times than I can count have talked about adoption. It appears that God has pointed us in that direction in many different ways.
We started "researching" on the internet and finally decided to look into foster care. We are currently taking classes to become foster parents.
These classes are so eye opening (we've only been to two) to what these children face.
It really makes you realize what really goes on outside "My Own Little World".
I was listening to this song today and it really touches on what I've been feeling lately as we take a look outside of our own little world and into the world of the many hurting little children in our country.
Take a minute to listen to the song and think and pray about how you may be able to help the hurting children all around us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"To every thing there is a season"

Well, fall has come! (Yippee! I have NEVER been sooo ready for fall. We had the hottest, driest summer we've had in a LONG time.) Yesterday morning when I got up, it was FREEZING in our house and there were reports of freezing temperatures around our area. So yes, I do believe fall is here! I've been hoping for fall ever since oh say the beginning of JULY...I'm usually a summer lover, but the initial 2 weeks of 110 degree temps did it for me!
So the first cooler days leading into fall were like a part of God's words telling me that there is a time for everything.
 
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
There may be times that it feels like we're drowning in all the things that we need to get done, or maybe we feel like we're drowning from the emotional burden of trials we're facing. Whatever we're facing, God is with us and He will guide us through. Just like I never thought the long HOT days of summer were going to go away, God will bring you through  you're season of life. (that may not mean that there won't be a new "season of trial" but God will help you through that one too.)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To wash or not to wash?

So this is a little bit of a different post, but I would LOVE some input! I've read and been told that it's best to not wash your hair EVERYday...well, I am an absolute clean FREAK so the idea of NOT washing my hair EVERYDAY freaks me out! But ever since my son was born, my hair has been thinner and just not as healthy so I'm considering trying to only wash it every other day (unless I find myself in a really sweaty/dusty/or other dirty, dirty situation).
SO the input I'm looking for is...do you wash your hair EVERYDAY? And if you don't is there good ways to keep your hair looking/feeling clean even if you don't wash it? I've found a recipe for diy dry shampoo on pinterest that I thought might be helpful and also have found a diy recipe for leave-in conditioner which I just thought might help with the health of my hair.
So speak up any and all thoughts are welcome!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Update and WHY we do things

It is WAY past time to post. Last week Austin's family came to visit. It was very nice to see them again and we got to meet our new little nephew (he's almost 2 months old already!), living 1,500 miles apart means that we don't get to see them all too often so it is such fun when we get to. Some friends and I are starting a weekly "study". We are going through "The Good Wife's Guide" and just discussing it and how to be a more Godly woman. So hopefully I will have some thoughts and such to pass on to you all, throughout the study.


One quick thought from the book I've been reading lately "Raising Real Men" by Hal and Melanie Young. "The first generation loves God and does right, so they teach the next generation to do right, but maybe they neglect to explain why they do it. The second generation may teach their children to do right but they can't explain why. The third generation has no idea why their parents did things, so they seek their own path."
This is something my husband and I have seen all too often with friends and acquaintances of ours. There are so many well meaning parents who taught their children that they should do this and that, but they never taught them WHY. Perhaps that is because they themselves were never taught WHY, but now their own children have no clue as to why they do what they do and they therefore start doubting the need to do those things at all and start doing whatever they want and how they want to do it.
It is so vitally important to teach our children the right things and WHY we do them. They need a rock solid basis for their beliefs or once they get old enough to think it through themselves, it might not mean anything to them anymore; simply because they never knew WHY they did it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Savings on clothing!!!



Well, today I'm showing you some of my recent purchases that I am SO excited about. First of all is this Silver brand jean jacket and Born brand shoes.
 
 
 
When I was in high school Silver jeans were my absolute favorite jeans, but they were EXPENSIVE and I've seen this jacket for sale for like $90-$100. I bought it from a lady on a local site that said she had only worn it a couple of times and I believe it, because I would never know it wasn't new! I paid $25 for it! WOOHOO for saving money!!! Even at the lowest original price that is a savings of $65!!!
 
The shoes are Born brand which I had never heard of. I decided I needed a pair of casual shoes for winter that weren't cowboy boots or dressy boots so I went on EBay to search for the "perfect" shoes. I saw several different types of Born shoes and liked them so looked them up online and they appear to sell anywhere from $65-$90 new. These said they had a small chew mark in their description, but I never did find it in the pictures and when they came in the mail it took me a while to find it then too. (I've decided if it took me that long to find it when I was looking for it, no one will notice it when their on me feet!) They also look new, except for the small chew mark and I paid like $9.38 for them! Again, at the lowest original price, that is a savings of $55.62!  Did I mention I LOVE saving money!
 
 

 
I have been holding out on getting a couple of plain long sleeved shirts for this winter, trying to find the best price. These two shirts were for sale at a local store and were priced at $9.99, which is not a bad price for a shirt. This store is going out of business though and has been marking down there prices more and more the past few weeks, so I kept waiting. Well last week while I was in the store looking at them, one of the employees told me that they were getting ready to change the sign because they were now 30% off. That made them $6.99 each! I decided it was time to buy them! A savings of $6.00 total! Then I've also been wanting to add a scarf or two to my wardrobe because they are so nice to add to an outfit, but I refuse to pay $10-$12 for a strip of cloth! This scarf was originally $12 and it was marked down to $5.00, but was also 30% off. So that made the end price $3.50!! That is a price I'm willing to pay for a strip of cloth!!!! Savings of $8.50!
My savings on ALL of these purchases were $171.62!!!
 
This goes to show that you can get next to new items for a fraction of the cost if you just keep your eyes open. I bet if I hadn't told you the jacket and shoes were used,  you would have NEVER known! Also, if you are a smart shopper, you can get new items at a fraction of the cost also...why pay full price!?!
 
I'd love to hear some of YOUR money saving stories...leave me a comment!
 
 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Too Tolerant?!?

It's not a newsflash that our world has become super tolerant of many, many things. We are constantly told that we need to accept and be tolerant of different beliefs and lifestyles. If we tell someone that what they are doing or how they are living is wrong, then we are simply labeled as intolerant, right winged, narrow minded people.
But I must ask you, did Jesus tip-toe around the difficult subject of pointing out peoples wrong doings? Did He simply pull them into a big hug and act as if they had done nothing wrong?
NO!
Here is what Jesus said to the woman at the well. (To read the whole account go to John 4)
 
"He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
-John 4:16-18
 
Jesus bluntly pointed out that she did not have a husband, but in fact had FIVE husbands and was now with a SIXTH man!
 
I'm not saying we should go around telling everyone what they are doing is wrong, but I do feel that we (as in the church) have become much too tolerant of what is going on around us. If we can't go to one of our fellow Christians and Lovingly point out that there is wrong doing in their life, are we truly following Jesus' leading?? We don't need to condemn them, but in a Christlike manner, I believe we should go to them and point out that what they are doing or are involved in is not what God would want them to be doing.
We can still pull them into a big hug and let them know that we are praying for them and we are concerned for them.
The main thing that I have been struggling with is that if we don't say anything, is it just as bad as if we were doing the wrong thing? Because I feel like, by not saying anything we are accepting and condoning the behavior.
Due to some recent events involving some family members and church members, I have started to think about this topic more and more. I don't know how to go about bringing up the topic of their wrong doings, but at the same time feel as if I am also in the wrong for not saying anything.


Linked up to Fellowship Fridays on Christian Mommy Blogger

Friday, August 17, 2012

Carry Me to the Cross

Well, it's almost been a month since I last posted something. The past 3 weeks have been the most extreme emotional roller coaster I have ever been on and the other day I heard this song and it was JUST what I needed to hear. So I hope it can encourage and lift up at least one of you out there, just as it did for me!
Just a reminder that we are not alone, God will carry us!!!




"Carry Me To The Cross"

When the path is daunting
And every step exhausting
I'm not alone
I'm not alone, no, no
I feel you draw me closer
All these burdens on my shoulder
I'm not alone, I'm not alone
You pull me me from this place

Hellelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

How your love has moved me, yeah
To the foot of all your glory
I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm not alone

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

All of these cities you have built
And every cathedral you have filled
To all of creation you gave life with your hands
And with those hands you comfort me
You lift me up from my knees
And carry me
You carry me

Hallelujah
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross
The cross
You carry me to the
You carry me to the cross

Friday, July 20, 2012

Glorifying God #3

I have gotten terribly behind on reading some of the blogs I follow and was reading through some of them today and ran across this GREAT post at Intentional by Grace.
I enjoy this blog so much, if you have never visited it I encourage you to go there now!

Anyway, it brought up the topic of Fifty Shades of Grey. I heard about this book a few months ago and heard about the big "craze" it was making among women. I heard very little on what the book was about, but that was enough to make me go "what are people thinking?" In the post, Leigh Ann, the author had a link to an ABC article about Fifty Shades of Grey.
I have never read the book(s), and do not want to.
I read ABC's summary and learned more about the book. I'm even more appalled and shocked! If you read the post at Intentional by Grace, I feel as if I could have written that post myself. I completely and totally agree with everything she had to say. Fifty Shades of Grey is not glorifying to God in any way shape or form. It does not show a picture of how God designed a loving relationship to be, first off the two main characters are NOT married and the way they choose to 'show' their 'love' is not how I believe God intended us to do.
To me the other side of this coin shows that women today are so "starved" for the roles of men and women to be how God intended them to be (whether they realize that is how God intended it or not) that they get so caught up in books like this. The summary of the book said that "Ana", the main woman character signed a contract to be in complete submission to Mr. Grey, the main male character. Although it appears to me that this type of submission was taken to extremes, it makes me wonder if women are really just "starved" for submission to their husbands so much that this, albeit twisted form of submission appeals to them. In our world today women are often looked at as "equal" to men. This is what women wanted starting years ago and now I wonder if they've realized that this is not working and they don't want to be the one with the high stress job and all the weight on their shoulders. Maybe they've realized that their real job and purpose is to be at home, raise their kids and be in submission to their husbands. Of course in this world, most would not admit it so perhaps they are just using Fifty Shades of Grey as a way to get a "taste" of submission.

I am not saying that it is absolutely wrong to work outside the home and that women should not have high stress, high level jobs. I just feel that first women should consider what the Bible says about submission to your husband and taking care of your family. This is just MY opinion on the book and why I do not want to read it. So you can take it or leave it, its up to you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Delighting in the SIMPLE things

Last night I was awakened by the sound of thunder. We had the windows open, so I laid there trying to decide if it would rain enough to make me close them. Well, after a couple minutes I decided I would just go close them so I wouldn't have to RUN around the house closing them all if it started to down pour. Then I climbed back into bed and soon started to hear rain falling on the roof (isn't that one of the most relaxing and wonderful sounds?!). As I was laying there thinking about how much I like to listen to the rain on the roof and how much we need rain right now, I started to think about a conversation Austin and I had at supper. He is from Pennsylvania so it's easier for him to "see" these things, but once he points them out I very easily see them too. We were discussing how many family/friends get so busy (mainly the ones in PA). Tonight it's the kids baseball practice tomorrow is swimming, then church, then baseball games and then we're going to this friend's house and on and on.....Well, living in RURAL Kansas, we live a simple life. We hang out with friends once a week (maybe every two weeks if its a busy time), we have church and maybe one other thing during the week. Because of this we completely and totally enjoy the time we spend with those people. We aren't on our phones texting or looking at the internet while we are hanging out with friends because time spent with them is time to be cherished. We also live on a dirt road. The county we live in doesn't do the best job of keeping up with it either, so any time we see a grader coming down the road we get excited. As I mentioned above we really need rain right now...this summer has turned off very dry (which isn't that unusual) so when the storm clouds start rolling in and even if its just a sprinkle we get excited. My husband typically works from 6:00am to 7:00pm six days a week. On Facebook, I have lost count of how many times I've seen wives unhappy because their husband had to work past 5 o'clock. But since when we first got married, Austin drove a silage truck which meant he often spent nights away from home or didn't get home until 10:00 or 10:30, I cherish the fact that I even get a few precious hours with him in the evenings. And since we don't spend every evening with friends, we come to enjoy and appreciate our little family more. I feel like friends of ours that are constantly doing this or that, don't realize how special time spent at home just as a family really is. So we may live in boring old Kansas with nothing to do, but we really wouldn't want it any other way. It's easier to look around and appreciate all the great things God has blessed us with and delight in the simple things He's given us.


So, please just take a moment to stop and think about all the little things that you have to be thankful for....even if it's something as simple as a nice road to drive on! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Some facts about Freedom

Yesterday was the 4th of July, Independence Day or as little Pumpkin says when he sees an American flag, "our coun-tys birthday!" So I saw this quote on another blog and couldn't resist sharing it. It is so, so true. Read it, think about it, and think about how our freedom was gained. Then make the choice to do everything you can to preserve freedom for the next generation and generations to come!


"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
-Ronald Reagan


 
This picture is of Pumpkin 2 years ago!!! But I've always loved it and thought it fit with the quote!

Remember this in November, do your research and VOTE!



We had a quiet 4th of July this year, after Pumpkin's nap we went out and threw "poppers" because he LOVES those things and then went to my sister's for supper. There is a burn ban, so we didn't shoot any fireworks off, but we did see some from town 25 miles away when we came home!



Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!!!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Buying clothes cheaply

We recently visited my husband's family in Pennsylvania. One day his mom, sisters and I went shopping and his sister took me out yard saling another day. It was a blast!!! I got some Great deals! So I had to share! (it has been a few weeks now, things got crazy busy, so I may not remember the exact prices, but I'll do my best to remember)



This was what I got for myself at a yard sale, I think I got all of it for $12!!!
The brown pants are Gap and look like new, the jeans are Aeropostale and show some wear on the bottom of the legs, but look good other than that, the coral dress is like new also and the brown cardigan is Gap also and like new!

(we also went shopping at Ross and I got a few things there also, but forgot to take pics. I got two shirts, a pack of socks and a polo shirt for Austin. This all cost me about $50, more than I'd like, but still pretty good cause they were some name brand things.)




This is what I got for Pumpkin. The jeans do show a tiny bit of wear, but they still have good use in them and I think they were like $2. The blue plaid shirt I think was a dollar and he needs a flannel, plaid shirt to be like his daddy in the winter. ;) The navy jacket was a dollar and looks like new. The red and black plaid shirt was a dollar also I think, and looks like new too. It looks alot like one of daddy's shirts too! :)

So all in all, I think I did pretty good. My Ross trip was a bit more than I like to spend, but my total there was brought up by the polo shirt which was a Tommy brand shirt and seems like it is a really good quality fabric. (the tag said it normally sells for like 50 some dollars, so I still did pretty good in that respect!) This is to show that you can get nice clothes at yard sales and not pay a ton of money for them and even if you do want new, you can go to places like Ross and get them at discounted prices. You will end up paying more than at yard sales, but if what you want is new clothes, then that is the way to go.



Friday, June 15, 2012

The pain and the hurt

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the amount of hurt around you? This week has been that kind of week for me.
Our neighbor lady died in the night a couple of nights ago, it was just her and her husband and she died before the ambulance got to their house. So he was just sitting there all alone with his dead wife beside him, waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The other evening my friend text me to tell/ask me to pray for her because she is pregnant for the third time in a year, she is hoping this is the first one that she keeps. Another friend text me the other day to ask me to pray for her because she is struggling with the fact that she has been dealing with stomach problems that leave her getting sick several times a week and even though they've done many tests, they still don't know what to do about it. Then the end of this week will be one year since my dear sister-in-law lost her baby boy. They went to the hospital because she had gone into labor, but then they could not find the heartbeat.
SO many people with such an array of problems. These are things that they are constantly thinking about these days and dealing with day in and day out. It's just overwhelming to me that just in our circle of friends/acquaintances there is so much hurt just right now.
All these things plus a busy week of harvest and realizing there may be some BIG decisions for my husband and I to make in the near future, have left my mind reeling.
Do you ever feel this way? Like everything is going 80 miles an hour around you and you can't keep up? So many people/friends to pray for, talk to, encourage and do things for all while taking care of your own "to do" list and then on top of it all needing to make some serious decisions for your family?

Hopefully these will provide some encouragement, if you find yourself having the same kind of week I am having...and can be passed along to those friends who are hurting also...

"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when you have stood the test, you will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seek God's strength and presence

Lately it seems I have been feeling more and more "frazzled" not only in the past few days (although it does seem to have been worse) but in the past few months. Sometimes God brings situations into our lives that we would rather not deal with. Sometimes their just inconvenient things, sometimes their down right difficult/life changing things. When these things go on for months at a time, it can start to make us feel "caught" or "stuck". It's hard to see how this is God's plan and how God has our best interest in mind. You cry out to God, bare your heart and soul to Him and feel like He's not answering. The truth is, He is listening and answering....maybe His answer is "just wait, child, when the time is right I will let it all be fulfilled" or maybe later we will find that His answer is "No, child this is not the plan I have for you, I have SO much more in store". While in this present time of "struggling" for me, I'm still holding on to the hope that God is simply telling me to wait, I have to trust in Him no matter what the answer may end up being. I'm still learning this lesson, but I do feel like some days I'm making strides in the right direction while other days, I feel as if I've taken 4 steps back. Just remember (as I have to) when you are facing trials of any sort that God is ALWAYS there. HE know what He is doing and HE IS IN CONTROL!!!

I ran across this verse on a blog somewhere and it has been a Great encouragement to me,
"Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually."
I Chronicles 16:11

Isn't that beautiful?! To me that means that we need to CONSTANTLY see God and the strength that only HE can provide to get through ANY situation, no matter how big or small. We need to see His presence continually because we know that God is always there with us even though we can't see Him, He is there traveling this road right along side us! What a beautiful picture that paints...we can have God's strength and presence with us no matter what we are up against! There is no need to think we have to be "super mom" and do it all on our own, there is no need to feel as if you have to face sickness alone there is no need to feel like you are in this (what ever THIS is for you) by yourself.
Seek God and no matter how hard what you are facing is, He will carry you through and most likely some day you will look back and see God's fingerprints ALL over this time in your life. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The beauty of God's creation

Have you ever looked at the world around you and thought of how amazing it is that God created EVERYTHING!? Kansas is often thought of as a boring, nothing there kind of state. It is known for it's flatness and nothing but telephone poles as far as the eye can see, but after living here for my whole 20 some years, I see the true beauty of God's creation right here. In the spring time, the pastures are green and lush, as it gets close to wheat harvest the golden wheat waves like the sea in the wind and all through the year there are numerous breath-taking sunsets painted by God's hand alone. There have been many times that I've looked up at the gorgeous blue sky and thought only God could have made such a beautiful sky blue. At night when I see the millions and millions of stars (we can see SO many stars out here, since we don't have street lights) I think of when God told Abraham that his descendants would outnumber the stars....that's ALOT!!! It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this world, but sometimes we just need to stop and take a look around and find the beauty that is there EVERYDAY.



I was going to post a verse or two from Genesis 1, but then I realized that it's ALL so good, so go check it out for yourself!!!








Friday, May 4, 2012

Blessings

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with just how truly blessed I am. God "dropped" an AMAZING man in my life 6 years ago and I married him 5 years ago (this August). Then He blessed us with the sweetest and cutest little boy ever in 2009. Lately, we have been struggling with some personal issues that sometimes get me down. At these times I feel so sad and upset, but yet I look around me and I have that wonderful man by my side to hold my hand and that little boy's arms around my neck with his big brown eyes melting my heart. Even in my times of struggles, I have to think about how blessed I really am.

 


 

Not only do have the two greatest men in my life, I get to stay at home with my little Pumpkin EVERYDAY. Take care of my home in a way that satisfies and relaxes my husband when he comes home from a long day of work.
I get to do what I ALWAYS wanted to do.


I have loved the song "Blessings" by Laura Story from the first time I heard it, but it has taken on a new meaning lately. As the songs lyrics say....
"What if trials of this life, are your mercies in disguise"

Someday I'm sure I'll look back and see how this time worked in my life to be a blessing.

But right now, I can look around and take comfort in the fact that God has blessed me in SO many ways already and in His time He will work everything out.


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. "
Romans 8:28

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homemade Wheat Thins

I found this recipe on Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it. I LOVE wheat thins, but find that they are too pricey for me. I finally got around to trying this recipe and it was YUMMY. They are not an exact replica of taste of a wheat thin, but they are pretty delicious all the same! So here it is:

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling on
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance (I used soy-free) or butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (or a tiny bit more if dough is too dry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, paprika, salt).
3. With a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the Earth Balance or butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. See image below. Now mix together the water and vanilla and then pour into the flour and Earth balance mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together. I got in there with my hands and really squeezed the dough to help it come together. If it appears dry add a touch of water, but you don’t want it sticky.
4. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever shape you desire. Using a splatula, place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat as necessary. Sprinkle with more salt and sesame seeds if desired.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Half way through baking rotate the pan to ensure even baking. My crackers took 10 minutes, but if you do not use a baking mat it will likely take less time for you. Be careful because they burn quickly. Cool completely. Makes about 64 crackers for this full recipe. Store in an air-tight container.
Note: This recipe made enough crackers for two baking sheets. I baked them separately, but I am sure you could bake them at the same time as long as you rotate the pans half way through.

Here is the Pinterest link if you want to take a look for yourself:



Crumbly!


Rolled out to perfection!


Baking!


There they are...yummy wheat thins!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Children are a Heritage

I have recently been struggling with the fact that it seems many people do not realize what a blessing children are and they don't see what an opportunity they miss to mold their children's lives by not staying at home. I know some people who after finding out they were pregnant, just kind of looked at it as if this was the next step in life, but weren't really very excited about it. (I can see not being immediately excited if you hadn't planned to get pregnant, but I can't imagine not being excited after a couple of months.) Instead they focus on the fact that a baby will be so much work and they won't be able to do whatever they want. The woman may focus on the fact that she will get "fat" and that her body will never be the same. It never occurs to them to focus on the blessing they are about to receive, whether they planned it or not.

It amazes me how many people don't think twice about going right back to work after having their baby and taking the baby to day care. I do realize that it is not always financially possible for a mother to stay home, but too many people don't even THINK about staying home. The "normal" thing to them is to just go back to work and send the baby to day care. This happens so often in the church also. These are the people that should realize how blessed they are to have children and that they are truly a gift from God, but instead they look at it just the same way that the world does.

I have really been struggling with this. I am blessed every day by my little Pumpkin, even on the days that I don't know how I'll make it till the time Daddy gets home. EVERY DAY there is SOMETHING that is a blessing to me. Even if its just his little smile. No I don't have the same body I had before having a baby and yes, often times I wish those stretch marks would go away, but all in all I realize it was worth it. I wouldn't give up  my Pumpkin to get my stretch mark-free stomach back...NO CHANCE!

I also see everyday how important it is for me to be home with him, I am the main person (and his Daddy) who is molding his character and beliefs. If I wasn't doing it, who would be? And what would they be teaching him?

Couples are not always able to have a baby when they want to. It's  not something that you decide you want and it just happens like that (not always). There are many, many couples who are traveling down a road of wondering when and if they will get pregnant. There are many women who would LOVE to be getting "fat" with a baby. There are many couples who would rather be stuck at home with a fussy baby than able to go out with friends and do what they want, while wondering if there will ever be a baby to stay home with...

I have friends on both sides of this issue and with both opposing views. I struggle with what to say to the ones that are "disappointed" about having a baby and can only pray for the Lord's will in the lives of the ones who are hoping for a baby.


  "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:3-5

 "When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world."
John 16:21

 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
James 1:17