October 26, 2014

Day 26: Sunday Rest

One last time! A little music, a little coffee, a devotional!
I sure do hope you have enjoyed our Sundays together! ;)


October 12, 2014

Day 12: Sunday Rest

Keeping with my last Sunday post - things will be simple here:

A little music:

A little Coffee, and a little Devotion:


October 9, 2014

Day 9: Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

OK, so I know it's REALLY early for some of you to begin thinking about Christmas... but I sincerely dislike trying to find Christmas gifts, fighting crowds, at the last minute. (We've done this so many years in the past - I like to think early, end early now a days!) 

One thing I started a few years that my children actually LOVE is the Christmas Activity Advent Calendar. Instead of getting a little treat every day in the month of December leading up to Christmas our envelopes labeled 1-25 have inside of them an activity to do that afternoon. The kids each take turns opening the envelopes in the morning... which gives me time for a last minute stop at the store on my way home if I need to grab anything for the activity that afternoon. 

I began to compile our Activity Advent Calendar today... and as I sat here staring at a blank blog sheet not knowing what in the world I would post, I decided to share it with you. I hope you like it!

As Christmas approaches I hope you don't forget the reason for the season... its not a day to simply share material gifts with those you love or associate with, its a day to celebrate the fulfilled promise of our Heavenly Father to deliver to us a Savior. 


October 8, 2014

Day 8: When Your Teen Rebels

I’m at point in parenting where I’m actually watching one of my children turn into a completely different person. This teenager that has hijacked my once sweet, caring, considerate, loving daughter has GOT to go.  Please tell me that this doesn’t last forever?! Please tell me that this doesn’t last long at all?! I’m at my wits end with her and I’m not sure if one or both of us will survive the next year if things don’t change!
As I go through this valley I sit and wonder… have I done enough? I mean, she only has a few more years under our roof, a few more years to pour into her everything she needs to be able to make it in this world… have I done enough?

Have I given her what she needs in order to live a life worth living? Will she stay grounded in her Faith or will she turn from it as soon as she walks out the door? More than anything else in my life so far … this scares me to my core. Will my children turn away from God in pursuit of the happiness that will never be found anywhere other than in his presence? 

I am only slightly comforted by Genesis 3:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
What better example of a perfect parent could any of us have then our all knowing God Himself? He created us, He knew exactly what we needed, yet Adam and Eve had free choice. Even they, brought up in the most perfect conditions with the most perfect parent, were disobedient. 
I say this brings me little comfort, because although I know that even if I do everything right, my children have free will… and they may still make bad decisions, which is very bitter sweet. 

I only pray that if any of my children do decide to turn away, they will return to Him one day… 
Proverbs 22:6 says - Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Luke 15: 17-20 In the story of the Prodigal Son says - “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
So as I walk along this unbeaten path in my life with my oldest child, I am scared. I am sure we will go through these same emotions and obstacles with each of my other three children once they reach these “I’m a teenager and I should be able to make all my own decisions” stages – but I am sure it will not be any less scary with any of them… not when their eternity is at stake. I want them to continually Seek His Face!

Do any of you have any advice, any words of comfort for a scared to death parent? 


October 7, 2014

Day 7: Bible Studies for the Family

Do y'all remember when I said I was motivated to try and draw out my bible study, which didn't work out the way I had planned, but ended up showing me an amazing way to do bible study with my (now) seven year old daughter? Hop over to Day 3 of the 31 Day writing challenge to re-read if you must. 

Well, I have bible study groups and resources galore at my finger tips. I can jump around and do more than one if I want or need - I can scale it down if I'm just not feeling up to it. When it comes to my children, it's not so easy... they have to have it there, in front of them; In their hands, laid out step by step, day by day in order to do any type of bible study. They aren't going to just take the initiative and dive into the Word on their own... and who could blame them really - the bible can seem so overwhelming to even adults at times. Where do you begin? The beginning, the New Testament, any certain book? So I began to search for the perfect devotion for each of my children...

I had received a Tween Bible Study book - Around the Word in 60 Seconds - a year or so ago and was going to give it to my oldest as a daily devotional.

However, after reading over a few weeks worth of devotions myself I decided it was more for my 10 year old than for my soon to be 15 year old daughter. That lead me to do some research to find a great bible study/devotional for my 15 year old daughter. It needed to be something that would reach deep, but not take an enormous amount of time and discourage her from wanting to read it each day.

I discovered A Daughters Worth... I'm waiting for it to come in now! I'm excited about this one, and hopefully she will enjoy it as well.

So, I have my youngest daughter following along with me in my own bible study each day - I have the Around the Word for my 10 year old daughter and will soon have A Daughter's Worth for my eldest daughter.

All I need now is a good bible study/devotion for my 13 year old son... any suggestions?!

Really - I need suggestions!

Hopefully these bible studies will leave a lasting impression on my children and lead them on their own journey of Seeking His Face.


Day 6: Praise

Praise... it is the reason we were created - to give Him praise and glory. 
Isaiah 43:21 The people I have formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
I remember the first time I read Ann Voskamps book One Thousand Gifts. I remember how blessed, how touched and inspired I was by her willingness to essentially give God praise in the simple mundane moments of her everyday life. 

A simple sight, a smell, a thought or a word... anything and everything is worth giving Him praise. 
Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
If you've never read her book I encourage you to do so. 

You can visit her website HERE as well. 

No matter what you are going through in your life, no matter what situation or circumstances you might find yourself in, you can ALWAYS find a reason to praise God. Even if it's solely for having the breath in your lungs to be able to do so. 
Psalm 145:3 (NIV) Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
We cannot even fathom His greatness! 
Psalm 18:3 (NIV) I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 
He is there... when no one else is, when no one else can be... when no one else wants to be, He is there. Sometimes God allows us to drop to the lowest points in our lives so that once we reach the bottom we have no choice but to look UP... when we are weak, when we can no longer try by our own hands to fix the problems we face... we feel as if we have no choice but to put it in Gods hands. After we've drained all of our resources and call on God, and he comes in and fixes it we have no choice but to give Him the glory and the praise. If we would only begin with handing it over to Him... we would save ourselves so much heartache. 
Revelation 7:12 (NIV)  Amen! Prise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!


Day 4: Forgiveness...

One of the things I used to struggle with was forgiveness. Oh, how I would lay up at night thinking about the ways people had hurt me... I would wallow in my self pity as I'm sure the other parties were fast asleep in their beds. 

I have since learned to let go... let go and let God. 

Ezekiel 33:12-16 (NIV)
12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen,follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

If our God can forgive us to the point of not even remembering - when we are all sinners not worthy of his love... how much more so should we forgive those who have sinned against us? 

Matthew 6:14 (NIV)
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

I don't know about you... but I want my sins forgiven. 

Is it easier for me to forgive now than it was say three years ago? YES! Would I say it's easy? NO! Easier yes, easy... no. It's a choice, sometimes daily, to forgive someone. 

You know one day we will stand before the King of Kings and we will have to answer for the things we did in our lives. It will not matter what anyone else did or didn't do to or for us... they will have to answer for their lives when it is their time... all that will matter is what you did. 

As often as you can, make the right choice - and try to forgive the best you can. 


October 5, 2014

Day 5: Sunday Rest

I'll be taking things pretty easy on Sundays, we are usually really busy... we wake early to get ready for church service, and on the days we are not able to wake up and get ready in time (with four children it doesn't always happen) we listed to our church service via podcast blaring through our bluetooth speaker in the livingroom. Whether we are able to attend church in person or not, we always visit my Grandmother afterwards, as does the rest of my family, for Sunday Supper. 

After Supper we sit around for a while and talk and visit and just catch up with whats been going on with everyone during the week. After an hour or so we usually head home for some relaxation.

So my Sunday posts will be pretty quick. A little music, a little devotion, cup of coffee, and I'll be on my way. 

I hope you spend today enjoying the blessing of being alive! Whatever way you choose to meditate on His word... self bible study, online church programs, podcast, television broadcast, daily devotion, or you have a Church home... I hope you were able to be with Him today.

October 3, 2014

Day 3: Inspiration in Motion

Yesterday I shared with you a blog feature I happened upon of a beautiful lady of the Lord named Shar. You can find that post HERE if you missed it. 

Today I wanted to show you a page from a journal I used to keep... before life got in the way and I stopped...

I don't think I'm an artist, by any means of the word, but I enjoy drawing just as much as I enjoy writing... it soothes me. Drawing while meditating on a scripture just made sense. I enjoyed it immensely! 

So after seeing Shars journal, I loved the way she incorporated the entire chapter of the bible, not just one single verse... so I tried to come up with my own version of what she did...

It kind of reminded me of a low budget childrens bible book. ;) - maybe another example of "be yourself". My youngest daughter loved the picture so much, she copied it! She took my page and re-drew it herself. Afterwards I read the chapter to her so she could see why I put each picture in there. It turned out to be a great bible study tool with her (she's six) which was something I completely didn't plan on. Perhaps I can continue this on a regular basis as her bible study? I've recently given my 10 year old her own Tween bible devotional book, and purchases a Teen one for my 14 year old... so this would work perfect for my younger daughter who hasn't mastered the art of reading yet! 

I do LOVE the way Shars journal pages turns out... I'm just not as great with it as she is. I love her method of color coding and symbols... I've always color coded, even when studying on my tablet. The below picture is of my tablet.

This picture is of my bible - it's ratty and tearing apart in places, with stains at the tip in the beginning pages... I have so many notes and markings in it though, I couldn't stand to part with it just yet. I love my ratty and torn bible! I've started to add a few symbols here and there of my own... I think I'll continue this one going forward.

So... my inspiration from Shar in motion... I thank the Lord for you my friend!

This was Day 3 of 31- You can jump to Day 1 and view the rest of the days of this challenge HERE


October 2, 2014

Day 2: Drawing Inspiration from others

I love to journal... I just always have. I love to write, I love to draw, I love to express myself in those ways more so than any other. I had begun a while back to incorporate journaling/drawing WITH my bible study. I would simply pull a scripture and draw a picture to correspond with it. It was therapeutic for me and I really enjoyed it. 

I'm not sure what happened, but along the way I stopped... that busyness of life usually gets in the way of our best of intentions sometimes. Anyway, a few days ago I was looking through one of the many blogs I follow and I ran across a feature of Shar, this Wonderful lady has such a  heart for God... 

Take a look at some of the journal pages she has created from her bible studies!

gypsy.mama.nc is her instagram if you want to check out more of her Journal pages... she doesn't have a blog, just yet, but she has decided to bless us with a single Q&A post! You can find that post here - http://GypsyMamaNC.wordpress.com . 

She. Has. Inspired. Me! 

Wow, I had given up journaling... but she has re-ignited that spark! 

We both follow along with the same bible study group - GMG (Good Morning Girls). You can follow along with us if you wish. You can find it here - Good Morning Girls! We are going through the book of Genesis right now, one chapter at a time. 

I thank God for allowing me to come across her feature. 

Sometimes His light shining through others makes it that much easier to seek His face. 

Day 2 of 31 - You can jump to Day 1 and view the rest of the days in this challenge HERE.

October 1, 2014

Day 1: 31 Days of Seeking His Face

Thank you so much for stopping in! 

I was wondering if anyone would come for a visit, and here you are! I am accepting the challenge to write for 31 days straight in the month of October. My theme will be "Seeking His face", as this is something I often find myself struggling with.

Before we begin, I love setting the atmosphere... it's sort of a "thing" with me. The right lighting, a few well placed decorations, some music. Seeing how I can't really adjust the lighting or the decorations around you, I CAN help with music!

Just click on the Youtube video below to let the music begin, lower the volume a bit and continue reading on. 

You see, often times when my head hits my pillow at night, and my eyelids begin to close, I reflect over the days events. Sometimes I realize that I haven't sought Him like I should have. 

In the morning, while I was drinking my coffee and waking the kids up to get dressed for school (for the third and fourth time) I forgot to seek Him.

On the twenty minute drive to work when it's just me and the radio and the highway... I forgot to seek Him.

At my desk during the day with my work before me... I forgot to seek Him.

At breaks, at lunch, on the commute home...
Cooking supper, doing homework, laundry, cleaning...
I forgot to seek Him. 

It's so very easy to get lost in the days tasks and forget to seek His face, I know, because it happens to me way more often than it should. It's not that difficult to do either... to just take a minute and exhale, and speak to Him. When you're facing a difficult situation or a hard task, to ask Him for guidance or help. 

So for me, these next 31 days will be me getting back to what really matters. It's not about us... it's about Him. So often we hear the saying "I've done all I can do, all I can do now is pray." Why? Why do we save prayer as a last resort? Why don't we pray first? There's nothing more powerful in the world than prayer, nothing that can bring change faster than prayer... so why do we try and use our own strength and resources first when there's one who is mightier and more powerful than anything of this world? You have access to direct contact with Him... Prayer! 

I hope to see you again during these next 31 days of me Seeking His face. ;)

P.S. ~ If the song hasn't finished yet - just sit here for a minute and enjoy it... maybe send up a quiet "Thank You" to the man above for all He has done for you in your life... Amen? 


Quick access to all 31 days in this challenge:
Day 2 - Drawing Inspiration from Others
Day 3 - Inspiration in Motion
Day 4 - Forgiveness
Day 5 - Sunday Rest
Day 6 - Praise
Day 7 - Bible Studies for the Family
Day 8 - When Your Teen Rebels 
Day 9 - Activity Advent Calendar

September 29, 2014

31 Days of Blogging Every Day!

Well, I am going to do it. 

I am going to commit to the challenge of blogging every day for 31 days with The Nester @ The Nesting Place

A rather large group of us bloggers are going to commit to blogging every day for 31 days beginning October 1st!

This is FAST approaching and I hope I'm ready for it!

My blogging topic for the month of October will be.... drum roll.....

I invite you to join me on this journey... may God be with us!


September 23, 2014

NOTW: Not Of This World

I don't know if you have heard of the Not Of This World website... but I LOVE them! Just wanted to share!

Check them out here: www.notw.com 

Just a few of the items they have available... 

Clothes for everyone:

Decorative tins and posters:

Phone accessories:

Window Decals: 

And so so much more!

See something you like? When you click on the link above you will be given an exclusive 10% off discount code!