Monday, October 4, 2010

DO Something!

October 4, 2010

Who Am I by Casting Crowns beautifully reminds us who we all belong to!

I just spent an amazing weekend at our church and I am so excited to share my joyful take-aways with you!

Hubby and I attended the Love Worth Fighting For Marriage Event that was hosted at our church and took away so much from the entire experience. I will make future posts but felt the need to share first with you two organizations I was introduced to through this event and another closer to home non-profit.

It is so cool when I see people use their talents to help others and give glory to God! Kirk Cameron and Warren Barfield introduced us to two organizations that offer an incredible opportunity to help others:

  • Camp Firefly offers a once in a lifetime experience for terminally and seriously ill children and their families.
  • Food For The Hungry's mission is to walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation.

It is so inspiring to see people take a small step of faith to let God make big things happen for His glory! Two girls at our church did just that by starting their non-profit, Birds of Hope. They sell beautiful birds they make and donate all profits to Active Water, who brings clean water and sanitation projects to needed communities throughout the globe.

As I have said before, if we don't model giving of our time, talents and resources for our children, how can we expect them to become giving adults? I am very thankful for these girls...they are providing a wonderful example for my girlie and me!

I have added these organizations' links to my Helping Others page. If you have an organization that I can share on my site, please tell me about it. I hope to increase awareness of as many worthy organizations as I can. I know I am looking forward to discovering more!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In Him: Here With Me

September 21, 2010

Here With Me by Mercy Me sums up the past several months for me! It is such a comfort and a blessing to know that we are never alone!

I have so much to share with you, so much I am thankful for! Part of my delay in sharing has been me thinking "is this too personal?" and let's face it...the other part of my delay is the days get so full don't they?

My pastor said a few weeks ago that for many people "we are the only Bible they will ever read." I took that statement to heart and thought, "How many of us have personal stories of God's faithfulness that need to be shared with others so they too may believe and have hope in Him?"

I'll start with the biggest news first! As many of you know, we are blessed with a girlie who is 5. We have tried, prayed and kept faith that if it was God's will and plan to have another child, it would happen in His time, not ours!

A couple of years ago my OB told me I was at the start of menopause and suggested hormone pills to bring my levels up...especially if we wanted another child. I filled the prescription...once...and never took them! A year later back to the OB and my annual exam was a little better, but he said my progesterone was still low, too low to hold a pregnancy, suggested the pills again. Again I filled them...once...and never took them. At that point I prayed that God's will be done.

Now, I know some of you may have taken hormone pills and they helped you. Wonderful blessings for you! This was a faith walk for me and I was fully prepared that if it was not His will to bless us with another child I would seek what His will was for my life instead.

Much to our surprise, after taking the 100th home pregnancy test in April...It was positive! A blood test that same day at my doctor's office confirmed the pregnancy and that my hormone levels were GREAT, progesterone level was excellent!! Praise God!

The first three months I was sick and had a couple of spotting scares, but I continued to pray to God, trust in Him, and have a thankful heart for the miracle that every pregnancy is!

I am 27 weeks now...we are expecting a baby boy! I welcome comments with what your favorite boy names are as we are still undecided on a name!

We continue to pray and have faith in Him for the blessing of this baby to our family.

I have also started a new adventure with my girlie...homeschool! I have known since before she was born that my desire was to homeschool her...then we found out I was pregnant and due in the middle of the school year.

Again, we turned to prayer. My husband and I agreed to follow through on our plans. I have always believed that if you are doing what God wants you to do it will not feel like a daily struggle.

We are in week 5 of Kindergarten and girlie and I love it! Yes, I know, wait until the baby comes! Thankfully this is kindergarten and not more than 3-4 hours a day in core studies! I'll keep you posted on how this goes...daily prayer will be first on the list for each day for sure!

Bible is part of our daily curriculum with girlie and when we say The Lord's Prayer..."give us THIS day our daily bread" has strong meaning for us now too. I previously posted about my hubby's change in companies and the changes to income/bonuses that came with that. We are walking with God, trusting in Him. He IS in control and we trust that He will show us where He wants us to be.

We have so much to be thankful for, if we just look with a thankful heart!

I hope to share more messages from my pastor...I have been saving my notes with that plan in mind...I just may not be able to post as often as I was. Until next time...

In Him,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Him: Songs in the Key of Life, part 4

Isn't it a relief when we admit to ourselves that we can't do everything? The past few weeks have been another of those times in my life when I knew some things had to go, I couldn't do everything, I needed to turn things over to God!

The message that Middle School Pastor Brooklyn Lindsey delivered a couple of Sundays ago was just what I needed to hear...How to Find Rest in God!

Brooklyn is a mom herself of two little ones and she can relate to the fact that we all need rest...emotional and spiritual! She shared how we get caught up in the make it happen lifestyle and forget to rely on God. It's not about removing yourself from circumstances or lowering expectations, but rather it's about surrendering the outcomes to Him...acknowledging that He is greater and I am less...give Him the credit!

Psalm 131 shows us how to find rest in Him.

1. Recognize your limits.

Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Psalm 131:1 (NLT)

2. Cultivate a quiet heart.

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself... Psalm 131:2 (NLT)

3. Be content as you grow in faith. a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2 (NLT)

4. Put your hope in the Lord.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord— now and always. Psalm 131:3 (NLT)

Wait, __________ (fill in the blank with your name), for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!

Brooklyn shared this amazing story of love and hope for others. The power of what can happen when we "Don't worry about being religious. Take time to respond to God, relinquish control, and find rest!"

What outcomes do you need to surrender to God?

In Him,

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Him: Songs in the Key of Life, part 3

Yesterday's message that Pastor Rickey delivered taught us how to have a fresh start. Psalm 51 is a song of hope, we all need hope and a fresh start don't we? Money, greed, lying, bad language, anger, bad choices...there is hope in Him that He forgives and is always waiting to welcome us home no matter what we have done.

Pastor used this Psalm of hope to deliver a message that some may not want to talk about. I will admit, it's not the easiest for me to write about. God wants to welcome everyone with open arms, so If there is someone that this helps/reaches then that is part of His plan.

There IS a problem among those in the church and out, among adults and kids, among men and women, among married and single. What is it? The view for many that online pornography is socially acceptable. "Lots of people look at it." "What does it matter, there is no harm done."

Pastor Rickey shared some facts with us on the effects porn has on your brain. Did you know that it is as addictive as the strongest of narcotics? Did you know that it makes structural changes to your runs deep ruts in one direction toward that addiction? Do a Google search for "effects of brain by porn" and read for yourself the damage porn causes to a person's character, brain, marriage, family, career...

If you know someone who is not convinced from the moral side that porn is wrong, Pastor offered another excellent way to help someone determine if looking at porn is harmful. If they are married, have them ask their spouse if the act of them looking at porn makes their spouse feel more valued. I know their spouse's answer will be NO! If they are single or a young adult/child, ask them if they feel closer to God when they look at porn. Ask them if they feel guilt, shame, humiliation or regret. The GOOD news is they can be free of this addiction and these feelings by turning to God!

Pastor reminded us of the story of King David, chosen by God, a man after God's own heart, but he allowed his thoughts to turn to actions of adultery with Bathsheba. David wrote Psalm 51, which shows us no matter what we have done, how to have a fresh start with God.

1. Recognize your own sin, while acknowleging God's Mercy.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Psalm 51:1-3 (NLT)

2. Confess your sins and seek God's purity.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Psalm 51:4-8 (NLT)

3. Ask God for full restoration.

Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Psalm 51:9-13 (NLT)

We can learn from each others sins and pain. Though it is hard to make the bold choice of sharing with others our mistakes, we help others who suffer from the same pain.

4. Stay humble.

Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalm 51:14-17 (NLT)

A humble person is both transparent and teachable.

5. Vow to make worship a priority in your life.

Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit— with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar. Psalm 51:18-19 (NLT)

Pastor shared these two passages as well that shows the family line that Jesus came from:

This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. Matthew 1:1-2 (NLT)

Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Matthew 1:6 (NLT)

Why is Bathsheba mentioned in this lineage? There was adultery and sin, wasn't there? Pastor shared that she is here to show us God's love, how he takes our worst and weaves it in to His plan. "He can take your biggest failure, secrets and pain and give you a fresh start!"

Lastly, Pastor shared some resources to help reach those looking for help:

  • The Porn Event from May 23-28 present a 25 minute interactive experience focused on the real life effects of pornography.
  • Safe Eyes helps fight porn and impurity in your home.
  • Covenant Eyes is an accountability software that helps you and your accountability partner monitor where you should and should not be online.

In Him,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Him: Songs in the Key of Life, part 2

Pastor Rickey continued his series, "Songs in the Key of Life" with today's message teaching us how to ask for help. "One of the most frequent prayers in the bible is help!" But, as Pastor reminded us, while God didn't promise us a perfect life, He did tell us we would not be alone!

The really cool thing about God is that He listens to us! We can be real with him, about where we are in life, what we are struggling with and ask him to help!

Our Worship Arts Pastor, Jonathan, shared that one of the great things about songs is that they can say it better than we can at times! Isn't that so true? The song above from Hillsong "Still" says it better than I can so that is why I wanted to share it with you!

There always seems to be something that we need God to help us with! I am so thankful that no matter how big or small God always listens!

Pastor used Psalm 143:1-12 to walk us through a pattern for asking God for help...sending out an SOS!

Sending out an SOS

1. God, Listen!

a. Hear me, please!

Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. Psalm 143:1 (NLT)

b. Don't look at my mistakes.

Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you. Psalm 143:2 (NLT)

I am so thankful that He does not look at my mistakes, instead He is patient and forgiving and ready to listen! We just need to bring our worries and problems to Him!

2. I am tired of running from big things.

My enemy has chased me. He has knocked me to the ground and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave. I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. Psalm 143:3-4 (NLT)

Pastor did something different today, different is good! Throughout his message he asked for audience involvement...bold souls willing to stand up and share how God has helped them. You can join in too!

One area that I'm losing the battle- ______________________

For me, it is a battle I have to remind myself to keep taking back to hubby's new pay structure and our house! This June will be four years that we have been in the house, almost two years since we tried to sell it in fear when values began to decline and hubby's company tanked.I am good for a few months after I take it to God...then I start to let fear creep back in and worry, and funny enough just last night I was telling hubby my fears were back again!

3. I know you have helped me before.

I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude Psalm 143:5-6 (NLT)

One word that describes a time God helped you-_____________

One word? Finances. For all of the worry and fear I have taken to God over the years, He has always provided for our needs! Leaving my career of 15 years to stay home with our girlie took a huge amount of faith in Him. And I continue to say, that as long as He wants me to be home with her, He will bless it, He will provide. Thank you!

4. I need a clear answer.

Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Psalm 143:7 (NLT)

Where I need an answer now-___________________________

Well, of course hubby and I are wondering if he will earn a bonus this year. I don't suppose God will send me an e-mail with that answer huh? But, I guess more important is the answer to keep living by faith in Him.

5. I need clear direction.

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalm 143:8 (NLT)

Where I need direction now-____________________________

I shared our experience with trying to sell our house out of fear and trying to control things...instead of praying to Him first. We finally did turn to Him in prayer and decided to live by faith. We are trusting Him that when and if we are to sell our house, He will guide us and we will know it is His will, not ours.

6. Save me, teach me, and lead me!

Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies and destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. Psalm 143:9-12 (NLT)

Where I need to grow right now-________________________

Our previous Pastor Leonard once said "be careful what you pray for, you'll get it!" I say that with a smile on my face and in my heart. I have always prayed for a strong faith in God, to trust Him, not my own efforts, to give glory to Him! When I look at hubby's income, our house value and waiting on a second child He is building my faith! Thank you!

In Him,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Remember When?

Isn't it neat how as our kids get older they want to know what they were like when they were younger? Now, I have a pretty good memory for big stuff, but for the little details my girlie is already asking me about I am thankful for two things I have done since she was born: keeping a journal and writing letters to her on each birthday!

A friend gave me the journal at my baby shower and told me to "start writing in it the day she is born and don't stop until it's full...then get another journal!" I love looking back to what I wrote the night she was born! I don't write in it every day, but I at least try to write in it once a month. I have a page that I write down what she dresses up as each year for fall festival too...can you imagine trying to remember what costume your kid wore 15 years ago? I can't! I also have a few pages saved to jot down funny things she says or calls things! As she has gotten older she has seen me writing in the journal a couple of times and decided she wanted to "write" too. I love those pages with her scribbles in the middle of my writing! She has her own "journal" that she now fills with the words she knows how to write and pictures she enjoys drawing.

Before girlie was born I read somewhere the idea of writing a letter to your child on each of their birthdays. You put them away and when they are older (I am thinking after college) you can give them the letters. Each year since her first birthday I write her a letter telling her how much she has meant to me in the past year, what new things she has learned, what I have learned from being her mom, my favorite memories of the past year...I also have been including thoughts in each letter about the type of person I hope she grows up to be...Jesus loving, honest, truthful, giving...On the outside of each envelope I write "Letter to Girlie on Her _____ Birthday Love, Mom!"

Remembering all of the little reasons I love her, love being her mom, and who she is as she grows up is something that not only works for me, but something I cherish!

I am linking up with We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday. Check out the other helpful tips over there! You never know what good stuff you will find! Kristen has some great tips on keeping your family safe online!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weight Watchers Friendly Chocolate Muffins

I was going through my recipe box and found a recipe that brought back such great memories I had to share it! It is still written on the same pink sticky note from our office! I had the blessing of working with three ladies that made each day coming to work fun (thanks SB, DS & CT)!

SB shared a super easy, super tasty and Weight Watchers friendly chocolate muffin recipe! At first when she told me the ingredients I was not so sure about these! They are really moist and super good though!

  • Duncan Hines Devils Food or Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Libby's Pumpkin (NO seasoning, just pumpkin, soup can size)


Mix cake mix and pumpkin together. Spoon in greased muffin pans or paper lined muffin pans. Bake according to box directions for time and temperature. That's it!

Thanks to Bake Space for this picture!

I also found a similar recipe but with added yum, bye bye Weight Watchers good points though! Our Best Bites has the recipe using Spice Cake mix and adding chocolate chips to the mix! Oh My!

I am linking up with Blessed With Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for Tasty Tuesday. Check out the other taste inspirations over there!

Blessed with GraceBeauty and Bedlam


Related Posts with Thumbnails