Saturday, December 31, 2011

Homemade Cleaner Site

I've just found this site/blog. I'm very into homemade cleaners right now, so I'm very excited! I love anything that includes vinegar and baking soda! The two are just about amazing...especially combined!
I thought I would share this site with you all! :D
Cleaning Recipes

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick Cleaning

I've been following this cleaning plan outlined in a Yahoo Shine article every day or every other day at least. I've noticed the need to do full on scrubbing/cleaning disappearing! I'd like to be one of those super clean/organize one room each day, but I'm not, that system just doesn't work for me. But, I can do a quick clean almost everyday. Especially, when it's a smart efficient system.
A month ago if I was half as busy as I have been these last few weeks my house would have looked like a tornado hit. (Which is really not good when you have relatives streaming in and out for the Holdiays.) But, I've managed to keep my home almost always clean by following this article. I had already started to develop a similar system before I read this, but it's helped a lot!
If you're not a single room each day type of person maybe this article can help you too!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Peace in God's Word!

I simply love this verse:

"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." - Psalm 119:165

In December I'm reminded of just how much the modern American rushes through the day. Cramming in as much activity as possible. I, myself, am certainly a guilty party, especially while celebrating the holidays. However, I often wonder if this buzz is a substitution for something that is absolutely necessary! Peace
Peace is so illusive to most, but exceptionally easy to be found.
What great peace can be found in God's Word! Every question has an answer and it is found in between the covers of this ancient book.
As we look to this coming year, we're looking at twelve months of opportunity and possibility, but also sorrow, hardships, and despair. I can guarantee that there will be times in the year 2012 in which you will feel discouraged. I can guarantee you that you will cry. While we're guaranteed hardship in this world we can also be guaranteed peace!
Peace even in times of difficulty!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cotton Candy Storage

We have two half-eaten bags of cotton candy in our home, currently.
I, personally, greatly enjoy it, but I don't think anyone can eat a whole bag in one sitting! (By the way, did you know that a 1 oz bag of cotton candy is only 105 calories? That's one of those big bags too!)
We bought said bags on two separate occasions five days apart. Each bag we've eaten what we could and nibbled a little here and there. It's still nearly as fresh as the day it was made, and do you know how we stored the cotton candy to achieve this amazing feat? We twisted the bag closed with a twist tie and stored it in our cool microwave. If during these last few weeks I need the microwave, I take them out, and give the microwave a few minutes to cool before returning them.
This is how my family has accidentally discovered the best form of storage when it comes to one of my favorite treats! I'm so glad we did, because, frankly, I can't get enough of it!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

An Incredible Birth Story

I've had two little girls, and since the birth of the first in September of 2008 I've noticed that we moms love to share our birth stories! We love to tell when and how labor began, all the highs and especially the lows of the hours it took to prepare for the birth, and to share how our little ones finally made their appearance!
Personally, I find the fact that I've endured two labors without an epidural as a badge of honor, and at some point, if I can find a graceful way to tell them, I may blog my birth stories. Today, is not that day.
Today, I want to share a birth story that is quite ancient in age. A much anticipated birth:
When I was six months pregnant with my first daughter (in June) my husband and I decided to visit my brother who lives approximately twelve hours away from us. I'll admit that the visit was wonderful and so much fun! I got to see the Liberty Bell for the first time ever! However, the trip itself was terrible! I hated every second of the drive!
I don't enjoy pregnancy. There's just something about nausea, gaining thirty pounds, losing my center of balance, inability to sleep, complete exhaustion, and all-around discomfort that just rubs me the wrong way. Sitting in a vehicle for twelve hours while enduring all of these pleasures was almost unbearable. It was so difficult and I was so uncomfortable. However, I'm sure that poor Mary would have gladly traded places with me and exchanged her donkey for the front seat of our sunfire. After that trip I vowed never to travel that pregnant again, and when I tell other moms about that trip they're always quick to give their sympathy and relate to the discomfort. Can you imagine being a full term mother-to-be and having to make a sixty mile journey by donkey? On my trip to my borther's we stopped approximately every two hours. (A necessary side-effect of pregnancy.) Can you imagine how slow the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with the frequent stops that were obviously inevitable? Can you imagine Mary's discomfort and down-right pain at traveling on that donkeys back. When I was full term I couldn't get comfortable on a leather sofa, let alone on a barn animal!

Jolly Days at the Children's Museum

If you've been to Indy, I hope you took a day to visit the World's Largest Children's Museum, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis! Like the zoo we have a membership here! Totally worth EVERY penny!!! We give each other this membership as a Mothers/Fathers Day gift.
Every year at The Children's Museum they have such a fun Holiday exhibit called, Jolly Days. (My friend, Rachel, has a great post about Jolly Days here.)
This is SO much fun!! An "ice" castle, a super fun kitchen area with a giant stove, reindeer to groom, ice fishing, and sock skating, and a special baby area. I haven't mentioned everything that they do or how awesomely amazingly fun it is!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

To Santa or Not?

"To Santa or Not to Santa?" that is the question!
Growing up I believed in Santa. I think if you're doing Santa Claus my parents were great models. We watched Santa movies, read Santa stories, went to see him at the mall, and received gifts from him, but they were never large gifts. We knew that Santa wasn't the whole of Christmas, he was a small fraction of our December fun! (In fact, I think that I loved Rudolph much more than the big guy himself! I blame Rankin/Bass for this!)
As a grown woman, though, I made the decision, even before I met my husband, that I would not teach my children to believe in Santa Claus. I felt that if I told them that there was a jolly, chubby man that broke and entered our home once a year and deposited gifts that, in fact, I had purchased...for some reason it would be dishonest!
I don't think it's necessarily evil to believe in Santa, but I just feel that in order to have "Santa visit our house" each year I would have to tell my children some falsehood at some point, and that's a risk I wasn't willing to run!

Twas the Night Before Christmas!

Every year growing up my dad would read all five of us, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore on Christmas Eve.
Dad reading to my little girl and 2 of her cousins!
This had to be my favorite tradition...EVER!!!!! I love books, well, we all did, and my dad always reads things a little silly. If you were looking for a story to be well read with the words well articulated and every syllable to be correctly stated and emphasized just as the author intended, you asked my mom to read. She read like a valedictorian...oh wait she was! (Sorry, at some time had to throw that brag in about my mom.) If you were looking for every voice to be completely exaggerated and poetic license to be taken (and a little abused) you would have Dad read to you! He does the best, "HO HO HO!"
As we grew we became too old for a lot of things, but I've never gotten too old for this tradition! Now, whenever possible my dad will read to the grandkids he has around on Christmas Eve. It's fun to watch my kiddos enjoy this as much as I did!
What Christmas Tradition did you enjoy so much that you had to pass it on to your little one??

Oh, and

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why Christianity? Why Tebow?

Why does the media think it's ok to mock Christianity when other religions are taboo?
Poor Tim Tebow has been the catalyst of many a debate and, to the best of my knowledge, all he's tried to do is live his faith while performing his career. Is it that Tim Tebow himself has in some way made a mockery of Christianity? No, in fact, he's done the opposite. He's shown the nation a sincere Christian, unfortunately, they're unaccustomed to such a sight.
Christians as a whole have presented a face to our nation of half-heartedness. We're willing to follow our Lord, but only on Sunday morning. When we leave the walls of our church buildings and enter into the World we find ourselves falling into the common sins in which our unsaved counterparts indulge. We are careful never to offend anyone, and “push” our beliefs in their face. Therefore, we refrain from acknowledging that there is only one standard of right and living, that standard found in God's Word. We refrain from acknowledging that you can only have a personal relationship with God, and see Eternal Glory through Jesus Christ, and Him alone! We do not want to make others uncomfortable by living a holy life in front of them, so we, generously (note the sarcasm), refrain from living a life that is separate, set apart solely for the glory of our Lord. We instead indulge in all Worldly pleasures and our church is much like that of the church in Corinth.
"I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person." - I Corinthians 5:9-13

We have accepted sin into our fold, we have not cast out the sin, and now, perhaps irreversibly, our lump has become leavened altogether.
The side effect of this leavening has been that those outside of our religion do not see it as an authentic belief system, they don't see it as truth, they see it as a wishy washy club full of hypocrites, and, sadly, they're more often than not, correct.
Let us boldly live a holy, separate life. Let us not proclaim Christ's name, yet reject his statutes, presenting sincere examples to those unbelievers who see Christianity as merely a joke.
Let's give Tim Tebow some company!

A Christmas in His Presence

Your present is still untouched,
On your plate there is no food.
The Season that you cherished
Is cheering every mood.
And though, I wrap and carol,
And am truly filled with cheer.
All parts of me are wishing,
That you were still so near.

I used to be too busy to pause,
And indulge you with a hug.
Now, all those embraces,
Don't seem to have been enough.
And though I feel a little sad,
and just a tiny bit alone.
I know that you are celebrating,
with the Master on His throne.

What an envy I am feeling,
Whenever I imagine.
The joy of having Christmas,
with Savior in Heaven.
Though I miss our celebration,
at this time of year,
The grief is always softened,
because I know you're there.
I can not wait to carol with you,
One not-far Christmas Day.
When I come to join you,
At His feet to stay.

How joyful it must be,
Face to face to sing to Him.
Who came to give Goodwill,
To earth and peace to men.
I can not wait to join you,
For a family Holiday.
My Grandparents,
Cal & Leota in WWII
Once again with you to worship,
Some glorious Christmas Day!

Dedicated to the Memory of Leota Mary "Ellis" Eastwood. Who went to be with her Savior the day after Christmas, the holiday she loved, in the year 2002.

The Humility of Christ!

I've always been taken aback by the humility of my Lord. The Omnipotent God of the universe who hung the stars and fashioned the seas would care enough for me that he would lower himself by coming here! To this flawed and filthy world!
However, since becoming a mother I've been even more impressed by the sacrifice my Lord has made! Have you ever noticed how completely helpless newborns are? They have no freedom, no power, no privacy!
When my daughters were born they literally relied on me for everything, if they were uncomfortable, they couldn't get up and stretch their legs, they had to wait for <i>me</i> to move them. If their dinner didn't agree with them, they spewed it out and sat covered with their own stomach contents until <i>I</i> cleaned it! When they removed waste from their body they would have to sit in it until <i>I</i> removed it for them!
Now, for a moment, imagine yourself as a grown until being made to submit to such a lifestyle! It's a degrading, upsetting thought isn't it?
We typically don't mind that others had to care for us when we were newborns because we can't remember it, and we didn't know what we were missing at the time. But, can you imagine that the Almighty willingly submitted himself to such a life?  To me just that he would be willing to subject himself to the first two months of a human life cycle is unimaginable! He was so humble and <b>loved</b> us so much! Praise the Lord for the Christmas season when we can reflect on His amazing love and incomparable mercy!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas at the Zoo!

I've already written about our trips to the Indianapolis Zoo. You can check that out here!
The Indy Zoo has an awesome light display each Christmas Season! I love to see Christmas lights! (Honestly, I think being a mommy is my perfect career, because I've never grown up!)
We have the opportunity to enjoy this with our girls because we have a membership. My husband has admitted that he wouldn't have gone if we didn't have one. To come for just a few hours is not worth the cost.
This year we had so much fun watching the tiger. He came right up to the glass almost nose to nose with Tabby & her friend! I've never seen two three-year-olds jump so fast!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cleaning a DVD

Why do I never think to take before & after pics!!!!???
Maybe because I don't think about posting a blog until after I've completed my amazing feat!
This morning I decided to let my girls watch Frosty the Snowman. We haven't gotten to it this year, and I make a point of watching as many Rankin/Bass Christmas specials as possible. We put the dvd in the tray, and waited for it to load...and waited...and waited...but, instead of the delightful sounds of Jimmy Durante, we were greeted by the dreaded words, "INSERT DISC" on our screen. NOOOOOOO!!! Don't you hate it when you put in a beloved dvd and the player can't read it? It always makes me sad. I tried turning on and off the player and taking the disc out and in again. Finally, I turned the disc over and discovered the problem. It looked as if it had been candy coated.
Sticky hands are just a part of a three-year-old world, and, I suppose, there will be victims of said stickiness. One of those victims was my Frosty movie. This is unacceptable!
I searched a few quick dvd cleaning articles and only found the toothpaste method (which is for scratches) and using purified water and a microfiber cloth. I had the microfiber cloth, but no purified water.
I grabbed my glasses cleaning cloths (my microfiber cloth) and thought, "Glasses cleaning cloth, perhaps, glasses cleaner?" So, I did it! I washed the dvd with glasses cleaner! It worked perfectly...
In fact, I just heard, "I hate red thermometers."
I love corny, classic, children's, Christmas movies! Don't you? Which was/is your favorite?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Can I be "Sanctified"

If you've read anything I've posted before you've probably realized that I'm rather found of the twelfth chapter of the book of Romans. I've frequently quoted the first two verses on this blog.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

These verses are a constant reminder to me not to let myself become entangled in this world, and, I don't know about you but, I need reminded.
I think, though, that Christians are fond of just quoting the first two verses and we often ignore the treasure trove that is the rest of the chapter. The Lord isn't in the habit of leaving us hanging, and, so, when he gave us the command to not be conformed to this world, he also gave us the methods to use to avoid such a circumstance.

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness." - Verses 6 - 8

Serve!!! We need to be serving in the ministry. You don't have to be a pastor or evangelist or even have a Bible College degree, you have been commanded to serve!

"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."

I love the phrasing used in this verse! When I think of the word "cleave" I picture someone hanging from a precipice tightly gripping a rope. Basically, "holding on for dear life."

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

If our close friends aren't Christians, we're probably not filling our lives with proper influences to assist our sanctification.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Power of Baking Soda

I am so excited about baking soda!
Seriously, it costs less than $0.50 & yet, it's uses are endless:
Baking Soda sprinkled on a sink or tub and drizzled with just a little dish soap makes an awesome scrubber.
I've also found that it's great for scrubbing tough baked on "gunk" on pots and pans. (Use it alone or with dish soap.)
I have a stainless steel topped kitchen cart! I love it as a prep surface. However, I sometimes find that I've left something wet on top and...Uh-Oh I have little rust spots. Not a problem! Just sprinkle a little baking soda on top of the stain, and gently rub with your fingertip (or soft-bristled toothbrush) with the grain. Voila, the stain is gone!
Baking soda isn't limited to cleaning your kitchen, you can also use it for a beauty treatment.
Wet your face and gently rub baking soda on it for ten minutes. Do this once weekly for ten weeks and you have a cheap, but effective microderm abrasion treatment.
Heavy product build up in your hair? Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with one cup warm water, and gently pour over your hair. Shampoo (no-sulfates remember!) as usual, when you get out of the shower, you'll immediately notice the difference!
Here's a treatment I haven't been brave enough to try:
Teeth whitening- Instead of your traditional mouthwash, use hydrogen peroxide, rinse your mouth. Next, brush your teeth with a baking soda/toothpaste mixture. You'll want to do this once a week until you reach the whitening level you desire.
- I must say that I'm not crazy about tasting hydrogen peroxide, but I may muster the courage to try it.
These are just a few of the uses of baking soda.
Hey, did you know you can use it to cook too...

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Debt We Owe

My husband and I have always been very intentional when it came to creating, maintaining & using credit. We've wanted the freedom of a good credit score, but not the bondage of being in debt. Believe it or not, but no matter how hard anyone tries, everyone is deeply indebted.
I don't mean a financial debt. You see, we've all run up a sin debt. And, even if you don't believe in a God, you've still been charging away like it's Black Friday at the Sin Emporium.
I can't even imagine how much debt I could have accrued over the years of my life. I can almost hear the dial tone of those slightly outdated credit card machines every time I think of all the "little white lies" or unkind words. In fact, I think I could put the U.S. government to shame when I think of just the debt I've accumulated with my unkind words.
My husband and I try never to spend more than we have, but we've been known to do it... i.e. our mortgage. We didn't have that kind of money lying around, but we did feel sure we had the money to pay it back. We, as sinners, are not even that smart. We sin and sin, and sin, and, yet, we have absolutely nothing with which to pay for the sin.
Here are the facts:
You are a sinner, and have accumulated a debt.
The payment for that sin will come due.
"For the wages of sin is death;..." -Romans 6:23a

However, imagine if you will that a benevolent benefactor decided to pay off my mortgage?! That's exactly what Christ did, he paid what we owed with His death!
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." -1 Peter 2:24

Even if you don't believe, you owe. I prayerfully encourage to accept the merciful gift of payment in full that Christ is offering you!
"...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." -Romans 6:23b

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's been awhile since I've been on here. I'm even facebooking less lately. I imagine as the holidays approach I'll be using my computer a lot less.
This is my time of year! The time I anticipate through the whole calendar! I'm so excited for Thanksgiving this year! Especially looking forward to a big pile of mash potatoes & gravy...who's with me?
This time of year, I think about the many blessings I have received in my life, and enjoy spending the next few weeks enjoying every moment of those blessings. You see, to me, the ultimate gift is family. A safety net of love designed to be there trough thick and thin. Only the creative genius of our Lord could have devised such a perfect entity as that of "family."
It's saddened me to see that, especially among my own generation, the value of a family has been diminished and even thought unnecessary.
I've been blessed with a large family. I have four siblings, which means that when the holidays roll around we have a house full of lovely little ones. It's certainly a noisy event too!
God was gracious to give me my extended family, but I feel even more blessed that He, in His wisdom, allowed me to meet my husband. I could truly never love another human being with the powerful love I feel for him! And, as an added bonus, God gifted us with two beautiful, fun, little girls. Everyday is Thanksgiving when I remember the amazing honor He bestowed on me by allowing me to raise and educate these two gifts!
However, I think it important for us to remember this time of year, that even if we're not blessed with early possessions or even a lovely family, we have more than enough to sing God's praise, if we have the Lord!
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." - Hebrews 13:5
If we have the Lord we have all we need because he will never leave us. He is with us through every trial, and every joy.
Now, that, is truly something for which we can be grateful!

If you do not have the satisfaction in the Lord of which I speak, please contact me through the Contact Me page. Or read my What I Believe page to learn more!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The "Facebook" Friend

I've noticed a shocking trend perhaps enlarged by the massive amount of casual acquaintance that know everything we do everyday, thank you social networking. The funny thing about facebook friends, they don't really love you, at least not all of your facebook friends do. I've noticed comments on "statuses" that say "Don't worry about what other people think." "Do what makes you happy."
These are usually in response to a complaining post. These people think that they're leaving a supportive remark that will help their discontent "friend." There is a flaw in this logic, and exposes this "friend" for what they truly are. Let's look at the difference between a real friend and a "facebook" friend, shall we?
The first difference is this:
A facebook friend doesn't tell you the truth, but a real friend does. A real friend is concerned for your well being above that of your feelings, and tells the truth in love. If they think you're doing something that may bring harm to you or someone you love, a real friend can't stand to see you travel down that path.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Galatians 6:1

Another difference is that when you are harming yourself, your friend will feel that pain as well. They won't leave a one sentence remark, but they truly experience your pain, though maybe not as acutely as you do, with you.
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2

Also, a real friend doesn't attempt to appease your pride, but recognizes that we all must consider others' happiness, and we must do so before our own. You see, we are all concerned when others don't care about our happiness, so let us care about the happiness of others.
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." - Philippians 2:3 (Emphasis added)

In closing your real friends will: tell the truth which includes things you don't want to hear it, stand beside you, physically and emotionally, carrying your burden with you, and they will encourage you to love others' more than yourself, to treat them better than you would like to be treated! Most importantly, your friend will build you up in your relationship with the Lord. If spending time with someone, in reality or virtually, causes your relationship with Christ to degrade at all that person is no friend to you.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." - Psalm 1

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." - 1 John 4:7 & 8

Friday, October 28, 2011


My little girl is currently at a slumber party with her aunt and cousin. (The same cousin for whom I used to throw slumber parties)
As a teenager I babysat, a lot! I mean, a lot!
My favorite charges were those that belonged to the laid back parents. The ones that said, "There's a pizza cooking in the oven," and left grandma's number, "somewhere in the den." Then, they were out the door. They didn't call to check on the kiddos, and when they arrived home, I didn't feel as if I was being interrogated, they simply asked if their kids "behaved."
And then, there were the other parents. They were the ones who left two sheets of paper, the contact list, composed of at least fifteen numbers of their closest friends and families, and the complete list of everything their child does in a twenty-four hour period. Dinner had a check list for the preparations & a requirement for how much the child/children must consume. I didn't like to work for these ones so much, and I determined that when I grew up, I would be a laid back mom, I would go with the flow, and people would enjoy babysitting for me.
I've failed in that goal!
I've resisted the urge to call my sister at least eighteen times in the last few hours, and I can't help but let little nagging thoughts into my head like... "I hope she's not going to have an accident" "I hope she can sleep for them" "I hope that she doesn't cry for me" "I hope that she cries for me"
You see where I'm going.
So here I am, missing my girl, but understanding that sleepovers with her aunts are just another step in her growing process. As she grows up, she grows independent. It's difficult for me as her mother, because I grew up and I grew independent. But, now, I've willingly given up my singularity. Which is what makes it so difficult for me to watch my kids grow up. But, it is truly bittersweet. I'm saddened as they grow away from me, it also is extremely exciting and fun to watch!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To Know To Do Right!

This post is almost a sequel to my last post having an It's Okay Mentality:
Not only should we fear God so much that we should be searching every thing we do for any hint of sin (Psalm 139:23-24, see below) but we as His followers, His children, need to examine our inactions! You do realize that we can sin in an omission of good in our life?!
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." - James 4:17

My sister pointed out that this means if we see trash on the ground and don't dispose of it, that is sin, by default.
Omission of good in our lives is sin.
One can claim to know the Lord and indulge in worldly pleasures that pass so quickly, but can that one present himself as a holy sacrifice to the Lord? Let's replace worldliness with Godliness. Let's do good! How do we know if something is good?
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8

Is your life filled with things that do not meet these requirements? Are you striving to make every aspect of your life fulfill Philippians 4:8?
Again, let's fear the Lord and strive to present ourselves holy in his presence!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." - Psalm 139:23-24

Monday, October 24, 2011

"It's OK" Mentality

Sometimes my sister can say some really wise things like, "We should have such a fear of God that we should have to convince ourselves that everything we do is NOT a sin." Christians want to live their way, and do questionable activities. They move headstrong into an activity insisting they're okay to do even when there are legitimate questions. If their is a question then why would we run the RISK of offending our Lord!!!!
God is a righteous God, and we know that because of His righteousness we were separated from Him. This begins the mysterious, glorious story of grace that is redemption. Jesus shed His righteous blood so that we could have a personal relationship with Him.
I probably won't quote this correctly, but,
"While my sins his death displayed for all the world to view,
Such is the mystery of Grace, it seals my pardon too."
Our Youth/Interim Pastor had a great illustration yesterday. He said, "If you fell down in the parking lot, and all your papers and things were all over. And, I ran out to you, picked you up, and collected everything you lost. Would you get back in your car, and yell to me, 'Pastor, I'll thank you later'?" He was speaking of being able to instantly consult the Lord, and I think it also shows that when someone does something for us, there is a reasonable response.
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." When someone shows you kindness you react with gratefulness. When someone gives you injustice you react with indignation. When Jesus gives us unending, all encompassing, unimaginable atonement, there is an equal and opposite reaction:
That reaction should be the gift .of ourselves to Him. How do I know this? Look at this popular verse:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." -Romans 12:1

You see that it's the reasonable reaction to grace that we present ourselves to the Master as a sacrifice, but notice that our sacrifice should, reasonably, be "holy" and "acceptable." How does this happen? Let's look at the next verse:
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." - Romans 12:2

Do not be "conformed to this world." This is the first step in our reasonable reaction, we need to separate ourselves from this world. We need to be sanctified. If there's no difference between you and someone who is unsaved, it's time to question your sincerity! We need to be renewing our mind in God's Word. This will be the mirror that shows our imperfections. It make us a pure, holy, good, acceptable sacrifice!
Many tell me, "I'm saved by grace, 'all things are lawful to me.'" Yes, that's wonderfully true! I could never deserve God's grace, and am thankful that I don't have to live a certain set of standards to deserve His salvation. However, as I stated, we're talking about our equal and opposite reaction to God's grace. This reaction should be a fear of God, and a desire to be sanctified, or separate from this world, so that we can become a holy and acceptable sacrifice to our Lord!
Don't be like Cain and give your Lord who loved you so much an imperfect sacrifice! Endeavor to make your life holy! Which is only reasonable, I repeat, this is our reasonable reaction to God's grace!
Next time there's a question about whether something is a sin or righteous, I beg you consider these verses! Present yourselves holy and sanctified, not imperfect and tainted by the pleasures of this world!
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." - I John 2:15

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bent Crazy Braid into Messy Bun

Here's another cute curly style. It's a bent crazy braid into a messy bun. I'm still shooting the videos on my webcam so they're not quite as bright as I'd like. I'll have to work on my filming technique, but I'm still a novice! :D Here are some pics to show you the finished product:

Still Difficult to See!

Big Shot of a Bun!

And the video:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And He Saw, and Believed

"Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed" - John 20:8

This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible.
This verse is the Apostle John, or the disciple that Jesus loved, referring to himself in third person. He'd just arrived at the empty tomb. He'd run there with Simon Peter. He beat Peter to the sepulchre, but he had not ventured in as Peter immediately did. But when he entered he immediately believed.
I believe that because of his deep love for his Savior he believed.
Later in this chapter is the story of Thomas, Doubting Thomas. Thomas didn't believe that Jesus had risen after he'd heard the account of seeing the resurrected Lord. He required that he see the wounds of his Savoir before he would accept it.The tendency of the modern Christian is to condemn Thomas for his disbelief, but I understand. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, I think I would have as cynical an attitude, if not worse.
Imagine for a moment Thomas' emotions: He'd given everything to follow the Messiah, he'd believed that the Messiah would bring a Kingdom of peace and justice, as well as salvation. He'd spent three years working day and night with eleven other men to forward the message of the Christ, and in days his hopes and dreams had seemed to be crushed!
Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? I have. And not just little betrayal, life-altering betrayals. I understand that the eleven were hurt deeply by Judas' evil acts. They had trusted him, and learned that he'd lied and had been cheating them.
Poor Thomas had also watched everything he'd believed seemingly fall to shambles. His Savior died, and he'd found himself wanting, running and hiding instead of staying faithfully by His side.
Thomas was a broken man. Experiencing more severe anguish than most of us comfy, modern Christians can even imagine.
But, then the Savior came!
I love the song, "It's Just Like Jesus"
It's just like Jesus
To roll the clouds away.
It's just like Jesus
To keep me day by day.
It's just like Jesus,
All along the way.
It's just like His great Love!
Isn't it just like Jesus to seek that one hurting, doubting soul, and to show that one His compassion. I can't think of how many times I've felt alone in this dark world and called on my Lord to show me He is real and with me. He's never failed! Every time I've asked the Lord to show Himself to me, He has!
After Thomas sees his Lord he wholly believes, without reservation.
Then, Jesus offers a blessing that, I believe, Christians today can only partially claim:
"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." - John 20:29

No, we haven't touched the risen Savior, but, honestly, haven't we seen? Not only do we have the Bible, which has proven itself true, infallible and relevant throughout the years, we also have archeology, which is continually proven the accuracy of God's written word, we have history, did you know that there were over 500 witnesses to the resurrected Savior? There were less than that to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and we accept that into the truth of history.
John finishes this chapter with one of my favorite verses:
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." - John 20:31

We have seen the truth of God's word. Christ's resurrection is historical fact, do you believe?

If you have questions about Eternity & how to secure a home in Heaven please check my What I Believe page! Or Contact Me it would be my extreme pleasure to talk to you more about that!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Silly Posting Mistake

SO, I wanted to do a modesty post, but that's something that I wanted to take a lot of time and prayer before posting...
I ended up thinking I'd saved it as a draft, but somehow posted it as an empty blog. Which is great because it's not ready at all.
I did however notice that it's gotten quite a few views, so I'll definitely make sure that I post something on this topic soon. I just want to be careful in what I say and how I say it.
Modesty is a touchy issue and something that needs to be handled with care. The post will mostly address the "blame game" that happens in today's heated modesty debates, and that we should be considering this an issue of both the male and female heart more than anything...but more on that later! :D

Homemade Baby Food

I'm not very talented, but I do like to try all kinds of DIY projects. One thing I've done and, I must say, it was successful was baby food making. When my older daughter was born, the only feeding questions that had risen in my mind and had been answered was bottle or breast. For me that was a no-brainer, I was going to breastfeed if at all possible. (I'll have to post about my adventures with her learning to latch...what a headache. Should have known she'd be a troublemaker!) I never even thought about what type of food she would eat when the time to eat solids came around. But, before I knew it she was six months old. Suddenly, I had the idea that I wanted to puree. (I can't figure out how to put the little French punctuation above the "e," by the way!) I did this for a lot of reasons. One being that allergies run in my family, and I wanted to control all the elements of their first foods. Another reason being that making your own baby food is really cheap. Click here to see a great comparison chart! Take note of the cost of making your own banana baby food...shocking!
Baby #2 Eating her first bites of applesauce
At first I thought that pureeing my own baby food would be tedious, but I discovered that I LOVED to do it! It was really fun to do!
I found that my favorite way to make baby food was to steam lots of fruits and veggies at a time. I would usually end up with glass pyrex bowls all over my kitchen filled with goodies. Then, I would use a stick blender and go from bowl to bowl. This method saved me on dishes and on time!
I never did much with ice cube trays, instead I bought 6 oz ball jars, labeled them and froze them. If you do go this method, make sure that you buy jars that are freezer safe! This made my food extremely portable. Of course, you still need to keep the baby food cool. That's when my Awesome Lunch Sack came in handy.
This is a site that I love it helps you with all kinds of infant feeding question: Wholesome Baby Food

Friday, October 14, 2011

Short Hair Curly Bun

I've done my first video hair tutorial. It's a little rough, but you'll get the idea.
This is a short-haired, curly bun. I love messy buns, but my hair is a little short & too layered to do it the conventional twisted and pinned pony tail. So, this is how I do a messy bun.
I will warn you that I recorded this with my webcam, the audio is a bit off. Comment if it's difficult to see or hear. I'll be posting another video tomorrow that varies off of this!
Happy styling:

What I've been up to lately!

It's been a busy couple of months in our little house, and honestly, I'm pooped!
When I've had times to briefly play on the internet I've been looking at hair tutorials, and I've done a few cute ones that I've found online! :D Made me very happy when they've succeeded!
I've begun to venture into trying to "create" my own new styles. My big girl is wearing one today. I would post a tutorial/pic of it, but it's pretty messy. I'll probably try the same style & try to post the pic tomorrow!
Here are a few of the styles I've tried. Happy styling!
This is a braided Crown! Thankfully, there are better pics on the original blog post here!

My sister has the perfect hair for this style! I loved it on the post here, but my little one's hair was just too fine for it to work. Pretty isn't it!

This is our "Andalasia" style. She's worn this a few times, but it doesn't stay well in her hair, she's too active. Find the tutorial on this great site!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Measure of a Man

No doubt you can guess which public figure to which I am referring when I say that over the past eighteen hours or so media outlets have been flooded with stories of one man who passed away. One CEO, one business figure. I've seen headlines saying that this man changed my life by his efforts in his business. I've seen numerous "inspirational" quotes regarding him. But, sadly all that he's been measured by is his success financially, technologically, and in the field of business. Is this the measure of a man?

I'm so saddened that at the close of a life, all we can do is thank him for our toys & our toy stories. Is this the legacy you wish to leave?

I know of a man whom many don't remember twelve years after his death. He was a quiet man, and it was rare to get him to talk to you much about anything. His greatest claim to fame is an 8x10 picture hanging in the halls of his high school commemorating his talent as an athlete.

He spent most of his life in sin and rejecting God, but in May of 1999 he was diagnosed with cancer. This changed everything. This quiet man came to know the Lord, personally, deeply. He spent the next few months going from doctor to doctor seeking treatment. Growing weaker, but always determined and in good spirits. He also spent those months telling those he loved that he had changed. That when he died he would be with the Savior & he wanted them to join him in Eternity!

In December of 1999 he was hospitalized, and informed that he would go soon. He made a list of literally everyone he knew & asked family members to call them to see him that he might have one last opportunity to tell them about his Savior. The cancer choked his vocal chords but he still witnessed threw a strangled whisper. He was taking unimaginable amounts of morphine, and though he was delusional, seeing a dog in his hospital room, he witnessed.

Many of his friends and loved ones stayed near him night and day in his hospital room. In the middle of one night a faint crying was heard. It was an old friend of his, and this crying woke the young man's wife. She told her pastor's wife who came into the room that the friend wanted to be saved. The pastor's wife pulled out a Bible & a gospel tract. She sat with him & showed him how to know that he would see his friend again in Eternity. That man bowed his head at the bed of his dying friend and asked the Lord to save his soul, and to be His king. When the friend said "Amen," the young man gave up his fight, and breathed his last.

If you walked into that hospital room at that moment you could see tears of joy & tears of sorrow mingled together among the family & friends. And, on the bed laid the lifeless body of a man who had once rejected Christ, now with Him. Beside that body lay a Bible & a gospel tract. His old legacy might have been an 8x10 photo of teenage athlete, but his new one was souls forever saved.

I imagine there are not many that still think of that young man very often, it was a long time ago, but I do. I remember his legacy. I understand that he could not be measured in athletic records that would be broken, or technology that will eventually be obsolete, but in the lives he effected for the Savior! In the things that are eternal, souls saved, hearts changed!

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" - Matthew 6:19-20

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14

Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Hymns & Hymnist: Isaac Watts

I've done some blogging about hymns, and like to post lines of hymns on my fb & twitter. I thought I'd take this opportunity to express, why I specifically like hymns.

Our Christian culture is moving away from using hymns, (which are contemporary music, because they are still being written) and this I find devastating. I think that hymns have a knack for presenting the listener/singer, with sound Bible doctrine. I'm not saying that other forms of Christian songs do not, but I feel that hymns have somewhat "cornered the market."

I especially like to hear the hymns written by Isaac Watts. I feel that he has strong doctrine in all of his, and if we listen instead of sing in rote, nearly half asleep on a Sunday, we can't help but be blessed!

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

This is perhaps one of my favorite lines from the hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. As Christians we can't boast in anything. To even become a Christian, to be born again, one must recognize their fallibility and the perfection of our Lord. We must sacrifice all the pointless bobbles that distract us from complete surrender to our Lord, as He sacrificed for us!

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Another amazing stanza. Think of what sorrow and guilt we should feel in the death of our Lord, of which we bare responsibility. And, yet, we can also feel joy in that the sacred blood we spilled has sealed our future in glory with our Savior. It has relieved us of the guilt we feel at His death!

The next time you're in service singing that hymn you sang four weeks ago, and every four or five weeks since your childhood, please, take a moment to contemplate it. Consider the conviction that the author poured into it's conception, and the message that was meant to edify you!

Hair Product Review: DevaCurl

I've mentioned before that I love Curly Girl: A Handbook by Lorraine Massey. Ms. Massey is also the co-founder of a salon in Soho called, Devachan, which developed a product line, Devacurl.

I've tried a few of these products. I'm going to give you my thoughts on them here:

I immediately thought that they would be perfect products, because they had Ms. Massey's stamp (enthusiastically) of approval. However, I've learned that just as every girl is different, so is every curl. I'm sure that the products that didn't work for me, work great for others, because they have great ingredients. However, only some of these products were successful on my mop top!

The first product I'll mention is No Poo I loved this product! I give it five out of five hearts! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It is a botanical cleanser that is completely sulfate free. I can use it just as I use conditioner to cleanse my hair. It works a little better than conditioner, and smells so good! This is the cleanser I'll probably use forever. I use this instead of shampoo on my girls and it works great even on the sticky stuff they can get in their hair, but it's even gentler than baby shampoo! Like I said, love this product.

The second product I'll mention is One Condition. This is a decent product I give it 3 of 5 hearts. ♥ ♥ ♥

This conditioner works well, but no better than a drugstore brand. The difference I felt between One Condition and a drugstore product is that One Condition is more concentrated. It took a little less product to get the same result. It worked well, smelled amazing, but overall using less didn't justify the price, so I went back to Suave, and am very happy with it.

The third product/s I'll review is AnGel & ArcAnGel. I give these 2 of 5 hearts. ♥ ♥

These are two forms of the same products & the only thing I say in favor of these gels is that my hair never felt like it had product in it while I used them. Overall, I don't recommend them. Not enough hold or frizz-fighting.

This is the final product I tried from the DevaCurl line, Set Up and Above. This product didn't work at all. It had no effect on my hair, so I waste no time reviewing it, nor does it get a heart!

In conclusion: I still love Lorraine Massey, and I owe her so much! Given the opportunity, I would love to visit her salon, and I think some of these products are definitely worth a try!

Happy Curling!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Firefly

The tears flowed from her face as her steps fell in a slow pace. She was walking down that same road she'd walked so many times. The June twilight loomed around her, and though, walking a rural, gravel road with darkness slowly stretching over the sky was not the safest thing to do, it was the only thing that brought her solace. She inhaled the fresh country, summer evening breeze, and tried to cleanse her body from the dim feelings that were invading her very soul. This was as terrible as it could be, she was sure of it, this was what rock bottom felt like. She'd reached a point of no return in her life. The events of this evening had shaped not only the rest of that day, but her tomorrow and all her tomorrows thereafter.

She passed over a small stream, and with the moisture came a swarm of mosquitoes. They buzzed about her and as they landed she furiously swatted feeling that even nature itself was surrounding and attacking her.

Suddenly, a mysterious, little, ugly beetle landed on her arm. She lifted her hand to swat it too, but then she paused the ugly bug suddenly glowed. It gone from ugliness to beauty in a matter of seconds. It left her arm and joined a huge light show in the bean field directly before her.

It was now completely night. It was not city dark, but country dark. The kind of inkiness that makes it difficult to see your hand in front of you, or the path that leads you to safety. But, she was not afraid, because in front of her, amidst the greatest blackness that had ever enveloped her, shown the most beautiful lights. Gleaming and blinking in the ebony.

Even when we believe that we've reached our lowest points, Christ is a light to us in the midst of sorrow and darkness.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." - John 8:12

Dedicated to my sister, Rachel.


The flames lapped fierce upon me,
the air was weak and thin.
I screamed in my agony,
Searching though my eyes be dim.
I could not find a help
to pull me from despair.
Until a hand reached down,
and tried to pull me near.

I fought against the hand,
with the nail pierced wound.
Though tortured as I was,
and death around me loomed.
I would not surrender
Tho' the flames did me surround.
I would die in my beliefs,
And firmly hold my ground.

However, we deny it,
Hell and Christ are real and true.
And someday we will face,
The Eternity that we choose.
I have chosen one way,
I hope with me you'll come.
Turn from your selfish desires,
and surrender to the Son.

For when my future here is over,
And past is all that's left.
This life I gladly resign,
For the glory in the next.
Peace incomprehensible,
and joy beyond compare,
Shall greet me on that shore
When my Savior holds me near.
I'll sit at His feet,
and sing His praise e'er more.
Happiness forever mine,
In the presence of my Lord.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I thought I'd be smart this year, and started planning some Christmas things ahead. Those who know me personally just fainted. My big idea for this year was to buy the girls one gift together. (More about that here.) I got to thinking that if we did this every year with our children, it might just turn out to be a great Christmas tradition. It would lessen the time my family is spending opening presents and make that time available for something more important. After all, who has enough time at the Holidays? Maybe this tradition would help to shift the focus of the day from self to Christ. Also, it would encourage family time, because if we're getting them one gift to share, it would have to be something they can use together. They couldn't be selfish, because it wouldn't be just their gift. Not least at all, it would save us a bundle. We could set a budget for the gift and no matter how many children we eventually have, we could keep that budget at the same level!
After I came up with this idea, I was really excited! I could see it forming from an idea to a tradition. Then, I got to thinking about the privilege my husband and I have right now. We're shaping our new family, but while we do, we create things like Christmas traditions, and life-long memories.
I can vividly remember making Christmas Tree spritz cookies with my mom, decorating the ugliest tree in the world that we kept about ten years past it's prime on the day after Thanksgiving. My dad reading The Night before Christmas each year. These thoughts even now bring me joy and happiness. They were the traditions and memories created for me with love by my parents. And, now, I get the opportunity to do the same!
This stage of our family feels like we're architects laying the plans and ground work for something extraordinary! Maybe it feels that way, because we truly are. Whatever phases of my life will come and go, I think this period will always be special.
My girls will think about these early years (well, the years they can remember) for their whole life. And, when they look back they'll experience a hint of that same innocent joy that they feel now. The joy I remember feeling when I sat on my dad's lap and listened to him read that same book he read last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Consignment Shopping!

I had the most fun today consignment shopping with my sister. I love consignment sales, the big semi-annual ones. I have found three in my area, but if you know of more in greater Indy, please let me know! I've successfully bought my older daughters wardrobe from them the past two years.
Today was a fantastic day, as well! She has almost nothing in the size she needs, and her little belly keeps poking out of her tee shirts, so I needed to really stock up. I did just that. I scored her a winter coat, in awesome condition for only $2.00! Yep, you read correctly, no need to call your optometrist, $2.00. In the end, both of my girls have snowsuits for the coming winter, and my older daughter who

Two Masters

As he labored, the perspiration beaded upon the young man's brow. His master had ordered him to load the truck with the scrap metal from the pile by the end of the day. He still had much to haul before he could even break for a sip of water. Just as he reached the halfway point the Master's wife called him to the house. She ordered the young employee to carry the wood from the pile into the house for her. He tried to explain to her that he could not complete the task given to him by her husband if he broke to help her, but she implored him. She told him how her husband would be angry with him if he did not assist her. She scolded and berated him, and so the hard worker conceded. It took him only half an hour to assist the woman, but when he finished the sun was beginning to set. He knew he would fail in the task he's originally set out to complete. He knew his master would be displeased, and his wages would reflect his ineffectiveness. He realized at that moment that he could not equally serve both his master and his master's wife. In order to have excelled in his work he now knew that he would have had to choose between the task he was originally assigned or that he was later requested to preform. No man can serve two masters.
So often Christians want to claim the title of Christian and the blessings of the Lord, but are not willing to give their lives fully to the Lord. When Jesus died on the cross he paid the price for our sins, and therefore it is reasonable that we willingly give Him our life in whole. We can not serve God and anyone else.

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" - Matthew 6:24

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jane Austen: Mansfield Park

Of course being a die-hard Austenite means that my favorite all time novel is the Pride and Prejudice. But, if Miss Austen had never written her trademark work I believe my favorite book would be Mansfield Park.
This is not one of her big three novels are well-known throughout the world. Perhaps it being a lesser
known work makes me love it all the more, as if it were a secret treasure that's I've had the good fortune to expose. 
Mansfield Park follows Miss Fanny Price as she's removed from her less fortunate family to live with a wealthy aunt and uncle. She's exposed to all the blessings that their lifestyle affords, but never treated as an equal, and her wants and desires are always secondary to those of her cousins, two young men and two young ladies. Her meek, kind, and impeccable character is never fully appreciated. 
The plot thickens when a new vicar comes to Mansfield and his wife brings along a charming half-brother and an attractive half-sister, both of whom have questionable morals.
When her uncle returns from a long and dangerous business trip he's brought back a new appreciation for young Fanny and her excellent character and judgment. And a new awareness of his own failings as a father.
Through it all Fanny is a constant of morality & propriety, a truly respectable young lady, when others fail to meet their parent's reasonable expectations. 
I love how much Jane Austen values meekness, character, wisdom and modesty, it's a reminder of what's been lost in our culture!
A side note, my favorite character in this book is Mr. Crawford. I won't include any spoilers, but I always think he's going to end different that he does, and though, he is a bit of a cad, I always cheer for him. To me, that's just good writing!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Saw Jesus in...

I  Saw Jesus in You by Ron Hamilton

When I enter Heaven's glory,
and I see my Savior's face,
I will offer Him 10,000 years of praise.
Then, I'll find that special one,
In whose life I saw God's Son.
And through tears of joy,
with trembling lips,
These words I'll say.
I saw Jesus in you.
I saw Jesus in you.
I could hear His voice in the words you said,
I saw Jesus in you.
In your eyes I saw His care,
I could see His love was there,
You were faithful,
and I saw Jesus in you.

Everyone I know that hears this song can think of one specific person that this song describes to them. I think of my Grandpa E.
If you knew my Grandfather you undoubtedly just nodded your head in agreement.
He was quite possibly one of the kindest souls I've ever encountered. My grandpa had a gift for loving others. Or perhaps he loved his Savior so much that he could not help but reflect that love to others. Every person that he met was of value to him, and he never forgot their name. I can remember eating at fast food restaurants in different towns and the cashiers stopping to hug him before they took his order. He asked them details about their lives. I was always puzzled at how he remembered so many details about so many people. Everyone who met him felt they were special to him. They felt that way, because they were.
You see, he was able to remember those details because after he met them, he prayed for them. He prayed for them faithfully.
I saw the love of Jesus so clearly in my grandfather. He reflected it to others more than anyone I'd ever met and, I can only imagine, than I ever will meet. This is one of the reasons that I think of him when I hear this song.
I am excited to be reunited with my grandfather, to joyously say to him, "I saw Jesus in you."
And, my hope and prayer is I may emulate my grandfather in more than just looks, but in his heart for the Lord.

Where's my Sweet Girl? And WHO is This?

 Amongst the multiple birthday parties, which inevitably are accompanied by gallons of ice cream and piles of cake, and the vacation to the beach with an uncle who brings a whole new definition to the word spoiling, I've somehow lost my sweet little 3 year old princess. I'm not sure where she is, maybe she's still in July? In her place is something that looks like her and ninety-nine percent of the time acts like her, but that one percent, boy oh boy, that one percent. Usually that one percent comes at bedtime. As soon as she's to be put to bed she begins to scream and holler more than a football fan at the Superbowl!
So what is happening right now is, Fit Extermination Bootcamp. My girl is having a little bit of a shock, but it seems to be improving. The joys of parenting...

The Title

I close my eyes and walk beyond the lost soul in need.
I have too much on my schedule, I'm much too busy.
I shrug my shoulders when I'm asked what God has done for me.
I will not push my faith upon the others that I meet.
I disregard the statutes that I read in God's Word.
He can not expect me to obey them all, how absurd.
Why should I spend time in His Word anyway,
Can it be relevant to this day and age?
I don't believe it to be literal just a a metaphor.
That's my faith's foundation, nothing more.
Though I do not seek the helpless and the lost,
I am a Christian.
Though I do not serve no matter the cost,
I am a Christian.
Though I'm content to live in unrepentant sin,
I am a Christian.
Though I do not have a relationship with Him.
I am a Christian.
I claim the title, but disregard the Christ.
I claim the title, but don't live the life.
I am a Christian, or am I?

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" - Matthew 7:23

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bobo and His Sisters Beat Me Up!

I've been pretty quiet since I came back from vacation a few weeks ago. I guess I have just felt that I don't have much to say, or rather, type.

Today, I've decided to share a story from my childhood:
My big brother had the misfortune of being the only boy in our family. Being ever resourceful, he turned that misfortune into good fortune, and never wanted for admirers. (Though, I myself do not understand it to this day!) Shortly after my family moved to a new town in Illinois from Ohio, my brother met a girl who she, herself, did not lack admirers. Keeping in mind that they were all eleven. I'm quite sure I don't remember the details of this most important relationship, who crushed on who, but there was a young man who felt himself spurned. I don't recall his name, and I don't think I can recall his face.

This young lover jilted, at least in his own imagination, met us one day on our walk home from school. There were the five of us ranging in age from 5 or 6 - 12 years of age. He hopped of his bicycle and confronted my brother, as any noble man in love should do! Somewhere along the way he shoved my brother, and made him slip out of the shoe he was wearing. His response to this affront was to pick up the shoe and hit the boy with it.

I should interject here that my family was taught not to get into fights. We were brought up on an Opie mentality: Our parents didn't want us starting fights, but they didn't want us running away from them either.

After we saw him physically assault our brother we did the only thing we could do, for surely his life was in grave danger. We all took up our metaphorical swords. Actually, the weaponry was not purely metaphorical. My eldest sister, the most mature, used only her words. My other two sisters and myself, we were a bit scrappier. We picked up sticks and rocks, pelting him and hitting him until he ran away.

The next day the young man went to school looking a little worse for the wear. When asked how this had happened to him he said, "Bobo and his sisters beat me up!"

The moral of this story is to never mess with children from a large family. Each individual member has a small army at their command.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part V: Does Jesus Care?

When I think of last Sunday, September 11, 2011, the ten year anniversary of terrorist attacks on our country, I think of the age old question: Why doesn't God care & allow horrible things happen to people?

A lot of Christians face this question from unbelievers, some questioning genuinely and others seeking a "trap" to prove that either God is not real or cruel and uncaring.

When I hear that question, I think of the hymn, "Does Jesus Care" by Frank E. Graeff

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

The Lord doesn't take pleasure in our pain. In fact, he designed for us a comfortable, happy, beautiful & perfect paradise. But, the choice of our ancestors to sin caused pain and sorrow to enter the world. Pain is a direct result of sin & it is our own sin, in which we choose to indulge that causes us the grief we so often have to endure. But, Jesus does care. This song is so poignant and always relevant. I sang it after my grandfather passed away to comfort me.

My paternal grandfather passed to Glory when I was only 12 years old, a victim of cancer. I can remember crying so hard that I had to be held onto the pew on which I sat. I understood death more than most 12 year-olds, but I still ached as if there were an arrow shot into my heart. He was followed by my maternal grandmother when I was 19 & my maternal grandfather when I was nearly 21. I still feel a little cheated at times. I was very close with them and I ache that my children do not know them. I yearn for them to be able to benefit from their wisdom as I was. And I still have days these many years later that I feel that God took them far too early from me, when I am still in need of their guidance. On those days the last verse of this song is a great comfort to me. I know that he sees and cares when I ache for their company again. When I have a question I think only my grandma can answer or in need of wisdom only my grandpa can impart, or a song only my grandpa can sing.

This song reminds me that when I ache with the sorrows of this world. My Lord is ever watching, ever caring, and ever present. Though I say goodbye to those I love the dearest on this earth, I never say goodbye to my Savior!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

I normally don't blog on Sundays for a few reasons, but today, I've made an exception. This is because, today, is no ordinary day. If you are an American then you've undoubtedly been spending today, this most stoic anniversary, remembering those feelings you felt ten years ago. I can remember waking up a little late, because I had the day off of work, and coming down stairs to turn on my television. Literally moments after I did so, the first plane struck the world trade center. My mom was about to leave for work & a friend of the family was coming to give her a ride. I was glued to the tv as my mom tried to walk out the door, but just as she was about to cross the threshold the second plane struck. I experienced the most horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, the strongest since of dread I've ever experienced, I began to cry, "It wasn't an accident!" My mom and the friend paused to watch the coverage, but even at that moment, no one knew what a pivotal time in history those seconds were. I spent the remainder of that day on my couch watching the coverage alone in my pajamas. The first time I moved was after 11 AM to go to the restroom.

I realized that one day, just as I asked my mother what she was doing when President Kennedy was assasinated, I would be asked by my children (who were miles away in my mind) what I was doing, where I was on the day that the U.S. stood still. The day we were all united as we'd never been since December 7, 1941. United in fear, in dread, in patriotism and love for our fellow citizen.

9/11 had many effects on the people of this great nation that I love. It frightened us. Businesses closed, and the city that never sleeps became comatose. But the desired effect was not achieved. We were not destroyed, we were united. Our way of life had been attacked. A way of life that defends the weak, loves liberty, and protects freedom! But it was not demolished, instead we adopted a mentality that was more right than it had ever been in my lifetime. People were suddenly willing to give their lives for the freedom of others again. The people of our country began to call upon the Lord again. They asked Him for His healing and praised Him for His protection.

What has happened to our nation since? We are divided more than ever. We've allowed our political differences to tear our unity to shreds.Though I still hold the political and religious beliefs that I did ten years ago, those differences seem to separate me more from my fellow citizens than it did in 2001.

Tomorrow will be the ten year anniversary of the first tomorrow. The first tomorrow after tragedy. The tomorrow we recognized that we are one people, one nation. Let us recover that love, patriotism and unity. Let us remember, let us never forget!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Hardest Job

I've worked in a few different fields professionally. I once worked for a small business owner who had quite a few different irons in the fire. I was called upon to be quite the renaissance man, I should say, woman! During that time. I helped do minor repairs, I did the cleaning in the office, I did the office management/secretarial work, I mowed lots, I helped with heating & cooling work, I helped to set-up mobile homes, and even helped him build a garage that was bigger than the house we attached it to! I was up on ladders siding the monster garage, I climbed on the roof and lugged the shingles around while I helped to roof!
I've worked some long days in the past, 12 even 13 hours, I was from home. However, I've never worked a longer hours or physically harder than at my current place of employ.
Being a mom is an exhausting occupation! I feel as if I'm always behind and that I'm never going to catch up! I know that these days are short in number and someday all too soon I'll be comforting my exhausted daughters when they are raising tiny ones as well! I don't think I mind that so much...grandma sounds like a fun job!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Thought for Himslef

No thought for Himself,
He bore the cross for me.
No thought for Himself,
My life he came to free.
No sacrifice sufficient,
He left His home on High.
No sacrifice too weighty.
He knew He would need to die.
No sinner too guilty.
His love can not reclaim.
No sinner too guilty.
He does not wish to save!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Inside World of Homeschooling!

"You're homeschooled? Don't you hate it?" *Insert mocking/disgusted face of my peer here.*<br>
This was the typical response of other teenagers when they found out that I did, in fact, school at home. Often it was followed by questions such as "Don't you miss your friends?" "What about sports?" And, so many others! I always replied, "I get to sleep in & I finish my schoolwork in about 3-4 hours...would you hate it?" At which point the expression on the teen's face would transform to envy! The more I described my schooling the more he/she would want to try it himself/herself. <br>
I must say that homeschooling is perfect for me! I like being home. Though I love to watch (GO COLTS!) I don't like to play sports.( I must also insert that there are plenty of possibilities for sports for the homeschooler. It was never an issue for me, however.) I also learn well from reading. For me the time the teacher spent at the front of the room was wasted I needed to read the material in order to comprehend it. This made it a breeze for me because most of the time my mom could assign reading and homework and I could do it on my own. I typically finished within a few hours. This left the rest of my day for me to be a teenager! <br>
After being homeschooled I realized how much time is wasted in conventional schooling. This isn't a slight to teachers, rather it's a waste of their time too, but I realize it can't be avoided! You can't help using more time organizing, transporting, feeding, and doing everything when you have a large class rather than a handful of students. <br>
Also, it's my firm belief that students in conventional schools are spending too much time in school (Aug-May & 8-3) and learning too little. Again, I don't mean this as a slight on teachers, but again, something that can't be helped because of the sheer size of classes. <br>
I attended school from the day after Labor Day to the Fri. before Memorial Day, never before or after! As stated above, I spent only 3-4 hours in class. I didn't have to interrupt my learning to eat lunch. I could eat my lunch while I was finishing up! <br>
I see homeschooling as education streamlined! In my experience it was faster and more efficient. I feel the reason for this is that moms are some of the best teachers in the world. Moms teach their kiddos how to talk, walk, potty, eat, even blow their noses! I know the best way to teach my daughters, because I've been doing it since the day they wear born. Because of our intimate relationship they can't deceive me into believing they've understood a concept that they have not. I know when they are being pushed too hard or not enough! This makes me excited to homeschool them someday. (Of which I fully intend to blog!) <br>
My favorite parts of being homeschooled:<br>
Sleeping late!<br>
Flexible schedules.<BR>
Eating and drinking when I felt hungry or thirsty.<BR>
Growing closer to my siblings.<Br>
Learning at my own pace. (Not moving on until I had mastered the concept.)<br>
Learning to time-manage. (Something I was terrible at before!)<br>
Being with my family.< br>
That last point will be the last thing I touch on in this particular post, though I will be blogging about it again soon.<br>
With all the pressures placed upon today's (and in my case: slightly yesterday's) teen, it was such a help to me to be home with my family more than I had. My relationships with my mother, father and siblings all grew much stronger, the benefits of which I am still reaping. This made my home a safe haven, and my familial relationships built on strong trusts. I truly believe that this was instrumental in all the great things that I experienced as a teenager, and made my high school years, maybe, a little less rocky than what is typical! <br>

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saul, First King of Israel: Saved or Unsaved?

"And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand." - 1 Samuel 18:10

There are two ways to interpret this verse:

If Saul does not know the Lord this could be perceived as an demonic spirit that entered Saul at the allowance of the Lord. This would be similar to the case of Job. Of course, we've seen that Saul has disobeyed the Lord and that (if he doesn't know the Lord) he might be open to an attack of Satan.

The second theory is that this spirit is not demonic, but a spirit of conviction for his sin. We know that when we, as Christians, disobey our father he chastises us & often that includes conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that Saul knew the Lord. I believe this because of many tiny clues I read along the way and one great big neon sign in chapter 28.

Let me give you a little background if you are unfamiliar with the story:

The Philistines were gathering and Saul began to worry so he instructed his servants to seek out a woman with a "familiar spirit." When the woman was found, Saul disguised himself and went to her. She was concerned at first because Saul had killed any one practicing witchcraft, but Saul assured her that she would suffer no punishment, and asked her to bring up Samuel.

The familiar screamed because she succeeded in bringing up Samuel and was told that she was face to face with her greatest fear, the King Saul. What Samuel said to Saul is my neon sign:

"Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." - 1 Samuel 28:19

Now, I don't know about you, but I think this is very clear. When Saul died he was going to be where Samuel is, as would Jonathan. If Saul was not saved, neither was Samuel or Jonathan.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Saul, First King of Israel: The Great Mistake!

We, as Christians, believe we can glean more from watching a positive example rather than a negative. I tend to believe the opposite. The Lord placed men in the Bible who were wicked or who had opportunities to serve Him yet rejected them (like the rich young ruler) for a reason: We can be edified by studying it! I believe the best experience to learn from is somebody else's! I don't want to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before me, and I'm always thankful for those who have traveled the road of error and are generous enough to offer me wisdom when they see me entertaining to venture the same path.

I firmly believe that Saul is someone from whom the modern Christian, especially the modern Christian, can learn much. He is an example to me of a well intentioned person who makes the wrong choices. Many believe Saul to be unsaved and some believe him to be saved. I will address that in my last post on him, but you may already know to which belief I lean. If he is or is not, bitterness, which was his greatest downfall, is a disease that attacks too many of the Children of the Lord and therefore he is a good life to study to avoid this.

Now, without further ado, the Great Mistake: Saul was ready to battle the Philistines, and he was anxious to begin. However, he was waiting on the prophet, Samuel, to offer a burnt offering. He'd waited seven days, until the time that Samuel told him he would come, but Samuel, for whatever reason did not come. Finally he'd had enough and offered the burnt offering himself.

I believe that modern Christians perceive this mistake in two ways:

1. We see it in a "holier than thou" fashion. We think to ourselves, "Why did he not wait? How horrible to act without the blessing of the Lord?"


2. We think, "I don't understand why this is a problem. He didn't sin, he was offering to the Lord?!"

I think that either way we contort our apprehension of the situation to the point that we are incapable of gleaning what God would have us to learn from it.

What we should realize is that we are an impatient race. Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do, and sometimes he asks us to wait a long time. It's very tempting to go ahead of the Lord, but this is a dangerous thing to do, as Saul learned. I can think of people have felt permanent effects for being to hasty. King Saul was one of these people.

When we don't wait on the Lord we do not follow His perfect plan for our lives. I know of many who have done this, and have repented. These people go on to love and serve the Lord, and though, their lives have been changed forever, they are happy in the service of the King. But, this is not the case with Saul.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meet Bruiser!

This is Bruiser, and he's the newest member of our family. Bruiser is a teacup chihuahua and yes, he is full grown. To give you an idea of just how big he is, that box he is in is made of one foot squared puzzle pieces! He weighs between 2 and 3lbs.
Bruiser came to us from my brother's house where he's been a happy member of the family for, I believe, around 3 years. They felt that Bruiser needed a new home, though, for many good reasons, and so, he came home from vacation with us!
Bruiser is the most fun! He chases the cats & barks like mad at them. But, the second they turn to hiss at him he cries like a wounded baby! I think they're all starting to get along. Even though my oldest girl is allergic to dogs, she doesn't seem to have a problem with small dogs, especially chihuahuas, so he's a great puppy for her! She's done great learning to be gentle with him. I even caught the baby this am stroking him gently with one finger, just as Mommy had instructed her sister to do.
We're sad that Bruiser couldn't stay with his original family, but we're glad to have him with us! And, we're glad he didn't have to completely leave his family, just move in with an Auntie!
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Why I Submit: My Pastor

I've had very few pastors in my life. That's the lot of a pastor's kid. Most of my life my pastor was my father, which is an interesting experience, but it doesn't teach what the proper relationship between member and pastor should be. I've had to learn this over the past seven years since I've joined my great church, Here.
I will tell you the honest truth, I had great difficulty submitting to a pastor that was not my father. In fact, I had difficulty just referring to him as "Pastor." Instead, I would call him, "Pastor Brenneman." Over the past seven years of sitting under his ministry, I've grown to greatly respect Pastor Brenneman and his wife. Unfortunately on July 24th they served their last Sunday with us, as God has called them to another ministry.
Partially, I feel apprehensive will I respect and care for my new pastor and his family as I did my old pastor and his. It's a new experience for me. But, my greatest desire when he arrives is to be a blessing. I would like to be an easy sheep to shepherd.