Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Living a life of excellence-Giant,boulders and stones

Earlier in this series I shared with you something I was praying about regarding my children.  The Lord had been pointing out some behaviors that I have let go and should have been dealing with.

  Part of my problem was a lack of wisdom on how to train them in that area.  I had begun to pray that the Lord would show me what to do and he has, as I said in the other post, in His own way and in His own time.

MP900444553[1]Meanwhile, I had in my mind built this problem up to be much greater than it really was.  I was becoming so frustrated and overwhelmed by everything.  Have you ever experienced those times that a frustration overwhelms you to the point of lack of brain function?  I’m not joking!  The other day I could not get anything accomplished and I was aggravated with my kids all day, ready to give up homeschooling, put them in school and get a job. 

My mom a year ago had an issue in her life, that the Lord had shown her was a giant in her life.  She told me, she had made it, in her mind to be a giant.  She was becoming just like I described of myself earlier, so extremely frustrated that she couldn’t think straight about the problem or any other for that matter.

I think that is what I had done with the issues of myimage children’s behavior and instead of trying to kill that giant with Faith and smooth stones, as David had toward Goliath.  I have been unsuccessfully, attempting to pick up a boulder to throw at that giant.  Straining andMP900399340[1] struggling and 
getting absolutely no where.

I need to face those days with faith that will diminish my giant down to it’s proper size and approach it with small stones that are manageable and effective.

The funny thing is, over the last few weeks with all of my frustration, God had been handing me those small stones (in the form of little bits of information and ideas) and they are sitting here in a pile for meBalance to use.  I know they are there because I had been tripping over them as I  was attempting to lift that boulder.  Now I will pick up all of those stones (wisdom) and organize them (in my mind) so that I can use them.  God did exactly what I was telling you in that earlier post.  He reminded me of a simple book that was on my shelf, He gave me an idea during a conversation with a friend and other things in other ways as well.

God is so faithful, but so is Satan, faithful to lie to us, misguide us and he is always so crafty.  That is why it is so important to Armor up daily with the prayer and the actions of reading the word and talking to our Lord.  Ephesians 6:18 says “ And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (believers).   It is so funny, God brought this scripture to mind  so I looked it up and here it is right after the mention of the armor of God in Ephesians 6. 

So, what does all of this have to do with a life of excellence.  First, it is about being real and knowing that we all struggle with one thing or another (I mean everyone).  Next,it is learning to lean on God in those struggles and listening to his lessons for us in our life, during those struggles (what is God trying to teach us).

Again, God is always faithful!

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “  Philippians 1:6

You can find the other posts in this series here.  This is the final post of this series.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Christmas Shoe Boxes

Every year we send boxes to Samaritans Purse’s program called Operation Christmas Child.  This year our church had these cute boxes for us to use.  Below you can see what we are sending this year.  If you click on the links below you will find ideas to fill the boxes with.
IMG_2152       IMG_2150

Ideas for girl shoeboxes

IMG_2144        IMG_2143

Ideas for boy shoeboxes

A friend told me that it is a good idea to put a bowl and cup into the boxes.  So many children are in line for food and have nothing to put it into.  Also, many places are very hot and it would be good to have a container to carry water in.

 Here is a place to get a coloring page and letter to send along with your box.  If you have never been involved with this great ministry, I hope that you give it a try this year.  Most places have the drop offs around Thanksgiving.  So you have plenty of time. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Living a life of Excellence that fits you-Preparedness

Lately on the internet, in places like pinterest and on various blogs, I have seen a fairly new craze, labeling.  Now I am no rebel but I just can’t go imagethere.  10 years ago I probably would have tried because it looks so cute and orderly.  But I know me and how well that would go.

The thing is, in Proverbs 31:25 it talks about her as being prepared, “she can laugh at the days to come.”

imageShe is free from anxiety and worry.  I wonder sometimes if we can get so wrapped up with getting our homes in order that we miss out on preparing for the things that really matter.

Verse 21 of Proverbs 31 says: “when it snows, she has no fear for her household; for they are all clothed in scarlet”.  Scarlet was a very expensive color to use in those days.  So, does this verse mean that we have to provide the best money has to offer for our family.  I don’t believe so, just as so many other places in the Old Testament, I see this verse pointing to Jesus and our salvation.

The woman in Proverbs has no fear for her household because of the scarlet blood of Jesus, He had not come yet but the verse is pointing us toward Jesus and His salvation for us.  She will be with her family for eternity.  She chose what was better.  Do you remember that line?  It was in Luke 10:42. 

Martha was complaining to Jesus that her sister, imageMary was not helping with all of the household chores.   All Mary wanted to do was sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to all he had to say.  When we hear that we say “well yeah of course she would” but Martha didn’t know exactly who she was talking to.   Mary knew the work would always be with her, but Jesus would not.  Jesus said to Martha “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.

We can run around getting our homes in order because that is what we saw on pinterest or because a friend has done it.  We can make sure that everyone in our home is dressed in the latest clothes.  But what is better, and what can’t be taken away.

Having a home full of peace and teaching our children about the Lord.  Those are the things that are better and your children’s salvation, that can never be taken away.  Our children, just like Jesus in the home of Mary, will only be with us for a short time.

One more passage for you: Matthew 6:19-21 “ Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, moth and rust can not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When making a list of your priorities, be sure to keep this verse in mind.  Which things are lasting and worthy of your priority of time and money?


Monday, October 22, 2012

Iced Coffee-Review- oh so good!

I have been on a coffee kick lately.  When I visited my family this summer my mom didn’t have caffeinated tea on hand. 
 So, in the mornings I just drank the coffee that my mom made.  (I have to wake up with something)  Since then I have been loving coffee in the mornings.  My husband thinks I am weird because we have never liked coffee.
I ran across this Iced Coffee recipe the other day. I made it a couple of days ago and love, love, love it.
I made the cold brew coffee just as she suggested except in a smaller quantity.
I used 4 oz. coffee in 2 qt. water.
I don’t have a container as large as hers. I will let you check out the recipe on her site. Just click on either the photo credits or the pictures on this post.
Seriously, give it a try. It is super easy and very tasty!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you, young moms

baby bumpToday young moms have such a stressful job.  There are so many choices before you, and so much guilt associated with each choice.

In the past a woman would have her first child and she would automatically know her roles and responsibilities.  Her responsibility was to keep her Young Family kissing babychild clean, feed, and loved.  Her role was simply to be a wife and mom.

Today, there are all sorts of roles a woman can have,  some woman like to have many roles at one time.  Today, you must choose whether to work outside of the home or not.  Then if you do choose to do that, you have pressure from yourself and others to be home with your child, so you carry guilt.  If you mom and babychoose not to work outside of the home, you may have pressure from yourself and others to bring in an income, so you carry guilt.

As far as your responsibilities are concerned, even the formerly simple task of feeding your child has become a source of guilt and stress.  All of the food choices, do you make your own baby food, do you go organic, is my child going to have allergies?   Even diapers are guilt ridden, do you go with cloth or disposable and if so which kind.

Oh ladies, Stop- stop listening to all of the voices around you, especially the one that tells you to keep up with the Jones’.  You only have three voices that matter,
  • First, God’s voice what does he want for you and your family.
  • Your husbands-pray first and ask God to speak wisdom through him (this works even if he is not a believer yet).
  • Last but definitely not least, is the one inside of you, your instincts are usually right for your family, but again PRAY to hear correctly.
I recommend that you listen in that order as well.

Look what is thisOnce you eliminate some of the other voices and become content with the choices that you make through the guidance of the process above, then you will find peace and you will know your roles and responsibilities , leaving you with the ability to focus on taking care of your family.  Not on how to do it, just doing it.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you- Laundry

  Seriously, Laundry? How does living a life of excellence involve laundry? Beginning to live a life of excellence has to start at the bottom and we work our way up. We all have it, we all hate it, and how we do it effects the way we present our families to the world. If my husband is going to work in wrinkly pants, is he “respected at the city gate where he is seated among the elders of the land”? (Proverbs 31:23)

 Or are your children going to “rise up and call you blessed” (Proverbs 31:28) if they were made fun of because their socks never match.  So, as I have said I am not by any means excellent but I do have a semi organized way of doing laundry that has worked well for our family for the past 21 years.

 You will need:
 4 milk crates or baskets
  A small table or flat surface
 A medium sized basket or bowl

 I have to tell you that for the past 3 years we have had a house that has a main floor laundry that also doubles as a mudroom, it is itty bitty but we have always had basement laundry rooms in the past and I am so thankful for this tiny space.


 I use these crates to sort the clothes that everyone brings down. My husband brings our clothes down daily and the kids bring theirs down once a week. We have one for dark colors, light colors, whites (dish towels, white socks, underwear or anything you will bleach) and towels. In this picture my towel basket is missing.

 clip_image002 clip_image003

This part is Key: As the clothes come out of the dryer I immediately fold them and put them into the persons basket or pile that they belong to. Or if it is something that needs hung I have hangers there ready to hang them on the bar.

 Once a week I go on a quick hanger hunt in our four closets. So many people I know take the clothes out of the dryer and put them into a basket.

Sometimes the clothes get folded right away but usually not. If they do, they bring them into another room and have to again cart them somewhere. All of this causes wrinkly clothes and wasted steps.

 Once a week I have the older kids come and get there hanging clothes and their pile. A couple of times a week I take the white basket of folded clothes up to our bed and make piles for each of the younger kids and for Mike and I.

The little ones come in and take their clothes and put them away and we of course put ours away.  clip_image004

This is the Sock basket (you can also use a plastic bowl, I have).  As I am folding laundry out of the dryer, I throw all of the socks into this basket. I later either give it to a little one to sort or just stand there while a load is finishing and fold and sort them into respective piles.

 This system is not for everyone. You more organized gals might not find it sufficient for your home. And others might find it too involved but I think it is attainable.

 If you find that your laundry is either overwhelming to you or not looking to hot, you may want to try this system or a version of it to make sure you are getting it all done and done well.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you: Here


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you- Husbands

clip_image001When Mike and I first married, Mike was not a committed Christian. He loved me and treated me well, he would even go to church on occasion.

Once we had children, I began to grow in my faith and yet he was not in his. He made decisions, concerning the kids especially, that concerned me(looking back I know that I made my fair share of bad decisions).

 One day I remember sitting on my bed sobbing and asking God why this was happening and trying to figure out what to do to help my children grow up in the way that I thought was best.  At that very moment God taught me something that has helped me, and many friends in need, countless times. I want you all to listen to this wisdom and let it really soak in.

 God knew the father and mother that our four children would have. He gave us to them on purpose, in order to help them become the people he has planned for them to be as adults. All of our frailty and faults and failures make us the perfect parents for the children we are given.

 Does this mean that we stop growing and learning how to be better than we are today? No, we only need to have this information so that we can stop beating ourselves or our spouses up. We only need to pray and give it all to the Lord, asking that He raise up in our children who He has planned for them to be.

  The truth that God blessed me with goes for the father you were given and also the husband you were given.

 clip_image002When we are young and dumb and in love we may make mistakes, but as God’s word says “the Lord your God goes before you and he will be with you, he will never leave you, nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.” (That was my daughter’s AWANA verse for this week, see how God works.)

He knows it all and it is either part of his plan or He will use what Satan meant for harm and use it for good. God is good all of the time. He can’t help it, it is His nature.

clip_image003All of these years later I do see God at work then and now in our family. My husband is now a committed Christian and loving father and husband. And I know for sure that he is the father that God intended for my children. I just had to learn to submit to God first and then my husband in order to see this clearly.

  The picture at the top was taken on our 20 year anniversary, the day we were dropping our oldest off at college, a Christian college that she choose to go to. God took those experiences early on in our daughter’s life and raised her up into the incredible woman that she has become.

  Learning to live for God right where you are now will bring you a peace that passes all understanding.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Monday, October 15, 2012

Easy Tortilla Soup

This was the easiest Tortilla soup I have ever made.  I love Tortilla soup.  I used to make a recipe I had found on Food Network, but this takes 1/2 of the time.


I found this one in my Taste of Home magazine. 
These ingredients plus some cooked and cut up turkey or chicken are all you need.  I didn’t make my tortilla strips, I just used tortilla chips.

Simmer for just 10 min.


I did add 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin to this because my salsa was not spicy at all.  The last thing they list is fresh cilantro.  I didn’t need to add that because my salsa was fresh and had loads of cilantro to begin with.

Hope you all enjoy!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you- Bible study

  For some reason, using Bible study to find answers seems to be the last thing we think of as a Mom, yet it is our best tool for getting through the day. We search the blogs for ideas on making our lives run smoother, we have boards and boards full of great ideas pinned on Pinterest, we read fun magazines to read the 10 best ideas on…

 But we forget to go to the source of all of our strength and wisdom and peace.

 My daughter went to a Purity Ball when she was in 10th grade. One of the things that the speaker mentioned to the girls was that, she would put post it notes up all over her wall. On them were ideas, dreams, prayers, and scriptures. Allie has done that all of these years and has gained great wisdom from the notes she reads daily as she does her hair and makeup, especially on the days she is running short on time.

   I encourage all of you to find a way to connect with God daily. If it is just having the time to do as Allie clip_image001does when she is in s hurry or if it can be getting up 30 minutes early to read the word and pray. Somehow fitting Bible study into our lives brings so much blessing and peace throughout the day.

Searching pinterest and blogs for ideas is so much fun, nothing wrong with that, just don’t forget Jesus and the importance of that relationship.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Living a life of Excellence that fits you- Ask

  Yesterday, I talked about finding freedom in msc065knowing that you are made to be exactly the way God planned for you to be. You and I were made to be an important part of the body of Christ. We have that freedom to be who we are, but still need to strive to be more like Jesus. And that may mean finding a way to have order in your home.

I know that order in all homes is attainable because God put Proverbs 31:10-31 in the Bible. Everything he asks us to do or be in His word is attainable with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, when we desire to follow Him. All we need to do is ask.

  Right now I am asking God for a better way to form discipline in my children’s lives. I know that it is in His will for their lives, I know that I am the right person to teach it. So, I know that in His own way and in His own time He will teach me.

  I encourage you to take a look at the frustrations in your life, whether they be with your home, your children or your spouse. Try to pinpoint the issue. For me I was noticing selfishness in my children, which has lead to some disrespect issues. That is why I have been calling on the Lord for His guidance.

 Once you have pinpointed the issue, ask the Lord for His guidance and wisdom on how to handle the issues you struggle with.

 There are two things I want to point out about this process. In order to really get a grasp of what your frustrations are stemming from, you need to be quiet. You will need a time and place with no distractions, and have your Bible in your lap, ready to seek the Lord’s wisdom.

 The next thing you notice is that in my seeking wisdom in raising my children I did not race to the book store for the latest child rearing book. If we are seeking an answer, God will place it right in our laps. We will hear it on the radio, hear it from a friend, without prompting or in some other way.

  Luke 12:29 says “and do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom and these things will be given to you as well”.

  As children when we had a problem, we didn’t research the answer, but we asked our parents what to do. Our heavenly Father wants the same from us as His children. Go running to your Father with all of your worries and concerns.
 He is waiting to help you.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you- Freedom

  The freedom I am speaking of is the freedom to live without a place for everything. Total disarray is not the way I want our home to be, but I just can’t seem to have a place for everything. I have friends whose homes are organized and lovely, yet they are not stressed out like I get when I try for this. I suppose it is in the very core of who they are, to have the ability and the need to have their homes in this order. I on the other hand, have tried for 20 years to achieve this with no success.

  organization bad        Good organization
  I found these pictures and I thought that they displayed the way I feel about organization in my life.  When I am trying to be the “on top of it all” woman I feel like the picture on the left.  Actually it feels like everything is on top of me.  When I am an organized me, I feel more like the picture on the right.  Like the world is just flowing around me.

  I finally found peace in realizing that the reason perfect organization doesn’t come easy for me is because it is not how God wired me. The best thing I can gain from this wisdom is that it is OK for me not to be this way. It is not a defect, as my mom’s friend used to say “God don’t make no junk”. It takes all different types of people to form the body of Christ.  I Corinthians 12:17 says “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”

  Verse 22 says- … those parts of the body that seem weaker are indispensable…  So, the way I am or you are, is not a defect, we are actually made to be an indispensable part of the body of believers. Somebody has to make things fun, right!

I don’t want to sound like some sort of rebel when I say that my house is not labeled and systematically organized. We do have order in our home, there is not a place for everything and yet everything is not Doing laundryout of place. Wrap your mind around that sentence. I don’t have piles all over, or undone dishes and laundry dumped here and there. We have found a happy balance somewhere between pigsty and perfection.
 This is more like me!     42-15556180        Not like me!
                                                    And that is OK!

 We need to be able to find things, we need clean unwrinkled clothes and a healthy kitchen. But in our house we have our own way of achieving all of that.

I will have a little more on that same topic in the next post. See you in a day or two.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Monday, October 8, 2012

Living a life of excellence that fits you


For the next few weeks I am doing a series on living a life of excellence.  The life of excellence I am speaking of, is the one that Christ has called us to.  The ultimate goal of life, above being a great mom, faithful wife and all around great person, is to be more like Jesus.

The thing that I have always struggled with in this regard is comparing my goals for excellence with the goals of others, or my achievements/lack of achievements with those of others as well.  All along I should have been comparing myself with the author of the life of excellence Himself, Jesus.

I am going to show you the things that I have learned or have been trying to learn through the years.  I have an interesting situation in that we have two sets of kids essentially, we have two kids 19 and 17, then two kids 8 and 6.  We were given an opportunity to grow as parents and in our marriage continuously.  So, I have learned some things early on and now we are learning even more.

I hope that you enjoy this series, and learn as I  learn along with you.  The Lord has shown me so many great things about life and myself along this journey.

Check out the rest of the series Living a life of Excellence that fits you Here


Friday, October 5, 2012

Beware of Monsters

Has anyone else been bothered by the constant presence of monsters?  Everywhere you turn theseimagesCAFTJOMV days you will see monster toys, monster children’s movies and monster shows.  I don’t know what Satan is up to, but I know that we need to protect our children right now more than ever.  Protection starts first with arming them with the knowledge that these things are not of our God.  They are evil. 


The first monster toys did not pop up in the past year.  The introduction to monsters came many yearsimagesCANRE5ZG ago when we were all children.  The scary thing is they were cute and cuddly.  The most famous one is named Elmo.  Satan has slowly began to desensitize us of the goriness of monsters.  Now they are cute and cool to our society. 


I want you to know that I am just a regular mom, imagesCAERYRPBnot a hypersensitive, over protective mom.  Please don’t blow off this idea as being fanatical.  I believe that our children are under attack, our next generation is under attack.

Monsters do not exist but, evil does and it reigns here on earth.

Pray for your children and those around you that they not get sucked in to this monster craze.  If you think that I am being fanatical, just pray before you allow your child to take part in any of this. 
The other reason I wanted to point this out is that, I have a feeling that this year Halloween costumes are going to be scarier than ever and to remind you to keep your eyes open to protect your little ones.

Another reason to have our nation in prayer.