Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Challenge

I was challenged this morning while reading a devotional about being a consumer or a giver. The author made some very good points about how we consume so much. Whether it is food, books, newspapers, TV, games, or sermons. All those things aren't bad, but we seem to obsessed with "consuming" them.

So, the challenge was to consume less and give more. It really made me pause and thing because I've been convicted of that a lot lately. God has been speaking to me on this very issue. Sometimes it seems to take longer for me to implement it in my life because I justify it. I say things like, "this isn't bad" or "It's my relaxation time" or how about "I just have to 'not think' for a while". I say that sometimes when it comes to the computer. Instead of "not thinking" I should be going to bed earlier. Making wiser use of the time I have.

We are to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with and that includes our time.

"Freely you have received. Freely give."
Matthew 10:8


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pray for Stellan...NOW...please!

This strong little boy needs your (our) prayers right now. His sweet mama is by his side while her hubby is home with their 3 other children. Please pray as God leads you. Just pray, pray, pray!

You can keep up the best if you follow MckMama on Twitter, however you can also catch updates as she posts them on her blog.

Please pray.....



Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Quiet Time

This weekend we are away visiting with my dad, mom, brother & sister in law. I ended up being awake most of the night and finally got out of bed at 5:24am. After showering and getting dressed I was excited to take advantage of the quiet house. So, I grabbed a book I just bought from CBD on clearance called Love Letters To God.

When I purchased this book it sounded interesting. Like something I would love to try and implement in my life. As I started reading through it I felt like God was using the peace and quiet around me to get my attention. I continued reading and was taken with all the quotes that seemed to speak right to me.

"Little deaths. Somewhere in the psyche all these changes and losses register as death."
Jane Kenyan

Little deaths. They could be anything. The loss of a pet. The loss of a job. Parents who have divorced. Friends who have fallen to the wayside. Personal loss. Perhaps we didn't live up to an expectation we had for ourselves.

"Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break."
Shakespear

The author then goes further to say that in Psalms David says this, "Record my lament;list my tears on Your scroll - are they not in Your record?"

Her suggestion? Name your grief.

What I took from that is not to stuff down our feelings and emotions just to "be strong". Mourn, grieve, cry, sob, let it out. Cry out to God and then allow Him to heal you.

There is so much more to this little book. She has filled it with quotes and scripture and speaks from her personal, love letter writing to God experience.

I am inspired to do the same. What a way to grow closer to my God. Praying through journaling/letter writing.

I will leave you with one last quote from her book.

"If I am willing to abandon myself to God, He will give me back myself, my identity."
Luci Shaw

On this beautiful, sunshiny morning I am praying to God to transform my heart and my life. For a willingness to abandon myself and everything I have in order to gain my identity in Him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Perspective

More importantly having the right perspective. The Godly perspective. I will admit I struggle with this more often than is right. I don't know why. I know what my calling is. So, why is it such a struggle?

Ultimately I think it comes down to feeling "used" or "unappreciated". Not that we are being used, but we feel like we do so much and it just goes unnoticed and our needs aren't recognized. I have to pray daily for God to change my perspective and give me the right attitude during the day. I know I am blessed to be able to stay home with our children. I am so thankful for that and I don't wish for anything else.

However, I want to show my children the correct way to serve and that is to do it regardless of whether there is thanks involved or not. Our strength comes from God. Our reward is in knowing we are raising children for Him and we are keeping house for His glory. Not ours.

Around Mothers Day I received an email. It's one that I receive periodically. It was such a wonderful blessing and reminder to me so I wanted to share it with you today.

For all the moms who feel that their efforts and labor goes unnoticed or is done in vain....God knows. God sees. God is blessed and honored when we do these things cheerfully. Our reward and thanks may never be found here on earth, but in heaven.

So, until then I will continue on doing what He has called me to do, and I'll be working on doing it cheerfully all the time!

(and I'll hope for a "thanks" or "good job" along the way!)

Enjoy the article below which was taken from an email ezine I received.

Mother you are appreciated...

Mother’s day is just around the corner and I thought I would drop all my subscribers a short note!

So often we get bogged down in the diaper-change-wipe-nose-feed-toddler-routine that we forget to take some time to realize that we are doing one of the greatest jobs imaginable.

If you have chosen to stay at home with your little one there is not much, usually, to show for how your time is spent and there is definitely not a pay check waiting for you at the end of the month!

But while others go out to build careers or businesses, you too are building a future in your children by being there for them and by spending time with them, training them and well, just being mommy!

So may I just encourage you, mom, by saying – “Mother, you are appreciated!”

And a last thought for you:

Invisible Mother...... (Annon)

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask me a question.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Until next time
Wendy


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Make your own deodorant

I was asked to be a guest blogger over at Money Saving Mommies and I just posted this "recipe".

If anyone tries this please let me know! I'm excited and anxious to hear how it works and what people think. I will do the same when I try it! First I have to buy the coconut oil because I'm fresh out and haven't picked up more.

This is taken from an online article in Health in High Heels.

I've been looking for good, healthy deodorant for a while now, but came to the conclusion I wasn't going to find one that I like for a good price and with a great smell that didn't let me smell...lol!

I have to say I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I definitely will be.

Here is what the woman wrote:

"Ok, the super simple recipe: Get out a little container. Mix in equal parts (I use about 1/3 cup each) cornstarch, baking soda, and coconut oil. Drop in two drops essential oil. Let it sit outside in the sun, on your heater, or melt it on the stove (gasp) by placing the container in a little hot water.

Stir it up, and if your coconut oil was solid at your room temperature, let it harden up and just scoop a little out to use it. If your coconut oil was liquid at your room temperature, you can put it in the frig and try to scoop a little out each day. If refrigerated, it tends to get too hard for my liking so I devised a Dixie cup applicator. Go to your mother's house and borrow a little Dixie cup from her bathroom dispenser. Then fill it with the mixed up liquid deodorant and let it harden in the frig. Tear the paper down and apply just like your stick deodorant. You'll likely have to store it in the frig during the summer. Play around with it to see what works best. If it melts and separates, just stir it up and refrigerate again."

If you try this please post a comment and let us know how it turned out and if you have any tips or hints for the everyone else. Can't wait to hear! Have fun & happy "cooking"!



Friday, July 10, 2009

On Parenting

From the book How to Raise Totally Awesome Kids by Chuck and Jenni Borsellino

"Teach by example. Model what you desire. For our children to develop character and integrity, they must first see the integrity of our character."

Proverbs 20:7
The godly walk with integrity;blessed are their children who follow them.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Something Funny I Just Read

There's nothing better than a good laugh. Enjoy!

A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera.


He figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the speed limit, even though he knew that he was not speeding.

Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed.

Now he began to think that this was quite funny, so he drove even slower as he passed the area again, but the traffic camera again flashed.

He tried a fourth time with the same result.

He did this a fifth time and was now laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past, this time at a snail's pace...

Two weeks later, he got five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.



Friday, July 3, 2009

Lullaby

One of the job descriptions for a mama is that she sing to her lovebugs. At least that is one of my job descriptions. I absolutely loved rocking them in the rocking chair when they were babies and singing to them. Now I get to sing to them after I have tucked them in for the night and before I give them kisses.

One of the songs I sing is a lullaby I made up when Afton was a baby. Here are the words.

Little baby, little baby
I love you. I love you.
You're my little sweet pea. You're my little sweet pea.
Yes you are. Yes you are.
(sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Here are the lyrics to the song I made up for Caleb not too long ago. He requests it every night with extra "mama loves you"...

Lullaby and goodnight, little lovebug baby.
Mama loves you, Mama loves you
and I'll see you when you wake up.

Sometimes we vary the songs that we sing, however the first one always makes it in.

I love that my children have a song especially made up for them and I hope they carry it on with their children!

Do you have a special song you sing to your kiddos or have you made one up especially for them?



Thursday, July 2, 2009

What better way to get over a rainy day then to share more of my favorite things?

It has been raining a ton here! I can't remember the last day we saw the sun. I was joking with someone this morning that I was trading in my sunscreen for sunless tanning lotion. We are definitely lacking in natural Vitamin D!

So, to take my mind off of the wet weather I thought I would share a few more of my favorite things! I'm so excited because I found some new things and an favorite, seasonal item returns!!!

Let's start with my new favorite thing: Starbucks Green Tea Latte's...

oh heavenly flavor, especially iced! It's made with matcha green tea which is super healthy for you (before sweeteners!). It's the perfect summer drink, in my opinion.

Next would have to be the returning favorite: Lindt's Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Bar...

I could melt just thinking about them! They are selling like hotcakes too right now!


Another sinful (not really) delight from Lindt is their European Specialties - Raspberry Vanilla Eisdessert .


I just bought one to try it and it's a good thing because if I bought more they would have been devoured in 2.4 seconds. No lie!


Moving on...

It's no secret I love the CO Bigelow lip gloss at Bath and Body Works. In fact, it's the only lip gloss that I use. They have some brand-spankin' new flavors out and I'm loving these ones.



Plus, they have there wicked awesome sale going on right now until Sunday. So, they have home fragrance oils on sale for $2 each! I warmed the sandalwood vanilla and was pleasantly surprised by it's strong, yet gently fragrance.


I blew out the tea lite pretty soon after the scent was released so I didn't burn my warmer. It still smells pretty in here several hours later! So nice.....



So, there you have a few of my favorite things. Of course I have many more, but I have to save some material for later posts!

Let me know if you have any favorite things that I just have to check out! I love trying new things out!