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Archive for December, 2012

Our church advent theme has been “Sharing CHRISTmas” this year. You’ve probably heard me say that

What you focus on, you make room for.

Well, as our focus has been on sharing Christ, it seems that the opportunities to do so have come almost effortlessly to our church body. God has provided in miraculous ways for us to do some cool things (like provide new toys and food for over 70 families in need and provide lunch for around 70 faculty at the elementary school next to our church). But what I really want to share is what some gifts to our family specifically have meant to me.

I feel like this has been a month of me having a thought and saying a little prayer about something I desire and literally God providing that thing and in most cases on the same day. I think it started with new pots and pans. I have been reading the book Nourishing Traditions and it talks about how even our cookware can aid in a healthy lifestyle. And I said to The Lord “I would just love some new pots and pans at some point.” And I think it was the next day, some friends from church dropped off a gift of a brand new 16 piece cookware set.

Next, it was an organizer for filing away all those papers that usually lay on my counter. I was thinking in the morning how maybe I would finally just go buy one and then my good friend comes over with our Christmas gifts. Wouldn’t you know, she made me an organizer to hang on my wall?

Next, it was cash. Either early this month or some time last month as I looked at our finances and our upcoming expenses, I said to The Lord (and told hubby) “God, if You could give us $500, it would really help us.” Well, it started with a few different gifts of money that were really a blessing and needed at just the right time (like the money needed to buy a humidifier when we were all sick). But for some reason in my heart I just had this feeling The Lord would honor my request and give us $500. I was talking to Him about it this morning and when I get to church this morning, hubby tells me that someone in the church grave us….yep, $500! Can you believe it? Well, I can. But still. Now we will be able to fix our van before baby comes and possibly have some leftover to set aside for buying more cloth diapers (something I will write about soon)!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that a professional painter in our church also offered to do a day of painting for us as a gift to us. Someone else from church provided for our staff to have a lunch out at a nice restaurant plus be each given a gift of money. Oh, and like 20 people showed up and surrounded us with songs and prayer and gave us more gifts while we were there. Plus a friend mailed me a package with chocolate in it (on a day I had just been saying how I would love just a little something sweet). Can you see how focusing on generosity makes more room for generosity in others?

Now why do I share this all? First and foremost I want to give glory to God because He is our provider! Secondly, I want to remind us and encourage us to not live like people who don’t have any solutions to our problems or our needs/wants. We serve a good God who provides! Just ask Him…and have fun seeing how He’ll answer. He’s not impressed with our “grin and bear it and I’ll just work harder mentality” to take care of our needs/wants. He is impressed when we trust Him (which sometimes his provision does come through a job but we must have the right heart in doing it).

But lastly, I want to thank those who gave. Do you know what your gift really means to me?  To me your gift is a tangible expression of a God who hears this Mama’s heart. Your gift is a tangible expression of a God who gives good gifts, even gifts we don’t need! Your gift is a tangible expression of a God who cares for…me. And for that I am eternally grateful. This is why I keep an account of what He gives. So I can look back and remember that God heard my request and He is my provider! Thank You God!

 

 

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I was having a conversation with my beloved sister-in-law and a thought came to me. It was the kind of thought that I know didn’t come just from me. I like to think the Holy Spirit put it there.

Especially after attending the ministry school I did last year and being in an environment that made room for God to do whatever He wanted including many miracles and supernatural wonders, I have desired to continue to see Him move in powerful ways!  But to be real honest my year since then hasn’t felt that way at all. In fact I have wondered if my ministry school brought about any lasting change in me or not. I really haven’t felt like a daughter of the Most High God. I still see thinking in my life that reflects I don’t fully grasp that I really am His daughter and heir to His Kingdom and all His promises. Life has felt pretty ordinary and has left me wondering if the only thing that I am doing for His Kingdom purposes is being a wife and mom and creating a new life with God (through this precious life growing in me). Last year I felt like I was being used for some really cool things. This year not so much.

But this is where my thought came in. One thing hubby and I are doing right now is establishing some boundaries with some people in our lives who are very dear to us but have been very damaging to us both. My thought was “sometimes doing the hard things is the most supernatural thing we can be doing”. And the reason this is true is because the lasting impact that could come from us doing the hard thing, could far out way the impact that I could have as just one person. As healing comes to this relationship I could see the heritage that God has planned for us being used to impact many, many people! And that is supernatural! But it won’t come without doing the hard thing first, the thing that feels not so supernatural.

Perhaps for you it isn’t a relationship or anything to do with boundaries but maybe you feel the same way I do. Maybe your life doesn’t feel very supernatural. But look around. The child(ren) you are mothering. The employees you work with. The children you work with. Your family. What kind of impact might they have in the world because of what you are sowing into them right now?

Perhaps your life is much more supernatural than you think! Be encouraged today that what you are doing is making a difference and God is well pleased.

 

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I was shocked to discover just how easy it is to make your own Nesquik mix or cocoa. Here are two recipes. The boys (and hubby) really like the Nesquik mix. I still want to try the hot chocolate mix.

Homemade Nesquik Mix

2/3 c sugar

1/3 c cocoa

pinch of salt

Mix it all together. Add approximately 1 tsp of the mix to a glass. Add a little hot water (this helps to dissolve the mix nicely) and then add milk and stir.

This recipe is from sugarbananas.blogspot.com.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

1/2 t unsweetened cocoa (original recipe prefers special dark 100% cacao)

1 tsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetner)

3/4 c warm milk

Mix it all together.

This recipe is from the Facebook page of 100daysofrealfood.com.

 

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Two Things

I opened up my bible the other day and it opened up to Psalm 62. The whole Psalm is excellent. David is crying out for some answers. He starts by saying,

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

But my absolute favorite part comes at the end of the Psalm when God answers him. Here is what David writes,

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.

Two things. Just two things. But think about the two things The Lord says. God is strong. God is loving. If these were the only truths we ever heard about the character of God, I think they would be enough. He is strong and he is loving.

If you are facing a difficultly or a difficult situation today or you are wondering how God is going to accomplish all that He has promised to you, remember two things. God is strong (in fact we are told that nothing is impossible for Him) and that He is loving (He is a good Father that acts on our behalf and for our best).

I know I need these truths today. Father, help me to really believe these truths and live my life from this reality – that You are strong and You are loving!

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I thought I should write because hubby left me the iPad and we actually have Internet (unlike earlier today). And even though I have a few ideas on things I want to write about soon, I just don’t feel like it. So today you get the chance to read how this Mama is really feeling. I am going to write for five minutes without really thinking too much so that it can just flow (and hopefully make sense). Ready, set, go!

I really feel like whining. I feel this way because I feel like things are not going great right now. Hubby sent a difficult letter and it should be arriving to the recipients today. I am nervous about their response even though I know what was said needed to be said in order for relationship to move forward.

I am frustrated because my oldest is sick (with the flu?) but thankful because he only threw up twice and is resting a lot so really my day hasn’t been that bad. Little boy has a runny nose too. But the reason I feel frustrated is because this is an extra busy week and I am like, really? Now this? It will mean me working some hours tonight and going in extra early on Thursday in order to get all my hours in. Plus this is a week that I work two days at the bakery (where I have been picking up extra hours to help us out). And hubby has a concert Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.  Ugh!

I am addicted to the computer and not having one right now is revealing how true that is. I have had some ugly moments lately.

The heat in our van isn’t working right and I broke the door handle off so it needs fixed too.

And all of this costs us time or money, neither of which I feel we have enough of right now. And because of this I feel overwhelmed and crabby. And I don’t like feeling this way.

Ok, so that was like 10 minutes but mostly because of the stupid autocorrect tool.

Now, to help my whiny little self have a better perspective, let me list some things I am thankful for.

1. The beautiful snow! Love it.

2. Friends and family who pray. Thank you! Can you tell this Mama needs it?

3. A quiet house as little boys rest to get better.

4. Christmas gifts and ideas coming together and feeling pretty excited about what we’re giving.

5. Funny pictures and sayings that make me laugh!

6. Little boy answering along to Diego and his questions as they solve the puzzle.

7. Epson salt baths and how they seem to help our family.

How do you feel today? What is something you are thankful for?

 

 

 

 

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Good Bye Computer

Our computer died. I had a feeling it was going to happen long before it actually did. Thankfully I got the important things like pictures saved on an external hard drive. But through this I am realizing just how much I used the computer and to be honest in some ways I am annoyed. I want to be able to look up something when I need to or I want to write a blog post not using an iPad that is still hard for me to navigate on and don’t even get me started on the auto correct or the tool that thinks it knows what you’re trying to type and it isn’t even close. Grr… Plus the iPad is hubby’s and he uses it at work.

But on the other hand I think “what a perfect time”. This way I can devote my time to my precious little boys during this special advent season and in these final weeks before baby comes. And maybe I can get a few things done too. I have yet to clean out the baby’s room and get it all ready to go. I still need to bring in the car seat and the 0-3 month clothing to get them all washed up. But I did create a 35 day meal plan yesterday for after baby comes (I’ll be sharing it with you soon)! I know I still have 8-10 weeks to go unless baby decides to come early but with Christmas and a very busy ministry schedule for hubby the next month I know the time is going to fly by.

Help me Lord to first and foremost use this time to play with my children and love on them. And secondly give me strength to get the necessary things accomplished in the next two months. I’m excited for all You have for us!

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I came across this blogpost that I found to be very interesting and guess what it is about? Bowel Movements. Yep, it is about the best way to sit for a bowel movement. Very random and definitely not something you see every day on a blog but definitely an interesting read and I think what she has to say makes sense.

Check out the link below to read all about it. If you are pregnant I would really recommend looking at it.

Curious if I if I have tried it?  Yes, yes I have. I certainly didn’t go out and buy the stool she did but I used the stepping stool we have in our bathroom. And I think it works.

http://ashleysgreenlife-blogspot-com201211squatting-on-potty-for-healthy-body-html

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