Sunday, January 27, 2013

Encouragement for Mom's



These are a few articles that caught my attention this week, as I was thinking about mom's that need encouragement. Isn't that what we are suppose to do is encourage one another? Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Remember there is hope and when you have hope, you can have faith and trust in the Lord for all that you need.

"To survive Motherhood is not enough.  The blessing of Motherhood is found in the moments we do the hard thing, place ourselves last to place them first in front of the throne of the Father
I don’t want to survive, I want to strive, push forward, be diligent and persevere for the prize! I want to soak it up, gather the memories, grow their hearts and develop relationships so deep that the lies of this world can not tear them apart. It’s the road less traveled.  It’s narrow and the gate does not open except to those who knock."   Read more here   http://www.momsmustardseeds.com/2013/01/teach-them-to-work/

“Let the task wait, not the child.” I admit I sometimes choose the task and not the child, I have a must get work done before play mentality, which can be a positive, but also a negative.  http://kaysepratt.com/2013/01/the-epic-battle-of-social-media.html

15 great moms quotes to encourage your heart   http://www.themominitiative.com/2013/01/27/great-mom-quotes/

"So I’m a mess and we’re all failures — at least all the honest of us are.
And the truth is, no one ever runs before they take baby steps. 
So I scratch down these 25 points, a manifesto for sanity and there are a thousand ways in a thousand seasons to make a life glorify God." This is by far my favorite this week and love the printable too:  http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/01/your-care-guide-25-point-manifesto-for-sanity-in-2013/

Started reading The Excellent Wife this last week. There is a small group of us meeting to discuss this book over the next few months, if your interested in joining us, please contact me. We will meet the 3rd Mondays at 9am. I made it a goal this year to also study Proverbs 31, which does tie in with The Excellent Wife, so I have been able to do them together. I am reading the verses in different Bible versions. In addition to reading and studying the verses, I came across this from a blog that I follow and thought I share it in case anybody else would like to study Proverbs.  http://womenlivingwell.org/free-proverbs-31-ebook/




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adventures in shopping & cooking!!

A few days ago I managed to get my meal plan shopping list done. I do mine for 2-3 week period. In addition to crock put meals, this time I included some freezer meal items, french toast sticks, egg sandwiches, fruit smoothies, chicken (cook prepare large amount ahead time, shred, chop it up for individual meals), and am making my own iced chai tea and coffee creamer. Last year a wonderful gal presented on meal planning at MOPS and  I have this friend from church with 6 children, who also home-schools, who inspired me along with the help of pinterest to start meal planning and then I have been reading her blog and she does freezer meals too, so I thought if a mama of 6 can do it, surely a mother of two can, right?!! Well I tackled grocery shopping with both kiddos by myself yesterday, and let's just say it is the last time little man will be going grocery shopping with me. The trip turned into a taking  twice as long, cleaning up messes, constantly trying to contain him, and then last straw was when he starting throwing items out of the cart, one which was a container of cherry tomatoes that went every where. He really is a sweet boy, just a little adventurous, he was having a great time, laughing all the way. This mama, not so much! People were blessing my heart and you know that that means! Anyhow it was an adventure I rather not do again. So after all that and putting the groceries away, this mama was tired. But today I got up, thought I am going to tackle this, so after lunch I started and let's just say it is going pretty smoothly, might be taking a little longer then planned, but I have two little one's and a puppy to interact with too. I know this is going to be a blessing for our family, with having all these items prepared, so for days/weeks to come I can just open up freezer and heat up with little work. Right now the kitchen looks like a mess, but I will have it looking shining in know time, that is just how I work! Anyhow after doing this, I will definitely do it again! Just glad that this is something that only will probably need to be done once or twice a month. Oh and another plus, when your making things homemade, you know your family is getting that added benefit of healthier yummy food, saving money, and none of that prepackaged chemical stuff. :)
Here's a few pics of our freezer cooking adventure:
 Abigail helping! (she is scooping yogurt to freeze for individual portions for smoothies)

 French Toast sticks ready to freeze, yum!

Egg, ham & cheese biscuits!

 Must have cookies!! 

 Meanwhile, Aidan is trying to climb cabinets :) 

 Abigail took a photo of her mama cooking!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sneak peak into our day!

Everyday we spend some time coloring at some point, both the kids love it. They may have some art genes, since on both sides of our family we have some talented artists, unfortunately I am not one of them, but Ryan is!






Look how Bear has grown! 

Family Visitors

My brother and his fiance came for a visit a few weeks ago. Abigail and Aidan had lots of fun with Uncle Jason and Aunt Amber, we had our third Christmas with them too. We haven't celebrated Christmas with them in eight years due to living far from family. We are thankful for them coming down to visit us in Kentucky and had a great time! We tried to talk them into moving here.

Aidan was so excited he got some John Deer tractors, which he is obsessed with. Abigail got a Dora that she gets to play in the tub with, so cool how her hair changes color when getting washed and she also got a castle to play and decorate.



We enjoyed some time together taking them to our favorite places to eat, they did a little antique shopping, and of course had to play some Candy Land, which my poor brother lost at many times.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Who would have thought!

My hubby has been teaching me how to use and shoot a gun. Actually for our wedding anniversay we went out for sushi and to the gun range. The reason it has taken me so long to learn to shoot a gun was because I was a bit fearful and unsure how I felt about guns. Well I can now say I am no longer fearful and a lot more knowledgeable! With the way the world is changing, I rather be prepared and know what I am doing. Plus it is fun going out to the gun range! Now don't go all thinking what? I still could not go out hunting, those deers are just too cute for me.

Recently we took a conceal and carry class. I impressed myself, it takes a lot to impress myself, because I am not one to brag. I do have to say thanks to my hubby for teaching and giving me encouragement and for our great instructor too. I shot 20 out of 20 on the target and was consist in shooting what I was aiming for. Also I got a 100% on the written test, probably one of the few tests that I have received a 100% on. Yes it was open book test, but I only looked up two questions and that was only because I was just a bit hesitant in my answer but when I checked I was correct with what I was going to choose for the answer. Hubby did just as well as me, might be a little better shot, but not by much :) I think I have a new hobby!

We had a fun class, actually one of my close friends from here attended with us! So you know how us girls can be, haha!! 

Our whole class passed and we have some great shooters!

Wives this one is for you! Encouragement and what God is teaching me.

As you know it is on my heart to help and encourage mom's, sometimes that is as a mommy to little one's and sometimes it is in marriage. I have experienced some not so great moments and I know other mom's/wives have too, though I know there is a lot of us out there, that never talk about things because fear you might be judged or that you are a terrible person. So not true!! Never would I tell someone what they should or shouldn't do, but I can certainly share from my experiences and what God has taught me. God wants us to love and encourage one another! I enjoy being apart of MOPS just for this reason, we are moms that encourage one another. I also experience this through the women's Bible study groups I am apart of and the friends God has placed in my life. 

  
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.~Ephesians 4:2

The Bible teaches us to: 
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
~Titus 2:3-5

Here are couple blogs I read recently, that are speaking to me.
I started following her blog a couple months ago, I believe God is convicting my heart, I know I am not always respectful to my husband, guilty as charged! Anyone else out there, oh I know you are there, we are not alone in this battle. I can see myself in this story, and it made me see the way I have reacted to certain situations were definitely not the right way or the way God would of wanted me to. http://peacefulwife.com/2013/01/14/a-real-life-example-of-respect-and-submission/

I recently started following her blog too, and she writes some great blogs on being a godly wife and what it looks like Biblical. I am just starting to study this and actually this is the reason I will be reading The Excellent Wife and getting together with some other ladies to discuss this book a few times over the months ahead. If you like to join us, let me know. Sure is some interesting stuff here and I am excited to see how God will speak to me through this. http://joleneengle.com/what-every-husband-needs-from-his-wife/


One last one to share, because a lot of people don't think about satan, we need to be-aware but at the same time not fear. Enemy will attack you at some point in your life and you need to be ready. The enemy can attack you in many ways, through many different situations. I liked this in the article: "
We can either walk through our faith, pretending the enemy won’t try to threaten our spiritual wellness (much like pretending that Big Mac habit isn’t going to mess with your cholesterol level) or we can be prepared, alert and proactive so that we walk in victory, no matter what stage we are at. Victories come in all shapes and sizes, my friends. Don’t forget that." http://www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com/my_weblog/2013/01/know-your-enemys-tactics.html

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Insights, blogs, books, and more.



I thought I share some blogs and reading that spoke to my heart recently. Feel free to share yours too. I will share from time to time, can't promise it will be weekly or even monthly, but my hope is by sharing what I read from time to time, that it might bless someone else too, that may not have come across it.

The book I have been reading and her blog:

The “Do What You Can” Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better    http://holleygerth.com/category/god-sized-dreams/ 

Here are some notes I took from the book:
Proverbs 16:9 Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Pursing a goal gets us moving but it's still God who determines our ultimate destination, as the verse above says. It's hard to redirect someone who is standing still. So use goals to give you motivation as well as direction, then let God guide you as you go.

Description of Proverbs 31 woman is that we are to be faithful in the small, immediate, everyday things before us. Do it with consistency and excellence (one of verses of scripture I am studying this year).
God comes alongside of us when we are obedient. Obedience is about doing, not just believing.

Ecc. 11:4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Even in the most enjoyable experiences of our lives, there is always a bit of discomfort.
Life is never normal. Timing is never perfect. Conditions are never really right. If you know this is something God wants you to do, move forward anyway.

Make fear work for you, but don't remain in a state of it.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strength you and help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Combine faith with works.
2 Chr 31:21 He sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.
God speaks through your heart. Heart is source of passion.
Neh 4:6 For the people worked with all their heart.
Question: What is your heart motivation for making this change in your life?

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Mistakes are different from sin. A mistake is a result of being human, an imperfection that reminds us we are not God, a place in our lives where God's power can be "made perfect in weakness"~2 Cor 12:9 Sin is outright rebellion, a deliberate defiance. When it comes to sin, God has strong words to say. (ahhh grace right here, thank you Lord!) When it comes to being human and making mistakes or having areas where we are weak, He reassures us that He can make up the difference.

God values growth and connection over perfection.

The journey you and God take will be unique to you. God's purposes will prevail in your life. And with Him, you will prevail too.

Neh. 8:9-10
Don't be sad! Go home and have a party, eat, drink, and celebrate. The joy of the Lord is your strength. (so celebrate those goals you make, celebrate the little successes!)

Joy is what gives us strength, victory, and lasting change


God never wants us to get complacent. He doesn't want us to find our comfort zone (oh and I can attest to that!). There's too much out there for us to experience and enjoy with Him. You will never get to the place where God stops calling you closer to Him. Also, don't forget to take time for rest and recovery, Jesus did. 

We are imperfect people in a fallen world. There will never be a time in our lives when things are just as we want them. What's before us is always a mixture of good and bad, hard and easy, happy and sad. If we wait for that to change, then we will wait for the rest of our lives.The most effective people in the kingdom aren't those who never mess up or fall down (and we know that by God's word) They're the ones who most consistently get back up. That pursuit happens not in the big moments of life but in little decisions, daily choices, and small acts of obedience. 
God will make sure that the good work He began in you is carried on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus~see Phil. 1:6     


So what are the God sized dreams He has placed on your heart? And are you doing them? To be honest, I have known for sometime what God has placed on my heart and at times I listen and follow through and other times I struggle and don't trust. Well that folks is going to end, I am putting my God sized dreams in motion, now I have to remember I may get discouraged and may at times feel like giving up, but at those time's I need to remember to rely fully on God and ask people for prayer and help. I love to know what your God sized dreams are so that we can pray and encourage one another.

On the books on my list to read (yes I have list, I need to put them in order, make a plan):

Desperate~Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (by Sally Clarkson (one of my fav authors and Sarah Mae) and a blog from one of the authors http://gracefullmama.com/do-you-wish-you-had-a-pause-button-on-your-life/  (this is one I like to study with a group of mama's)

My favorite blog posts I read this week:
Do you wish you had a pause button? Well I know I do at times!
http://gracefullmama.com/do-you-wish-you-had-a-pause-button-on-your-life/


Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook. http://sharonglasgow.com/2013/01/the-good-wife-recipe/

For future use for my kiddos: http://joyfilleddays.com/%20/shouldkidsusefacebook/
 

Love this~Happiness trumps perfection every single time – if you just let go long enough to let it.  http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/01/02/a-year-of-ordinary-achievement/
 

I love to journal, one way God speaks to me. If you like to journal or need encouragement here is a wonderful mothers journal printable  http://www.momsmustardseeds.com/2012/05/mothers-day-free-prayer-journa/

I recently read an article in Proverbs 31 magazine~Contentment Where God Plants You and it spoke to me.
I sometimes struggle about why we live in Kentucky, as it looks like the place we will be staying, putting roots down, after becoming use to moving around so much in last 8 years, but I know God put me and my family here for a reason. I just love what the author Christina Fox said  "If I allow my roots to grow deep here (honestly I haven't been), I may find that true joy waits in the wilderness and not in the perfectly planned and neatly-landscaped life I've long desired (for me the perfect timing). It's only when my heart is emptied, places are filled with Him alone that I can joyfully thrive where He's planted me. The more I live for Him and not myself, the more effective I can be in this place."  


On my blog on the right side is a list of my favorite sites. You will notice a theme, most are blogs/web-sites about parenting, moms, marriage and yoga, which are my passions. Passions I believe God has placed on my heart. My God sized dreams are to encourage mom's from my experiences, books I have read, the Bible, and teaching yoga!



LuLu the Bear!

LuLu is spending the weekend with us. Who is LuLu you ask? Some of you have already had the pleasure of meeting her. I guess, I am assuming she is a female bear? Anyhow, she is the class bear is Abigail's preschool, when the children are the star of the week, which every child gets to be once during the school year, they get to bring LuLu home for a weekend and then share what they do together. First of all, LuLu got some pampering in the washing machine and dryer (You know germs and flu season, I am a bit OCD, but was glad to read I wasn't the only mama who did that, there is a book to report about your adventures in.). Abigail has been sleeping with LuLu all weekend, yesterday LuLu went to Sweet CeCe's with us to enjoy some frozen yogurt and play time with some friends, oh and we got to experience tornado warnings and drenching rain too. Today, LuLu attended church with us and learned about Jesus, worshiping to music and attending class with Abigail. It has been a fun weekend, but this mama is glad LuLu is going back to school tomorrow, it's almost like having another kid, because I need to remember we don't forget her someplace or the dog turns her into one of his stuffed toys.Though we still have the rest of the day to get through and it could still happen.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Review of "No More Perfect Moms "


I finished reading No More Perfect Moms. I enjoyed reading the book and could relate to her in many ways. This book would also be great as a group study. I recommend to all mom's, especially those of little one's. 

I blogged previously here if you missed those posts:
http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2013/01/sneak-peakno-more-perfect-moms.html
http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2012/12/no-more-perfect-moms-stop-trying-to.html
http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2012/12/no-more-perfect-moms-update.html
http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2012/12/book-launch.html

Jill Savage is very down to earth, she shares her parenting, relationships and marriage issues.These are some of the quotes I love from the book: "If we'll allow it, God will use our children to smooth our rough edges and strengthen our character." "There are no perfect kids...just unique ones, who make mistakes along the way." "Motherhood is the ministry of availability." 

In the book she talks about motherhood as a ministry of availability or interruptions! We all know life with kids is unpredictable, right? Well before I had kids I didn't think that, I was going to parent them a certain way, they were going to do this, act this way, or eat this, wear that, etc...Wow did I have it all wrong! But I am happy to say, praise the Lord for helping me see it differently and for His help in raising my children, or should I say His children, He did bless them to me and ultimately they are His children, we all are His! Those were my expectations and I am learning how to not have them! We need to expect the unexpected. "We need to embrace "what is" instead of "what could have been"."So let's change our perspective! I also like what she says here "I've come to see many of these not-planned for moments not as interruptions but rather as God's appointments." Now think of some of those moments, maybe what frustrated you, now look at it through God's eyes. 

There is a part in the book she talks about when she moved to a new town and knew nobody and was a mom of a 2 & 4 year old, oh how her story resonated with me. She talks about being an introvert and how scary it can feel initiating friendships, yes that be me too! I was feeling a bit fearful and insecure and sometimes still am, but I love the truths she applied to her situation.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" 2 Cor 12:9
"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength" Phil 4:13
These are two verses I love and have mediated on, which have helped me be more courageous and trusting! Praise the Lord I don't have to do this all on my own I have His help, all I need to do is trust and ask! 

For further details on the book No More Perfect Moms, go to Jill Savage's web-site: http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/nmpm-about/nmpm-about-2

**Get Free Bonuses** When buying this book:
If you order or purchase the book during the week of Feb 4-9, we will electronically send you free bonuses! The bonuses will be announced on Jill's web-site February 4th. They will include e-books, audio workshops, and more!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sneak Peak~No More Perfect Moms


Exciting news, you can get a sneak peak of the No More Perfect Moms book I am helping to launch! (chapters 1-3)
http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Perfect-Moms-Learn/dp/0802406378/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357254677&sr=8-1&keywords=no+more+perfect+moms

I encourage you to check into the following:

First, I encourage mom's to sign up for the FREE 31 Day Email Challenges. It starts January 1st (IT IS NOT TOO LATE). Just go to this link: http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/nmpm-about/nmpm-email



Second, check out No More Perfect Mom's web-site, lots of resources and information http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/nmpm-home



Third, buy the book between February 4-9 and you will receive FREE from Hearts at Home and Moody Publishers additional bonus resources worth more than $100. You can sign up here to be reminded: http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/nmpm-about/nmpm-about-3


Fourth, you might want to consider going to the 2013 National Hearts at Home conference March 15-16. The theme this year is, of course, No More Perfect Moms! They are expecting over 6,000 moms! Go to this link to find out more details and to register: http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/events/national-2013