Friday, May 26, 2017

Encouragement and Snapshots

There are just some days, you can feel the attacks of satan coming strong, so why I need God's Word,  encouragement, HIS reminders, and prayers of other believers with me on this journey of faith. This Word from God is wise and we need to pray daily (often), so we don't get lost on our journey. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 
There are many times I am not brave and I don't think God is telling us we have to be brave on our own, but through Him we can be brave, we don't have to have it all together or be awesome, because we have an awesome God who does hold all things (Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.)!! Now that is some great hope right there!!

Here are some encouraging reads from this week:

How do I remember eternity, when I’m stuck in the ordinary and consumed with the daily tasks and to-do lists? http://www.sarahefrazer.com/2017/05/live-eternity-fold-laundry/
Somewhere along the way we lost sight of God. We lost sight that holiness is what our heart should desire above all else. We’ve been bamboozled to believe that “holiness” is boring. Did we forget we are to be in the world, not of the world? How can we effectively sharpen iron when our standard is to look at what everyone else is doing rather than what the Scriptures say? Clearly, I have more questions than answers. http://rachaelcarman.com/attitude-not-platitudes/
Words are potent. Words change things. Words brought galaxies into being when “God said…and there was”(Gen 1:3). God’s words have impact (Isa 55:11), are living, active, and sharp (Heb 4:12), illuminate dark places (Ps 119:105), nourish souls (Mt 4:4), and defeat death (Lk 11:43). The words of the gospel are “the power (literally, dynamite) of God.” https://scottsauls.com/2017/05/words/
Saying no to one is saying yes to another. Weeding wisely increases your success and your joy. Might you have a few weeds to pull? To purposefully plant, ask: http://joyfilleddays.com/weeding-wisely-to-increase-joy/
Some great points, but a big one if we are too busy we will miss out on God…here are 10 Reasons to Ban Busy from Your Family Life http://www.abundantmama.com/ban-busy/

New book launch! "God's to-do list involves loving others fully, being patient, and only doing the things HE assigns me to do."
Mama education reading! I call this school in-service!
My new Bible study! I highly recommend it, anyone interested in doing a small group or online group of this one in the near future, let me know. "Obedience is not a reluctant duty. Obedience is not an indebted action. Nor is it the way to salvation. Obedience is a response to God's grace-the natural and right response to this great gift of grace we've received."


This week we started our summer session, for Raising Arrows homeschool. We started nature journaling and a new Bible study! Nature journaling is something I have been wanting us to add into our days, but we just never got around to it. Well in summer, we have no excuses we are not doing our regular curriculum, so I thought well if I start now, it will build into a habit. What I wasn't expecting is how much we would enjoy it! I am not great at drawing, nor painting, it just doesn't come naturally to me, like some people (hint my husband). I would tell myself it won't be any good, I can't, but I did it! It was a great reminder that sometimes we just need to start, we just need to do it! We don't need to let those negative thought patterns rule our minds because our feelings do not have to rule us. With Christ we can face those "giants", yes I realize drawing may seem little and silly, but it goes for anything satan throws at you. He like nothing more than to hold you down! Anyhow, I just love how God can use something to teach me a lesson. On Sunday, it was a big celebration day, Aidan who professed faith in Christ the week before, followed through in believers Baptism. He said it was the best day ever, and yes it is was!!

Snapshots of our week:
A fun night of golf practice with PGA Jr League team!
Wonderful day at church, so many things to be thankful for!! Praising the Lord for Aidan following through in believer's baptism to share his faith. Thank you JESUS!!
Celebrating Aidan's baptism!
Fun night at our Girls In Action tea party, my girl and our special guest Mrs. Shannon!
Raising Arrows summer session has officially begun. Nature study, Big Truths, reading fun, and art!
Nature study art! Learning about birds!
The hubs and dauther had a golf date and little man wanted to have a movie date with his mama watching Monster Trucks!
Found himself a rock on our little exploring outing.
This girl completed the Young Explorers 1 from The Mailbox Club! My kids enjoy receiving and completing these Bible lessons! Check them out! http://www.mailboxclub.org
My fisherman and his "redneck" fishing equipment! But oh yummy fish were caught!
Hubs, captured this one, our mowing chickens out in their tractor and little farm boy watching!
Listening to this girl read our bird lesson along with little cowboy!
Fun morning adding to our nature journals, drawing hummingbirds and labeling!
Hummingbird nature study!
Beatuiful and peaceful night at the pond!
Little karate kids! Next month they test for green belt!
Beautiful day for a walk with my little's!
Thankful for this gorgeous day, perfect clouds, beautiful wheat field, and my little's!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Whispers of Rest~Book Launch

Rest doesn't come easy for me, but this book has helped me to see the importance. Bonnie Gray has written a book just for me, well maybe you too, OK, a book I think many of us need. This world is loud and busyness is a problem, not only for ourselves, but we will miss out having a relationship with others, and most important the relationship that we need most of all with God. Bonnie has done her research on ways to find rest, helpful suggestions to slow down, and most importantly connect with God.

When I found out Bonnie was writing another book, after reading her first book Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I knew this book would be worth a read. Her new book is almost like a follow-up to her first book, because if you read her first book she shared how she found God and dealt with PTSD. However, you don't need to read that book to read Whispers of Rest.

I have been reading through this devotional book daily and partaking in the wonderful journey of resting with God. Bonnie pointed to our need for Jesus, shares Bible verses for the day to focus on, along with reflect and prayer time, and journaling or activity suggestion to connect deeper. This doesn't have to take hours, but a few minutes will refuel you.

These are some of the notes I have taken, that spoke to me:
  • Say yes to following Jesus, trust Him to lead you where He calls you to go. 
  • Holding onto guilt of not being enough by doing more..instead draw near to Him and say yes and let my heart be free in HIM.
  • We were never meant to journey alone. God is with us. In the day and in the night. 
  • Rather than striving to please, to belong or avoid hurt, what is the more restful journey that God is inviting me into, step out in faith and experience Him?  
  • Am I moving by God's invitation or by my striving?
  • Checklists never end, we need to step away and rest: to feel our emotions, hear God's whispers, to be present with others, to be who we were created to be!
  • When we're most stressed, we often deprive ourselves of what we need most, God.
Some of the activity suggestions, I did:
  • Breath prayer was a wonderful way to help me to pause, slow down and connect. 
  • Write a letter to your younger self, was heart opening.
  • Her reminder, that I will never be able to love as perfectly or unconditionally as God has loved you, but to dedicate your life to loving better. 
  • Make a mosaic of your favorite activities, places, things, people, music, colors, foods, experiences,...is a great way to remember your passions, the beauty the God provides.
  • Unplug! Instead, journal, create, and remember God is of peace, not confusion, distractions.
  • Loved this one, drink coffee! Coffee has some added benefits as does art! 

After going through this devotion, which by the way I plan to reuse, as a helpful tool to use on days when I get frustatred, worry, or become distracted and need those God whisper reminders. God is gracious and will hear and answer our cries. He will lead and teach us in difficult times. He always acts out His love for us. We must be willing to follow Him. Remove the impure things that cause us to wander.


Be sure to go check out this book for yourself or to give to a friend. Also, go to Bonnie's web-site, she has some wonderful free resources for you at  http://thebonniegray.com/whispersofrest/#freeresources








↠💕 Linking up at http://thebonniegray.com/

Saturday, May 20, 2017

MANDISA is back with a NEW CD “OUT OF THE DARK”~Review and Giveaway!!


Many of us will be excited that Mandisa is back with a new CD~Out Of The Dark!! If you are struggling or have been in a dark season, you will enjoy listening to this CD. Even if you have not, you will find some songs on Mandisa's new CD that are worth praising and dancing with! My favorite is Shine~"Stand up and shine, bright in the darkest night, Burn like the morning light, Get up and soar, Don't have to hide anymore, What are you waiting for, Break down the door, Stand up and shine, shine." Her song Back To Life, spoke to me.."I breathe out confusion, I breathe in Your truth, I breathe out all my fear, I breathe in Your peace, I'm coming back to life, I'm feeling hope arise, Because of You, Only You, Jesus."

From FlyBy Promotions: 
MANDISA OUT OF THE DARK CD 
Acoustic Video for "Unfinished”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQFpXcvFI0A 



Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! 



You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/mandisa-opens-overcoming-depression-47020463


OFFICIAL HASHTAGS: #OutOfTheDark #FlyBy 

I have one CD to offer for a giveaway, so be sure to enter to win no later than Saturday, May 27, 2017, by leaving a comment or like on one of my other social media posts. This is for U.S. residents only.

(“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Weekly encouragement, good reads, and peek into our week!

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend!! I am taking a bit of a break from blogging and linking up (as I shared on my Wednesday post here http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2017/05/post-mothers-day-encouagement-and-put.html ). I have projects that need my attention and time to enjoy a little summer break, so these weekly encouragement posts will be short and sweet, but will always have some good reads that are worth checking out. I hope you are finding time to rest in God's presence today and every day, HE loves us so, and we need to make sure our first order of business is with our Lord. Blessings 💗


Good reads: 
So while balance may be a myth, grace is very real and available in spades. http://girlwithblog.com/2017/05/no-thing-balance-whole-lot-grace/ 
A huge part of persevering in times of waiting is the courage it takes to hold onto hope through it all. God continues to teach me how when I think nothing is happening, everything is happening. In the waiting, God works behind the scenes without fail. Our job is to allow God to do the work while being patient with the process. God promises: http://marygeisen.com/wishing-waiting-and-pursuing-perseverance-part-5/ 
If God is good and if God has the power to do anything, why hasn’t God healed you? https://scottsauls.com/2017/05/the-secret-behind-a-strong-resilient-soul/ 
Do we follow our heart’s desires — or do we desire to follow Christ? http://annvoskamp.com/2017/05/how-to-handle-temptation-narrow-way-real-holiness-real-joy/ 
In Christian circles, I see confusion everywhere: from the books pumped out of Christian publishing houses, to the bloggers we follow. When they deviate from the Bible, we're quick to write it off as a misunderstanding or just "their experience", when in reality they are breaking rank with Scripture and we are giving them a thumbs up as the world watches on. http://joyfilleddays.com/lies/ 
Parenting is the Task of Making Disciples http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/parenting-is-discipleship/ 
You are able. You ARE able. By the power of the Holy Spirit. Under the covering and authority of God. So sister, warrior up. http://lisawhittle.com/dont-feel-youre-able/


Weekly snapshots:
Whoohoo, we finished another year of homeschooling!!! Last Friday was our last day of 2016-2017 school year for Raising Arrows! Proud of these two!!
A beautiful day and my beautiful daughter!
So thankful for Mother's Day and the beautiful homemade gifts from my children. As always a wonderful worship service with my church family, but best of all little man shared with the church on Sunday that  he asked Jesus to be his Savior!
Little fisherman!
Golf kids!
Watching my man fish!
My current reading book stack keeps distracting me, but my messy office and the homeschool curriculum need organizing. I am slowly getting books and curriculum organized for next semester and also listing one's we no longer use. Book problems!
Received my hard-copy of this new book! It was the perfect book to sit down with on Monday after a day of many appointments. Jesus whispers~I will be your shelter. Rest and refresh. Let me be your shade today. Psalm 119:114~You are my shelter and my shield I put my hope in your Word.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Post Mother's Day Encouragement and Put Your Warrior Boots on! Link-ups

In this journey of faith, I sometimes think it would be easier and more peaceful to keep quiet, keep my faith private, live in isolation, but then God tells us that isn't what we are to do. We are to share our faith, to plant seeds, and many times we wait and wait, and sometimes never see the fruit from it. However, God's will is being done and He will fill you with unending joy and give you the strength to endure! Let's not give up sharing truth and encouraging others to know Jesus. Jesus gave us the command to go into the world to share the gospel.
Raising children in this world, being a truth teller, sharing God's Word and wisdom isn't easy, but if we love people, truly love people, we will want them to now the truth. Right? This book I am reading by Lisa Whittle, Put Your Warrior Boots shares that the most important, life-saving truth is knowing Jesus as our Savior. If we take Jesus seriously and love people, we will desire to share the truth. I couldn't agree more, it was convicting, I don't share nearly enough, as I should. People are seeking, searching to figure out who they are, what is their purpose, but what we miss often times because the world is loud and says the opposite, is that who we are and our purpose all come from God! To understand this we need to truly know Him and share Him with those around us. I am a wife and a mom and those closest to me are my children, so my first calling is to point them to Christ. But it doesn't stop there!


I shared on Mother's Day on social media that parenting isn't always easy and I am not perfect, many times I question myself, and so why I need Jesus!! I know there are many people that read my blog I don't personally know and also, friends and family. What I want to encourage you, if you are a believer is to keep doing what is right, sharing God's Word with them, praying for them, and living the example Jesus gave us. Our children are watching us and hear us, even when I think they are not. This I know, as my son asked Jesus to be his Savior last week. We go to church and share Jesus daily with them. This was a decision He made on his own with Jesus, he wouldn't have known Jesus if he didn't have people in his life to show him the way. It is so important we share our faith and live our faith daily, not just Sundays. Also many times my daughter will quote me, which is good most of the time, when I am doing it right. So they are watching us!! It does matter! However, we are not perfect people and that is OK, because Jesus is, and He will help us! It won't be easy and satan would like nothing more than to keep you from your godly role and miss out on the calling God gave you. We need to rise up in this world and let Christ rule us, so we can help those around us and the next generation. If you don't have a relationship with Jesus, start praying, He will hear you, start reading the Bible, find a godly mentor, a Biblical church, and devote yourself to the Lord. These words from Lisa's book "God wants honor. He wants commitment. He wants gratitude. He wants wild, devoted love. He wants to be first. He wants them to remember. He wants them to be honest with themselves about their heart condition. (she is sharing about the reminders from God in Deuteronomy 29:5-9 that Moses was sharing). God wants the same things of us today." Oh, how I need these reminders! Maybe you too?  

I like to point you to some verses that have encouraged me and remind us what we are to do and why:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house!

Psalms 78:1-7 O my people, listen to my teaching. Open your ears to what I am saying. For I will show you lessons from our history, stories handed down to us from former generations. I will reveal these truths to you so that you can describe these glorious deeds of Jehovah to your children and tell them about the mighty miracles he did. For he gave his laws to Israel and commanded our fathers to teach them to their children, so that they in turn could teach their children too. Thus his laws pass down from generation to generation. In this way each generation has been able to obey his laws and to set its hope anew on God and not forget his glorious miracles.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 But you must keep on believing the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know that you can trust those of us who have taught you. You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God’s salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus.

I encourage you to check out Lisa Whittle's new book, it is a book for us to encourage us in our faith, prayer, to walk in authority of God, put on God's armour, to be Jesus strong, be prepared and able, because Jesus is enough. I encourage you also to check out these blogs I link up with for some encouragement in faith. This will be my last blog link up for a while, taking a break. Doesn't mean I won't stop reading though and sharing weekly encouragement, along with some reviews and giveaways as they come up. Time for a little refocus on some things God is calling my attention to. Much love to my readers, friends, and family! If you are in need of prayer, someone to talk with, or encouragement to grow and stay strong in your faith, contact me. We need each other!  💗


➽📓Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕 and
From Messes to Messages   
Porch Storiesand Fresh Market Friday

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? Review


We are big fans of children's books in our house, especially one's that point to God! The newest book by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley, Do Baby Bears Have Mommies?, is a fun read with a great message! I like how it starts out..."Kids have lots of questions!", that is definetly true, I get asked a hundred a day!! The book goes through various animals you find at the zoo or around your area, and ask questions and then answer those about the animal in a fun silly way. At the end of the book, the big question and answer is God made all animals, and each one is unique. I really like the bright illustrations throughout the book. Your children, will enjoy this book! Great book to add to your home library or give as a gift.


From Tyndale Publishers:
Tyndale Kids Title
Kids ask a lot of questions. Some silly and some innocent. Some deep and some serious. The books in the I’ve Got Questions series address many of those childlike questions and offer satisfying answers. The content is lively and fun, yet meaningful and respectful of a child’s inquisitive mind. While the books have a strong educational component, the deeper purpose is to show parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. Illustrations feature multicultural characters both male and female.

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? answers questions about animals. Children learn about starfish, elephants, bears, stars, earthworms, eagles, trees, and heaven, while absorbing the underlying themes of God’s love and grace and a parent’s love for a child.

The author also has many other children's books you will want to check out, this book is the first book in the "I've Got Questions Series", the other is Does God Take Naps?.  



To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my personal review of this book.