Thursday, July 31, 2014

How He Loves Us (Letting Go Of Regret)

Regret is one of those things that we have all experienced. We have all done or said something that we wish we could take back. At the end of a person's life people usually say they regret not spending more time with family. I have heard it said by doctors and nurses that no one has ever said they regretted not working more. 

The song "Hello, My Name Is" by Matthew West talks about this. The songs first line is "Hello, my name is regret. I'm pretty sure we have met. Every single day of your life I'm the whisper inside that won't let you forget." That about sums it up. Regret is something that weighs heavily on people. When you think about regret you think about bad things. 

The picture above with the lyrics to "How He Loves" is one of my favorites. When I think about how much God loves me it is unfathomable. If I live with regrets weighing heavily on my heart how can I realize the depth of God's love for me? I have lots of things I could regret. I am trying to live for His glory. With all of the things in this world trying to distract me from God, I don't need to hinder my walk with God by having regrets. 

I suppose I should say, I mess up. I mess up big time. I feel guilty for things that I have done or should have done and didn't. Guilt and regret kind of go hand in hand. For example, I lose it with my kids. I yell and lose my temper. I know I shouldn't but at the moment I want them to obey and when they don't...well, you know the rest. I regret my actions. I feel guilty because I don't want them to feel bad. I don't want to see my children hurt, especially by my own doing. So, I go to them and ask for forgiveness. Thankfully, they are very willing to forgive me. 

It is the same way with God. If we mess up, we should go to Him and ask for forgiveness. It can be hard to humble yourself when you have done something wrong. If we don't that is where regret can seep into our thoughts and wind its way around our hearts. I have lived a lot of my life with many regrets. I have wallowed in them and blamed myself or others. I have been hurt and saddened. But, I have decided to take stand and! I love to sing the Frozen song "Let It Go" when I say that. LOL!

So, what I have concluded is that God loves us so much. He loves us despite our past, our problems, and our circumstances. If there is something you have said or done and you regret it, give to God. He will freely forgive and give you a clean slate. He doesn't even remember your sins once they are confessed. That is great news! Live for Him and be free. 



Monday, July 28, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday- 7/28/14

Please visit Diary of a SAHM for more Happy Homemaker Monday!

Welcome! Hope you had a good weekend. We mostly hung out around the house. Saturday morning we took the boys to our local historical downtown area for a bike ride and picnic. It was fun and they had a blast. Not too much to report today. We are gearing up for school to start in September. I homeschool so I ordered all of the books needed for this year. I am excited and happy that I got it done. I was stressing a lot and with the help of my SIL (who is a veteran homeschooler), I ordered what I needed and nothing extra. Saved me a lot of money!!

Breakfast Time:::
I had coffee and oatmeal. I have started the THM eating plan and it is fun. Lots of new things to try!

On Today's To Do List:::
Continue cleaning out the school room
Work on an article for another website
Work on a devotional for a new book

Currently Reading:::
Trim Healthy Mama
Women Living Well
2 Bible commentaries about Hebrews and 1 and 2 Samuel

On The TV Today:::
Actually nothing...I know exciting. I am sitting here in the quiet of my kitchen while the baby naps and the big boys play outside. I have the window open and the breeze is blowing. So peaceful. 

The Weather Outside:::
It is already 82 degrees outside...not a cloud in sight. It will be very humid today (as usual here in VA). It is a beautiful morning though. 

On The Menu This Week:::
Monday- sweet and sour chicken with sauteed veggies
Tuesday- tacos
Wednesday- chicken alfredo with broccoli and salad
Thursday- leftovers
Friday- pizza
Saturday- bugers and hot dogs on the grill with veggies

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself I Will:::
Go to the bathroom without an audience. LOL! 
Read, sew, close my eyes and pray

New Recipe I Want To Try:::
There is a recipe for a frappe in the Trim Healthy Mama book and I really want to try it. It uses ingredients that are good for you instead of all the sugar and weird ingredients that the coffee shops use. Going to try it this week sometime.

In The Garden:::
My rose garden is in full bloom. Hubby got some mulch a few weeks ago and has done the new garden in our front yard with the fountain. Here is a pic of one of my roses:

Favorite Photo From The Camera:::

Homemaking Tip:::
Play music while you do house work. It gives me motivation and gets me moving. I listen to Christian music and it is always uplifting and encouraging as well. It can be daunting sometimes when you feel like you do the same thing day in and day out. Music gives me hope and lets me know that God is near. 

Visiting With Blog Friends:::
I have recently discovered a blog called To The Moon And Back. It is such a wonderful little blog. It has encouraged me so much. The author is Dusty. She writes about faith, homemaking, school, etc. It is a very cute website!

Praying For:::
The health of certain family members.
The spiritual warfare going on in certain relationships. 
The salvation of my children. 
My husband as he goes out into the world each day. 
Our country, troops, leaders, etc. 

Bible Verse/Devotional:::
Check out the Inspired Moms Club website. There are lots of resources from parenting, marriage, to how-to projects, and recipes. It is a website to encourage women in their walk with the Lord. Wonderful webiste!

Hope you have a wonderful and blessed week. My middle son, Ducky, turns 4 this weekend. He is very excited. We will be preparing for his party this week. I already ordered him a Woody cowboy boots. My boys live in cowboy boots. LOL! It is too cute!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday- 7/21/14

Please visit Diary of a SAHM for more Happy Homemaker Monday!

Good Afternoon everyone! I am getting this up late but better late than never. I didn't get to HHM last week because Hubby was on staycation. We had a lot of fun doing stuff around here. Hubby got a lot done on our bathroom remodel. His dad came over and helped a couple of days. I didn't realize what went into a remodel. This has been a year in the making. We get things done when we have the money and the time. 

We also did fun stuff. We went to the pool one day, to a theme park another day, we had family date night, and just hung out together. We went on walks and stayed up late. Great memories were made. 

Breakfast Time:::
Pancakes with maple syrup from Trader Joe's (I went for the first time over the weekend with a gift card I received and LOVED it!). 

On Today's To Do List:::
Dentist appt for Bear. He has an infected tooth...needs to come out. 
Dr appt for myself. I had to get my migraine meds refilled. 
My sister and mom came over to watch the kiddos while I went to the dr. 
Dishes and laundry are done. 
Write an article for another website. 

Currently Reading:::
Women Living Well
The Mitford Series
Trim Healthy Mama

On The TV Today:::
Right now I am listening to Reba in the background. 
Not too much else. Haven't had time. 

The Weather Outside:::
Cloudy with a chance of rain. It did sprinkle earlier. About 80 degrees. 

On The Menu This Week:::
Monday- Italian style chicken with homemade scalloped potatoes
Tuesday- Tacos
Wednesday- Spaghetti with salad
Thursday- leftovers
Friday- Pizza night
Saturday- Burgers/hot dogs on the grill

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself I Will:::
Sew some projects I have lying around here. 

New Recipe I Have Tried/Want To Try:::
My Hubby made homemade chicken fried rice last night and it was FANTASTIC! It is his specialty now. 

In The Garden:::
The local garden center was having a HUGE sale over the weekend. We went and got a lot of herbs for 25 cents each. We also got some lemongrass and 2 crepe myrtles. Can't wait to get my herb garden planted!

Favorite Photo From The Camera:::

Hubby and I on a date while he was on staycation. 
Mini golf!

Homemaking Tip:::
Light candles (or warmers) after you clean. It helps me to feel at peace and it also makes me feel like I did a lot more cleaning than I actually did. I love scented candles. My favorite scent is cinnamon. Smells like home to me.

Visiting With Blog Friends:::
One of my favorite blogs is Time-Warp Wife. Darlene Schacht is the author and she is such an inspiration. There are homemaking sections, marriage and parenting sections, and everything in between. Please check it out. She also has a Facebook page.

Praying For:::
So many people. Family/friends who are sick. 
Our country and world. 
The salvation of my children.
My marriage and protection from any evil that may come between us. 

Bible Verse/Devotional:::

I made these graphics with the words to the song We Believe by the Newsboys. It is my favorite song right now and it says everything I need to know about what I should believe. 



Friday, July 18, 2014

Beauty in the Dark Places

"He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory." -Isaiah 61:3

I have been to the dark places of self worth. I have seen first hand the evil that lives there. It takes over your mind, heart, and spirit. You feel crushed and broken. The dark places where you don't recognize yourself. I have been there. I have conquered that dry and weary place. 

I have always had body image issues. Ever since I was a little girl I remember being a little bigger than the other girls. Not the kind of big that most people would notice but the kind that you see in the mirror when changing clothes. It didn't start as a big deal but as I became more mature I felt different. I wanted to look like the other girls. They didn't have hips or curves. They seemed more athletic and and more beautiful in my mind. 

I struggled with my body image all through high school. I thought I had to look a certain way. What I didn't realize was I was made in the image of God. He created me and He did it out of love. I know many girls (and women) who struggle with an unhealthy body image. We look at magazines and the TV and see models. Models who are bone thin and struggling themselves to fit into a "Hollywood" image that is fake. 

I have been so depressed that I starved myself. Except that didn't work because I really love food. I have eaten myself into oblivion. I am a stress eater. I don't reach for healthy snacks either. It is always ice cream or chips and dip. I used to think I looked really bad. I didn't know how to take a compliment. Especially, one from my husband. He always tells me I'm beautiful and my immediate response used to be "yeah right" or "ha!". I am changing my responses to "thank you". 

No matter how many times I tried I just couldn't feel good about myself. I would beat myself up mentally about the way I looked. Now, after having 3 children my body is totally different. I weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant with my children. I have stretch marks and age spots. And, if I thought I had hips before, well, I don't know what to call them now. LOL! 

I have been praying for my health for the last year. I have had so many issues and I believe they all stem from my diet and lack of exercise. I recently ordered the Trim Healthy Mama book and plan to dive right in when it arrives. If you don't know much about the book please look it up. I am very excited. It is a costly book but if I don't get my act together health-wise it will be costly for my family. I want to live a long and happy life. 

A friend of mine recently inspired me to get healthy. Not necessarily to lose weight but to feel better. She sent me a bible verse and I have been praying it ever since. 

"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

After reading this verse and studying it in my quiet time, I have come to love it. My body is a temple and I should treat it as such. That doesn't mean I can't have an occasional dessert and have a nice dinner. It means that I should take care of what God has given me. My body is His. He paid the ultimate price on the cross for me. I want to do my best to be a Godly example for others. 

I have the support of my husband. He is going to help me along the way. I have hope that one day I will be pain free and feel great. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I am taking the bull by the horns and embracing this new lifestyle. Yes, it is a lifestyle. It is not a quick fix. It is a lifelong commitment to take care of the only body I will ever get. I am doing this for God, my family, and myself. 

I know some people may read this and think I am being a little vain or self centered. That is not what I want you to think. There are many things that have led me to this place. My love for God is first and foremost. I want to please Him. One way to do that is to get myself well through a healthy lifestyle. I love my family and want to be there for them for a long time. 

If you are struggling with an unhealthy body image I am praying for you. I have been to that low place. The dark places that seem to cover your whole life. I know it seems lonely. But, you are not alone. God is with you. He was there with me through it all. He is holding your hand and holding your heart. God loves you just the way you are. 

I hope this helps someone today. I have poured my heart out here. This is who I am and who I was. It was hard to write but I know that God will use it for His glory. He will give you beauty for your ashes. 



Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday- 7/7/14

Please visit Diary of a SAHM for more Happy Homemaker Monday!

I hope you all had a great Independence Day! We went to a cookout with some friends and then enjoyed a wonderful fireworks display with my sister and her crew and my neighbor and her crew. It was very nice. The kids had tons of fun. Hubby had a long weekend and we got a lot done around the house. I went through some things and donated about 3-4 bags worth of clothes, toys, books, etc. If I haven't used it in a year I don't need it. I feel so free when I get rid of stuff. Sometimes I get rid of too much stuff. But, it makes my Hubby happy. 

Here is the link to my article about Hope. I pray that you like it and can get something positive out of it. 

As I Look Out My Window:::
I see beautiful blue skies. Not a cloud in site. We had Hurricane Arthur breeze past us last week so this is welcome weather. 

Right Now I Am:::
Enjoying the quiet of the house while the big boys play outside. I can hear the dryer going in the garage (our laundry area is located in the garage) and the hum of the dishwasher. Wait...I also hear the baby talking in his bed. I guess nap time is over. LOL!

Thinking And Pondering:::
I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness and how we should extend grace to those who have hurt us (even if they don't know they hurt us). I have also been thinking about other's and how I can be a more positive influence to all those I meet. My children watch my every move and hear my every word. I want them to mimic a positive person and not some grumpy woman who has nothing better to do than to complain about everything. 

On My Bedside Table:::
The same stuff that is always there...lip balm, a book, a devotional, and my wrist brace.

On My TV This Week:::
24 comes on tonight
I have also been catching up on Call The Midwife on the internet

Listening To:::
I suppose I already answered this above but I am listening to the dryer and the dishwasher. Oh, and the baby quieted down. Yay! 

On The Menu For This Week:::
Monday- nachos
Tuesday- subs and chips (or fries depending on how I feel)
Wednesday- BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, peas
Thursday- breakfast food (pancakes, eggs, bacon)
Friday- Family Date Night at Anna's Pizza (we do a family date night once a month, the boys LOVE it)
Saturday- burgers on the grill, potato salad, baked beans (s'mores for dessert!)
Sunday- something in the crockpot

On My To Do List:::
Get all laundry washed, folded, and put away
Continue cleaning our school room for the fall
Finish this blasted quilt for my neighbor's daughter (I say that because I have procrastinated long enough)

Happening This Week:::
There is a swap meet tomorrow through Friday at my friend's church. I donated some items and plan to go one of the days. 
Hubby has vacation next week so I will be cleaning the house so we can relax while he is off. 
We do not go anywhere for vacation...we do a staycation!

What I Am Creating:::
The quilt. Nothing else right now.

My Simple Pleasure:::
Reading a good book on the front porch while sipping sweet tea. The breeze blowing and the sound of the birds chirping is all I hear. 

Homemaking Tips:::
Spend some time outdoors. If you get in a rut with your house work take a few minutes and step outside to refresh yourself. Take a deep breath and let all the work wait while you rejuvenate. It really helps me to refocus and get more done. 

Looking Around The House:::
I already did most of my cleaning today. That's what happens when you wake up at 5:30am to have coffee with the Hubby and have my quiet time with the Lord. I do have a lot of mess in the school room since I am trying to re-organize it. 

From The Camera:::

Prayer List:::
Our country and leaders
My hubby to have a fast work week
My children's salvation
My homeschooling year
To find a church home

Bible Verse/Devotional:::
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." -James 4:8

Please visit my other blog posts (I have a giveaway going on!).



Sunday, July 6, 2014

The "Awesome God" Guy {and a Giveaway!!}

I had the privilege of getting chosen to review a new movie. The movie is called Ragamuffin: Based On The Life Of Rich Mullins. I really didn't know much about Rich Mullins and didn't know if I would enjoy the movie or not. My Hubby was so nice to screen the film with me and give me his opinion (I will share that later). We both enjoyed the film but there were a few things you need to know up front before viewing this as a family. 

First, the "D" word is used a few times (in context). It didn't bother me too much but I was viewing it with my husband and no children were present. Also, there is alcohol abuse and smoking. Rich Mullins had a rough start in life so this film definitely reflects his story so that the viewer can relate. His father in the film seems abusive. There is no violence shown but there are hints of verbal and emotional abuse. Other than that I would HIGHLY recommend this film to any of my friends and family. 

Now, on to the good stuff. I titled this blog post The "Awesome God" Guy because Rich Mullins is the writer of that song. All this time I thought Michael W. Smith wrote it. LOL! He also wrote "Hold Me Jesus" (one of my favorites!). I really felt like I was in the movie and going through the emotions that he went through in his life. I could relate to many aspects of his story. Here is a summary of the film:

"RAGAMUFFIN is based on the life of Rich Mullins, a musical prodigy who rose to Christian music fame and fortune only to walk away and live on a Navajo reservation. An artistic genius, raised on a tree farm in Indiana by a callous father, Rich wrestled all of his life with the brokenness and crippling insecurity born of his childhood. A lover of Jesus and a rebel in the church, Rich refused to let his struggles with his own darkness tear him away from a God he was determined to love. As he struggled with success in Nashville and depression in Wichita, Rich desired most of all to live a life of honest and reckless faith amidst a culture of religion and conformity."

Here is a little about Rich Mullins:

"Singer and songwriter Richard Wayne “Rich” Mullins was best known for his worship song “Awesome God” which has been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. His music has been covered by many artists, including Caedmon’s Call, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, John Tesh, and Hillsong United. Mullins’ musical career formally began with Zion Ministries in the late 1970s, where he wrote music and performed with a band called Zion.  Mullins first solo hit, “Awesome God,” appeared on his third album and brought his music to a wider audience. Rich Mullins was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) on April 29, 2014."

I really enjoyed this movie very much. My Hubby says "It had me interested from beginning to end. I was rooting for the main character to succeed. I recommend it." He is a big movie buff so if he liked it, it must be good!


“Rich was a gifted songwriter with an amazing heart for people. This film reminded me that what really made Rich special was how undistracted he was with the things of this world. His was a heart yearning for God.” - Michael W. Smith Singer, Songwriter
“This film captures the life of one of the most important people in the history of modern evangelicalism, a ragamuffin that our children and our grandchildren need to know about.” - Shane Claiborne Author, Activist

Here are some other resources to get connected:

*Soundtrack also available July 22nd featuring Jars Of Clay, Derek Webb, Sidewalk Prophets, Audrey Assad, Leigh Nash and more! Plus 2 NEW, original, never-before heard songs from Rich Mullins recorded in the early 70’s!*

The movie is scheduled to be released on DVD on Tuesday, July 8th. You can purchase it here:

You could buy one for yourself and get an extra copy to give away to a Ragamuffin in your life. You could also enter to win the Ragamuffin DVD here on my blog. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you did for Independence Day (please make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you). Must be 18 or older to enter and live in the U.S. I will announce the winner on Monday, July 14th. Check back then to see if you are the winner!

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and enter for a chance to win the DVD! It was a great testament of faith by Rich Mullins and why he wrote some of the songs he did.



"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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”