Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday- 2/27/2017

How can it already be the last Monday in February? Seriously! Time is flying by so quickly. Next week my youngest son will be 4! I feel like he is still a baby. Oh, I have been reminiscing lastly. Why can't they stay little for a little longer? Oh well. I am glad to have another week to be with my family and to praise God for every breath I am given.

The weather:::

It has been beautiful for the past month. There have only been a few cold days. Today is around 65 degrees. The rest of the week looks like more of the same with a dip into the 50's. I am loving it because my kids can play outside...a lot.

On my reading pile:::

Zip It by Karen Ehman (it is a 40-day challenge on keeping your mouth shut)

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::

We are loving Chef's Table on Netflix. We just started a new series called Frontier. Oh, and over the weekend we watched Caddy Shack...just because. LOL! I have not had much time to watch TV for fun lately unless my kids are in bed and by then I am exhausted.

On the menu for this week:::

Monday- burgers for all the guys and mama is going out to eat Mexican food with a few friends
Tuesday- Taco soup in the slow cooker with cornbread
Wednesday- Leftovers
Thursday- Breakfast for dinner (eggs, toast, bacon)
Friday- Cheeseburger macaroni with Rotel
Saturday- Pizza (we are having my little guys bday party that day)
Sunday- Chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker

On my to do list:::

Clean the house for the bday party on Saturday
Write a few letters

Looking forward to:::

Little man's birthday party this weekend. I can't believe it. Lots of family and friends will gather to celebrate his life. He is such a sweetie pie most of the time.

Looking around the house:::

It is a bit of a mess right now. I was so sick over the weekend with a terrible migraine that I didn't have time to even move. It will be cleaned this week though.

From the camera:::

What I'm wearing today:::

A new pair of leggings (went to a LulaRoe party last night). They are light blue and cream colored. Also, a pink shirt with a Bible verse on it and a long sweater.

One of my simple pleasures:::

Sunday afternoon naps. It is rare but I love them.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 
A song has been on my mind lately:
"If your eyes are on the storm You'll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You'll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you'll understand
I'm painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands..."
-Casting Crowns (Just Be Held)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Words Hurt...But they don't have to

We have all been the victim of nasty words from someone else. We have also all been the one to use nasty words toward someone else. Either way, words hurt. The Bible speaks many times about words and the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." You can either speak life giving words or words that cause "death".

This whole blog post came from a recent encounter I had with someone. This person seems very nice and sweet. I have probably spoken to the person twice in a few years. Always cordial greetings of "how are you?" "you look nice"...etc. This person decided to personally attack me on a social media platform.

Admittedly, I cried. I was devastated that someone who barely knew me could think so little of me. I was hurt that they chose to publicly humiliate me instead of coming directly to me and asking me about the subject of their complaint. My husband was even angrier than I was. He is a protector. I love that about him.

I spent the day after this situation happened in prayer and reading my Bible. God put it on my heart to pray for this person. Pray that they would see the hurt they caused and to repent. I also prayed that I would truly forgive them in my heart. It is easier said than done.

God answered my prayer and that person apologized. I accepted the apology. I pray that there was true repentance but I am not the judge of that. I immediately got on my knees and praised God for His unfailing love. I thanked Him for giving me peace about the whole situation.

The bottom line is: words DO hurt others. We don't know what someone else is going through. Even if we do know, we should still guard our tongues. We should speak life of others and to others. This person may not be aware that I am going through a VERY difficult time in my life. I am about to have major surgery that is very dangerous and I am scared. I know God is taking me through this but I am still having difficulty with the actual surgery.

In Matthew 15:18, we learn that "..what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart..." Sometimes, the words others speak to us is a reflection of their own hearts. If they are going through a hard time they may choose to take it out on you (or anyone who comes across their path at the wrong time). If we start to think about hurtful situations in this way, it will help us to better understand others as well.

Proverbs 15:1 also tells us that "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." My understanding of this is, even if others throw darts your way with their words, do not get angry. I say this because Matthew 12:37 also tells us "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Yikes! That scares me a little. We will be condemned for our words. That makes me really want to watch every word I ever say.

My final thoughts on this are this: always be kind to one another. Always show the love of Christ. Be a witness to others by the words you speak. In Psalm 19:14 we read "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Before you say anything, think about if it would be pleasing to God.

And, remember, God doesn't want you to be hurt because of someone else's words. You are made in His image. You are a child of God, loved, redeemed, accepted, sanctified, a new creation, blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, forgiven, and free. You are not anything but what God says you are. If someone attacks you with words, pray for them. Ask God to help them to repent and for you to truly forgive them.

The words that Jesus said on the cross always come to my mind when I pray for those who have hurt me "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:34)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Of Stillness and Storm (Michele Phoenix)

While this is not the type of book I would normally choose to review, I found it intriguing. Although there is some language and a sort of adultery, I found it okay. I would definitely not consider it very Christian. Just mentioning Jesus or God does not make a book "Christian". But, I did find it an interesting read.

Of Stillness and Storm is the newest novel by Michele Phoenix. I have not previously read any of her other books so this was my first. It is about a family where the husband feels extremely compelled to become a missionary to remote tribes in Nepal. He takes his wife and teenage son with him. Lauren and Sam find themselves under major trials while in Nepal. Their marriage suffers terribly and their son is depressed.

Sam decides to go into different tribes to "spread the Gospel" and leaves his wife and son for weeks at a time. This becomes a very large problem. When he is gone things get worse. His son tries to commit suicide and his wife meets a former boyfriend and they become close again.

Honestly, the storyline was intriguing but the whole book was a bit depressing. I felt frustrated many times with the characters. It definitely gave me a greater appreciation for missionaries. But it also made me really think that not everyone should be a missionary. This fictional family is a good representation of what can go wrong if only one person feels called to go and the rest are not in it. It can be heartbreaking.

Like I said, I did find the book interesting but a little depressing. It gives the harsh reality that missionary life isn't all love and happiness and peace. It is hard and dangerous and takes a toll on families. We need to be in constant prayer for all missionaries around the world.

*Many thanks to BookLookBlogger for gifting me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Happy Homemaker Monday- 2/20/17

We had the best weekend. We had a ton of fun as a family. The weather was beautiful. We spent some time with grandparents. We built a table and a bench (my oldest son built a table for his bff all by himself...he is only 8). We went for a walk and hike and to the playground. Such an amazing weekend. Hope yours was fun too!

The weather:::

It is gorgeous here in Virginia. It's about 70 degrees today and will probably stay pretty nice all week. We are spending as much time outside as possible.

On my bedside table:::

Junk. Haha. I hate having so much stuff there. I am getting ready to rearrange all of it. There is a Bible and a book to read though. Most important things!

On my reading pile:::

Of Stillness and Storm (Michele Phoenix)- a story of troubled love and honorable intentions.
The Kindness Challenge (Shaunti Feldhahn)

On my TV:::

I have been watching a WWII documentary about Auschwitz and its original intent. It is very interesting. I love documentaries.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday- Chicken lo mein with homemade egg rolls
Tuesday- Tacos
Wednesday- Ham and potatoes
Thursday- Scrambled eggs with ham and toast
Friday- Chicken fried rice
Saturday - not sure yet (have to go back to the store)

On my to do list:::

Lots of blogging stuff to do this week.
Chores including laundry, dishes, etc.
Field trip to the fire station on Thursday.
Clean the house for the weekend (I will be gone to different events most of it).

Looking forward to:::

The quilt show this weekend. It is a yearly event and my MIL and SIL and I all go together. Usually my SIL brings two of my nieces. It is so much fun and so special to see all of the beautiful quilts.

Looking around the house:::

It is mostly tidy. There are a few areas that need some work but it looks fine to me. The kids are outside playing right now so it isn't too loud (although I have a window open and can hear them).

From the camera:::

This is a throw back photo. It gets me
excited thinking about the quilt show!

What I'm wearing today:::

Crocs, blue and red flowery leggings, a white top and a sweater. Very comfy.

One of my simple pleasures:::

Doing puzzles. Okay, it's kind of an obsession. My husband thinks I am crazy with them. I can finish any puzzle in a just a couple of days. My brain just works that way. I have lots of puzzles.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.                                                                        
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)


Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday- 2/13/17

I missed last week's HHM post. I was in the hospital having some tests run for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (a chronic pain condition). I had injections in my neck. The injections worked which means I will be having surgery. Yay! I have waited a long time for this. I will describe my surgery in more detail below.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

The weather:::

It is very chilly here today. Yesterday was over 80, barely 40. The rest of the week will be the same.

On my reading pile:::

Honestly, nothing this week yet. I haven't found the time. I have been doing my daily devotions and Bible reading and that's about it. I love reading and it makes me sick when I can't find the time. Hopefully by the end of the week I will be caught up on chores and homeschooling.

On my TV:::

We have been watching funny episodes of The Office lately. I have been watching a few period dramas during the day while folding laundry. I did watch The Hiding Place last week. Wow! Very good movie about Corrie ten Boom. A must watch!!

On the menu for this week:::
Monday- Meatless spaghetti with salad
Tuesday- leftovers
Wednesday- Vegetable soup with salad
Thursday- leftovers
Friday- Taco salad
Saturday- grocery shopping

On my to do list:::

Monday- wash all linens, homeschool, fold clean laundry
Tuesday- homeschool, menu plan, clean boy's bedroom
Wednesday- no co-op this week, laundry, homeschool, clean boy's toy room
Thursday- bathrooms, dust, windows, homeschool
Friday- homeschool and visit with friends
Saturday- while I grocery shop (usually takes 2 hours because of multiple stores) my hubby cleans the house. He does all of the floors (I can't because of my condition), catches up the laundry, tidies all rooms

Looking forward to:::

Surgery! Okay, so here is what I am having done. It is called a First Rib Resection and scar tissue removal. Basically, they are removing one of my ribs and scraping scar tissue from my neck area. Yikes! I can't believe this is happening. I have been in so much pain for so long that I am not even afraid. It is a very scary surgery with a very long recovery time. I will be flat on my back for at least a few weeks with several months of physical therapy. I won't be able to drive for a very long while and I can't lift anything heavier than 5lbs. for at least a month. So, no laundry! LOL! I have to make jokes because it is kinda serious. Please keep me in your prayers in the coming months. My surgery will be in April.

Looking around the house:::

It is a total disaster! I am not lying. We had such a great weekend. Seriously. It was beautiful. We spent time outside. My boys are all outside at the moment so it is kinda quiet.

From the camera:::

What I'm wearing today:::

LulaRoe leggings (they have colorful flowers on them) with a blue LulaRoe Irma and a long sweater. It is chilly!

One of my simple pleasures:::

Having a picnic with my family. We live in such a beautiful state. There are thousands of choices for locations for a wonderful picnic.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." (Psalm 23:4)
That verse is kinda fitting for my upcoming surgery.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! (Caroline B. Cooney)

I love when I get to review children's books. My boys adore stories at bedtime. Each night we read a devotional and sometimes we read an extra book or two. We do most of our reading during the day since we homeschool. But, this new children's book by Caroline B. Cooney and illustrated by Tim Warnes is truly an adorable book.

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug! is such a sweet story about a boy and his mother. The boys loves his mother so much that he wants to give her all kinds of hugs. Each hug is a little different but they all mean love. The boys is getting ready for bed and wants to show his mom how much he cares about her.

The illustrations are so amazing. All three of my boys kept wanting to touch each page and didn't want to turn to the next. Their favorite page was the whale hug page. They thought it would be really cool to ride a whale at night.

One quote from my 8 year old: "I love this book so much. I want you to read it every night because it makes me feel good and sleepy."

As the story progresses the boy gets more and more sleepy. He even gets a bath in the middle of the book! By the end, he is being put to bed. This is a rhyming book as well. My boys caught on to that very quickly (since two of them are learning to read).

Here is a little excerpt from the whale hug page: "I'm going to give you a whale hug. A high tide, ocean wide, Take me for a sail hug." The boy is riding the whales back at night with the stars and moon shining brightly in the sky.

If you have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or a friend's children in your life, go out and buy this book for Valentine's Day! It would make the perfect gift to show a child how much you care about them.