Friday, May 30, 2014

5 Fun and Inspiring Finds!

Here are few things I found fun and inspiring on the internet this week:

1.  These are really cool napkins and place mats...with scripture verses on them!  I'm seriously considering hosting a catalog party for Mary & Martha!  Anyone interested???  Check out the story behind the napkins here.

2.  We are back from our 2 week vacation and taking a month off of I've been cleaning and gearing up for some projects I hope to get done.  This page on cleaning tips has some great stuff in it! Some I already knew, some that made me go WHOA! :)

3.  You know I have a love for Joni!  After meeting her, I appreciate her even more than ever!  She has such a heart for the Lord and He has used her unique situation in amazing ways to reach those with disabilities...and beyond.  So much to see and explore on the website.  Check it out!  And if you ever happen to be in or near Agoura Hills, California set up a tour of Joni and Friends!  You will be forever changed!

4.  I have to echo the sentiments of this blog writer:  MIND BLOWN!  I, too, love all things cake, cupcake and icing/decorating---but I hate the clean up of the icing bags, tips, etc.  This was one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments!  So excited to try this new technique out and hoping it works with larger amounts of icing???

5.  I love this whole blog:  Intoxicated on Life.  This guest post from a seasoned mom is simple, encouraging, helpful and Christ-honoring.  It is a great reminder to change your focus and remember what your goals and visions of mommyhood are!  Maybe summer has begun for you and you need to regroup for longer days filled with the sounds of kids home from school or maybe you are a mom of littles and you need to take a deep breath to continue in the journey!  I pray this short and sweet post will encourage your heart!

*I'm excited to announce a new weekly post called Question of the Week (original, huh?)  We will look together in the Word to answer every day questions on the hearts and minds of women Living Out God's Design!  I already have a few questions submitted.  Feel free to submit yours to my email:  or use the Contact form at the top of this blog! 

 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.  Romans 11:36

Monday, May 26, 2014

In This Free Land, By Thee Our Lot is Cast

I love Memorial Day and all holidays patriotic! I have great memories, just like you, of barbecues, running in the sprinklers, and knowing summer has just begun!  But I also have always been taught and reminded the significance of what these holidays mean.  Coming from a family with many that have served and are serving our country, and being married to a former marine, I know firsthand-as many others do-what our soldiers sacrifice.  Though I have not felt the sting of losing a loved one from war, I have a deep sense of gratitude to those who have fought and died for the freedoms that I enjoy.  But, as I have grown older and grown deeper in my relationship with God, I understand even more how precious this freedom is and how important it is to recognize that freedom comes with a cost...and a cross.  We don't all need a history lesson today, but it is important, as we are remembering, to note that our country was based and founded on the Word of God.  It was the love for God and the desire to have the freedom to worship Him that caused our founders to fight for independence and to be willing to lay down their lives.  Because of their love of God, they surely were reminded of the One who was willing to lay down His life for them.  They knew that Jesus willingly went to the cross, in obedience to the Father, to make them free.  Free from the bondage of sin.  Free to love and serve Him because of the righteousness of Christ.

Today, as you gratefully remember our heroes that have fallen, do not neglect to give thanks to the One who made and has sovereignly ruled this land.  Who places kings and rulers and holds them in derision. Who raises up the soldiers and gives them the courage to fight.  The One who gives us hope because of Jesus Christ.  Hope not based on the security of our nation, our freedoms, or peace.  Hope based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

Remember, as the early hymn-writer did, the source and reason for our freedom:

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

Daniel C. Roberts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marital Bliss and a Mother's Heart

My son is getting married next week.


The reality of it all is beginning to sink in and lots of memories and emotions are swirling around my head.  He is my oldest child, and though I love all my children equally, there is something only he can claim:  He was my first.  He was the one I learned this whole mothering thing on!  It always amazes me when the oldest child turns out relatively...sane! It really is one of the most important jobs on this earth yet one the least trained for.  Oh, we read baby books, mothering books, how-to everything about child rearing-but no book can prepare you for the real life that hits you the moment you hold that first sweet child in your arms.  And none of the books prepare you by telling you that precious and rosy bundle of joy cooing in the bassinet beside you will turn in to a non-stop crying machine the first night you bring him home!  And, they don't tell you that a love like none you have ever experienced takes over you that makes all the long nights bearable, gets you through the million diaper changes, sicknesses, late night ER visits, immunization shots and the first time you have to leave them overnight.  And a million other things.


I wrote that ^ last week...he is a married man now!  Oh the emotions that have flooded my heart and mind these last few days have been glorious, scary and enlightening all in one!

Glorious:  Because watching my first born love someone so completely and selflessly is amazing. Because the wedding ceremony glorified God so immensely that my heart overflows.  Because I love the woman he loves and am privileged to be her mother-in law.

Scary:  Because I am a mother-in-law!  Because though my husbands mom is the essence of non-meddling and my own mother has been a great example in how she treats my husband, I have this extreme desire to do this mother-in-law thing right!

Enlightening:  Because God amazes me again!  Because all those years when you wonder if you did it right and if they will remember all the ways you messed up--you see God and His sovereignty in a light you could have never seen before.  Because even though I have to cut those apron strings, my son's loving embraces with me on his wedding day assured me I would always be in his heart.

My son also graduated from college three days before his wedding!  I held it together pretty good during the commencement-- right up until my husband leaned over and whispered, "This must be so amazing for you! You home schooled him!  You taught him to READ!"  Cue floodgates open!

Though I'm excited and want to share my joy of this last week with all my readers, this post is also an attempt to encourage you in living out God's design as a mother.  Press on mom friends!  Immerse yourself in God's Word.  Rely on Him, His Truth and His strength alone to do what He has called you to do. Expect to make mistakes and expect for you and your child to learn so much from them.  Give your child grace.  Give yourself grace!  And then, more and more grace!

And may you pray this prayer with St. Patrick that says it so well:

As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20