Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rejoice. Pray. Give Thanks.

I’ve been reading Karen Ehman’s book Let.It.Go. and following along with Melissa Taylor’s online Bible study.  We are learning to let go of some of the things we so feel the need to control and to trust in God!


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Rejoice.  Pray.  Give thanks.

Well, that just about sums up a victorious life in Christ! 

If we rejoice throughout our days, finding a way to choose joy, our spirits are lifted.
We are carried beyond the present, difficult moments into a realm of blessing.
We enjoy life because it is a gift.
We appreciate the heartaches we have because, on the other side of them, there lie people and responsibilities and privileges that we are so blessed to have.

Rejoicing brings about life. 

As we pray throughout our days, “without ceasing”, we are always turning our focus back to the Lord.  We do not fix our eyes on our circumstances, on things that will pass.  Instead, we choose to fix our gaze upon Jesus and what He can do about the circumstances of our lives.

Praying tunes our hearts to God.

When we choose to give thanks, we choose gratitude over grumbling, contentment over complaining. Goodness fills our hearts and spills out into our lives. 

Thankfulness keeps us from thoughtful murmuring.

A choice is set before us each day.  Will we choose to rejoice, pray, and give thanks or will we wallow in sorrow, doubt, and thanklessness?

What do you want to define your life?

1 Thessalonians makes it pretty clear.  Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks aren’t just options.  They are the “will of God in Christ Jesus” for us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kickstart Your Mornings!


I am the first person to say that mornings are the worst part of my day.
I feel sluggish.
I don’t want to get out of bed.
I feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of me.

I am trying very hard, though, to help my mornings.  After all, if we start our days on a bad note, it surely doesn’t help anything.

Here are some things to think about to help your mornings get off to a good start!

Go to bed earlier.  Today’s morning really started last night when you went to bed.  A good night’s sleep does wonders!

Wake up earlier.  In order to achieve some personal goals and get on top of the day, it is pretty much a must to get up before the demands of the day meet you right in the face (like a child staring at you and asking you for breakfast!).

Read the Bible and journal. If you don’t know what to read, read the Proverb that coordinates with the date or start with the Psalm number of the date and add 30 each time, reading a total of five Psalms.

Exercise, even just a bit.  I have been doing this “Wake Up Your Workout” routine over the past handful of days.  It helps get your body moving and inspires you to be healthy.

Pour yourself a glass of water or lemon water.  Lemon water is supposed to be great for your digestion, boosting your Vitamin C level, and detoxifying your body.  Here’s a good article on it. 

Try very hard to have a positive attitude for your day, expecting that things will not be perfect.  In Jesus we can do all things!

Whatever you do, don’t give up!  This is key for someone like me who struggles continually with having good mornings.  Some good mornings are better than no good mornings.  Keep trying!  Each day is a new day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quiet Moments

quiet moments

Life can be noisy.
Life can be cluttered.
Life can be chaotic.

I need a respite for my soul, a time to rejuvenate and restore, a time to evaluate and focus.

As my responsibilities grow and life confronts me with complexities, I realize my great need for quiet moments.

Jesus, Himself, had quiet moments.  He retreated away from the crowd to be alone and to pray.

Stillness is necessary for our souls. When our hearts and bodies are still, we stop the noisy cycle and choose calm, rest, and peace.

Are you fitting enough quiet moments into your life? 

For prayer?
For reflection?
For rest?
For vision building?
For planning?
For hearing God?

Be sure to make time for quiet moments.

Be still and know that He is God.  Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Waffles and More!


A couple years ago, I posted about our Valentine’s Day.  I made these chocolate waffles for breakfast.  You can find that delicious recipe here. 

I am planning to make these scrumptious waffles again for our Valentine’s Day breakfast, unless some other wonderfully chocolate dish lures me in.

Other than that, I am planning to write my children some love notes, and I better get one done for my hubby too!  Last year I posted about some ways you can bless your husband for Valentine’s Day.

We’ll have a fairly relaxing and fun Valentine’s Day, I hope, and mix it with some good food of course!

Looking for some good chocolate recipes?  Here are some of my favorites:

The Best Brownies (I’ve GOT to update that horrible pic!)
Better Than a Hug Cake
Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fondue

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Give someone some love!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yummy Salad Wrap and the Beauty of a Microplane Grater


This salad wrap is a delicious way to get some good food into your body!

First, coat the tortilla with the dressing of your choice.

Next, make a salad in the center of your wrap.  Don’t forget to add some crunchy items!  I used ranch dressing, shredded lettuce, red pepper, sunflower seeds, and a good portion of shredded, cheddar cheese.

Other items to consider:  tomato, apple, cucumber, spinach, broccoli….

Usually I lug out my cheese grater, but I had the idea to try my microplane grater.  Why didn’t I think of this before?  This tool is PERFECT for small tasks like these.

Roll up your sandwich and enjoy… hopefully with a bit of peace and quiet to restore your soul.

Quick… easy… and healthful!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Your Life: A Circumstance or a Calling?


Sometimes life feels like a great, big circumstance – one large conglomeration of events that are just thrown at us.

There are things we can not control.  Situations that upset us.  People who hurt us.

In this state, life seems depressing. We feel that our influence is minimal or useless.  We are the victim of our lives.

Webster defines “circumstance” as: “a condition, fact, or event accompanying, conditioning, or determining another”.

Yep, that’s right… life just becomes one dull, tedious event after another. 

However, when we can conquer that circumstantial outlook
and see our lives as a calling, that is when life abounds.

Webster defines “calling” as: “the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages”. 

Now we feel much more in control.

We are engaging in life.
We are proactively choosing to live our lives.
We are able to see God in the midst of the mundane.
We are choosing joy instead of defeat.

When we see our lives as a calling, our lives become much more meaningful.  No longer are God and His purposes removed from the equation.

Instead, every moment of life becomes special,
part of His great plan for a people He loves.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Girls of American History: Review and Giveaway

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Justine is hosting a giveaway for one of her units through February 23.  Make sure you stop by for a chance to win!

Recently I was given the privilege to review Justine Gamble’s Girls of American History curriculum.  She has put together a great collection of history unit studies, based on the American Girl book series, centering around girls like Kaya, Felicity, Samantha, and Kit.

As a fellow homeschooler, Justine wants to produce good quality curriculum that will benefit children.  She has created units that support a multi-sensory approach where children are:  reading, hearing, seeing, writing, and doing to maximize their learning efforts!

There are eight units altogether, which cover various aspects of American History, like Indian life, the American Revolution, Pioneer Times, and the Great Depression.

Each unit includes:

  • a suggested weekly schedule
  • craft resources
  • field trip ideas
  • book ideas
  • activity recommendations
  • and more!

Children who enjoy crafting will love creating teepees, log cabins, braided rugs, bookmarks, and other memorable handiwork.

If you have an appreciation for hands-on curriculum, you’ll want to check out Girls of American History.  Justine has done the hard part – putting the bits and pieces together for a great learning experience!  All you have to do is put her great resources to work!

For more information on the “Girls of American History” curriculum, check out their web site -

Again, the giveaway is through Feb. 23.  Don’t forget to enter here!