Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Motherhood: Laying Your Life Down

Laying Your Life Down - The Cozy Nook

Do you ever feel tired and worn out as a mom, pulled in many directions?

Do you ever feel as if tiny (or maybe big) creatures are draining the very life out of you?

I do. Motherhood is hard. It is a life of service.

This past weekend I started to feel quite drained. I walked into church with my daughters, while my husband was still at camp with our boys and the boys’ groups from church. During half of our worship service, which is about an hour long, I held my four year old daughter, sometimes feeling like the strength was being zapped out of me. After worship, I took her to her class. She was very needy and wanted me to stay in the class. Even though I told her I would stay for a minute to make sure she was settled, she wanted more. Long story short, I took her back upstairs with me for the duration of the sermon, another hour and twenty minutes.

During the sermon, I was juggling her. She wasn’t being naughty, but for a while I had that feeling again of someone zapping the life out of me…. needing me continually, fidgeting, wanting, and holding me.

My pastor got to John 10:17-18, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me.

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of Myself.”

Jesus laid down His life for me, for us. He did it willingly. No one took it from Him. He chose to give it, freely!

Forgive me, Lord.

I want to cheerfully and willingly lay my life down for my children, for my family, for my husband, for my home.

Jesus said, “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

That is true for us.

We have the power to lay down our lives, embrace the calling God gives us, and then take up our lives with that fullness.

God, help us to lay our lives down for our families. Help us not to be selfish. Help us to have cheerful, willing, and generous hearts. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Washer Necklaces: A Fun, Simple Craft

Washer Necklaces - The Cozy Nook

I hosted a girls’ night for the girls’ groups at our church, and we made these cool necklaces, inspired by these necklaces.

The necklaces are simple to make with inexpensive materials, and the sky is the limit on creativity since you can mix and match whatever colors you choose!

Washer Necklace Supplies - The Cozy Nook

Needed Supplies:

  • Washers. Mine were labeled 5/8” at the hardware store and were about 1 3/4” across.
  • Nail Polish
  • Twine. I purchased mine here. Cut each necklace strand to be 1 yd (3 ft) long. If you do it any shorter, you won’t be able to fit the necklace over your head.
  • Beads

First, paint your washer, using nail polish, with whatever color and design you desire.

Wait for the washer to dry completely before moving forward.

Next, secure the twine strand through the washer with a knot. Even up the raw ends of the strand. Put the folded end of the twine through the hole of the washer and put the raw ends of the strand through the folded end to create the knot.

Knot on Necklace

Bead your necklace, if you desire. To help the beading process, have a bowl of water nearby. Moisten the ends of your necklace strand and twist them together to form a needle. You can bead larger beads on both strands together and smaller beads on the individual strands.

Threading the Necklace - The Cozy Nook

When you are finished, tie a knot at the end of your twine to complete your project.

Necklaces 2 - The Cozy Nook

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Coffee Can Help Your Marriage

How Coffee Can Help Your Marriage - The Cozy Nook

My husband and I really didn’t drink coffee until a handful of years ago. I think a combination of factors led us to start drinking the beloved beverage.

  • We were in our mid-thirties, feeling a bit older and more “mature”. (Isn’t that when you really should be drinking coffee?)
  • We had welcomed a teenager into our home, felt more pressure in life, and were pretty stressed and fatigued.
  • We saw so many other people around us enjoying and appreciating their coffee.

Why not try it ourselves?

Soon enough we had gotten ourselves into the coffee habit.

We started with Frappuccino's, moved onto Café Mochas, and then eventually to daily coffee servings from our newly-acquired French Press.

Those who don’t see a great benefit to coffee will wonder why we ever thought to do such a crazy thing! Others will wonder why we took so long.

Regardless, I can actually say that

Our coffee habit has helped our marriage.

A few years ago, when our teen niece lived with us, we were able to start getting out – just the two of us – for a short while. Since we had started to like coffee, we would cozy ourselves into the car, grab a coffee somewhere, and SLOWLY drive home.

These short, but sweet, times
would help us connect.

They reminded us to keep our marriage first and take time out for one another.

They helped us get away from the craziness of life.

They inspired us to keep spending more time with each other and run the race together!

Still, to this day, we are able to get out to grab a coffee together, at least once a week. We make it a priority, and it has become a habit.

Maybe coffee isn’t your thing or your spouse’s thing.
Nonetheless, dating your spouse needs to be your thing.

Life’s not easy, and marriage isn’t easy.
If we want good marriages, we must work to make them that way!

What can you do to encourage short, sweet times of connecting in your marriage?

Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Make the Most Out of Your Summer

Make the Most of Your Summer - The Cozy Nook

It’s here…

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…


Many of us can’t wait for summer, and once it gets here, it seems to fly by faster than Superman!

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Sure, we can enjoy summer without planning, and our summers probably won’t “fail”. However, how much better can our summers be if we put some thought into this special season?

Have you made a bucket list
for your family yet?

Think about some things you would like to experience as a family.

*Bike rides
*Soft-serve ice cream cones
*Disc golf
*Picnics and parks

Have you made a project list?

Think about seasonal chores that need to be done as well as projects that have been hanging over your head for a while.

*Wash the windows
*Deep clean your car
*Clean out the closets
*Put a fresh coat of paint on some walls

Have you made goals for your children?

Think about the activities with which you would like your children to be involved and how you would like to see their time spent.

Your children will have a lot of extra time, and they can use that time to sharpen and hone their skills and interests.

Have you made a rough
schedule for your days?

Even in the summer, we function well on routine.

Keeping an approximate bed time, wake time, and structure can help our families be productive AND have fun!

Yes, summer is here!

Let’s live it to the fullest!