Monday, March 28, 2011

The Power of Love

I have to admit that the last few weeks have been rough. I've been in a real stinky mood, with just about everything. I just wanted to be mad. Whether it was work or friends, church activities or planning dinner, I was not happy with it. I guess you could have called me a real debbie downer. I would "try" to commune with God and get back in fellowship with Him but for some reason my efforts weren't working (hmm, I wonder why!?). What I didn't see was that while I was busy being a grump, God was sitting there patiently waiting for me to come around and see how ridiculous I'd been acting. My Father-in-law put it best when he described us in our rebellion as a child trying to wring and twist away from his parents grasp, but all the while God continues to hold our hand, no matter how much we squirm.

It wasn't until this past weekend that I finally came around and 'saw the light', so to speak. I had promised some of the high school girls from AWANA that I would be a community judge at their home school debate club semi-finals tournament. While conducting my judging duties, 5 high school age young ladies each shared their own original illustrated oratory about a topic of their choice. Some of the topics included intelligent design, world hunger and the sanctity of life. And I'll tell you what, these girls, although in totally different stages in life, taught me a lesson or two on being appreciative of my blessings and this moment in time that I've been given. For those of us who live in the United States, we have been blessed with so much abundance and we don't even see it. We've been gifted with an education, our jobs and even shoes! There is so much to be thankful for and I had been missing it. I overlooked the blessings because of my own pride and selfishness.

When I got home from the debates, I was in the kitchen working on dinner when Jeremy came home. I shared with him my experience at the tournament. He told me that he had been praying for me and also asked my Mother-in-law to pray too. It just warmed my heart to think that even in my terrible funk, even when I was not very fun to be around, and when I couldn't even stand myself, my loved ones still stood by and prayed for me.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39

And like my family sticking by me, I know God is there, even in my hard times and in my stupid times. He's there through it all. That part in the verse that says 'the present nor the future', that means even when I sin, now and any future sins. Christ has already paid the price once and for all and because I have accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior, He will continue to hold my hand through these ups and downs in my walk with Him. Praise God He never lets go!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Hurry Veggie Curry

The slow cooker is an invaluable item in our house. It helps so much with our busy schedules, because it virtually does all the work for us, we just come home to a delicious meal ready to go!

On any week day when I would prepare this recipe it would be no problem to wait because I am busy at work and come home to the curry deliciousness. However, when I prepared it this past Saturday, I was home and it was so hard not to keep checking it so see if it was done. I got a craving for curry and just had to get my fill. When the time passed and the food was finally ready, this stuff sure hit the spot! I guess the saying is true, 'good things come to those who wait'!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The results are in...

...Meredith! Since my husband was the only other person who commented and he very well can’t fit into a baby kimono, Meredith is the recipient of the adorable onesie AND matching shoes. Thank you for commenting and continue to pray for the people of Japan! They need our prayers!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Magnalia Christi

In the early 1700's, a pastor by the name of Cotton Mather wrote a book called 'Magnalia Christi Americana' which roughly means, 'the glorious works of Christ in America' about the works of Christ in the New England area. Talk about amazing! 600+ pages and I am in the first chapter still. It's definitely one of those books where I need to read and then re-read paragraphs to understand what's going on. Good exercise for the brain for sure (and also free on google books)!

Last year my pastor suggested we write our own books, like 'Magnalia Christi Nicole; the glorious works of Christ in Nicole' to show His awesome glory and the transforming power He's had in our lives. So that's just what I did!

The way I made our magnalia christi faith books: 1.) take a 3-ring binder, 2.) cover with pretty linen quality paper and 3.) hot glue the two together. It's that easy! I think they turned out real nice. And inside the books I made some forms to get us started telling our story of faith and how He "always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."

Faith Book Title Page
Magnalia Christi Introduction
Faith Timeline
Constructing Faith Timeline

The beauty of this type of faith scrapbook is that you can add empty 3-ring sleeves and add to this as you move along in life. It is truly amazing when you think about just what He has done in your life.
"We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done." -Psalm 78:4

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh Baby! {a onesie kimono giveaway}

Ever since I found out that my sister-in-law was expecting, my creative juices have been flowing. Who am I kidding, I've always got babies and other pretties on the brain but now I have someone and something to plan for!

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." -Psalm 127:3

It breaks my heart to see the people of Japan suffering so much, especially the children. In honor of my love of anything baby and in light of the current crisis in Japan, I will be giving away one of these adorable onesie/baby kimonos from Koolmono - Japanese Inspired Fashions. Not only will one lucky winner get a baby kimono, but 50% of the proceeds of Koolmono's sales are going to Japanese tsunami relief. And a 2nd person will get a pair of the baby kimono shoes.

To enter, please leave a comment here letting me know about the precious little one you would love to give this to. Please also let me know which of the kimonos that you'd like if you won.
I will announce the winner next week.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eyes on the Prize

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." - 1 Corinthians 9:24

It's that time of year again. In just a few short weeks I will be heading to the AWANA games with my girls and we'll be playing for these beauties. And also the bragging rights of being the best game players ever. :)

What are the AWANA games, you may be asking. You basically throw a bunch of little ones into a huge gym and throw in some parents and leaders cheering them on while they compete with a whole bunch of other little ones. It makes for a fun AND exhausting day!

As we gear up for the big day, our girls have been doing lots of practicing. There is the three-legged race, marathon run, some funny balloon game and of course the bean bag bonanza. Some of our little girls need practice at throwing the bean bag and hitting the cones. I decided it was time to make some more bean bags. And it's as simple as 1,2,3 (I love those kind of crafts, don't you!?)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All around

Just found out that my sister and brother-in law are expecting their first child and my other sister-in-law is engaged to be married this fall. Our family is surrounded in love and it feels great. He is so good to us! His love keeps pouring down. Here's to love!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kindred Spirits

There is nothing like a good friend and a good book. How about both of them in one? That's exactly what I found when I read 'Living Simply' by Joanne Heim. I stumbled upon her while reading Beth Moore's blog. Joanne suffered a stroke in January and has been in the hospital ever since. Praise God she has been making progress and will hopefully be moving onto rehab soon.

I found out she was an author so I checked it out. As I read her story, it occurred to me that I could have very well written some of those same things. The things she enjoys, I enjoy, the things she struggles with, I struggle with, and the list went on and on. I made a new friend while reading her book and I am so blessed to have "met" her. If you are so inclined, read her story and pray for her and her family during this time in their lives.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." -Proverbs 17:17
It is truly a blessing to have strong sisters in Christ who will stand beside you to encourage, to have fun with, to teach, to learn from and to bear one another's burdens. Although I have not actually met Joanne, she has blessed me in ways she may never know (this side of heaven, that is). But I am also blessed to have friends near me who I know I can count on, who hold me accountable and who lift me up when I am down. God has given me so many things to be thankful for, not only my Salvation, my family, etc.. but He has given me good friends to share the ups and downs with. Isn't that amazing?! I am floored by just how much He gives to me, including the wonderful friendships I've been able to have throughout the years, even the ones I get to read in a book!
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17