» Motherhood Striving for a life that glorifies God Fri, 27 Jun 2014 15:40:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Secret to Being a More Productive and Confident Woman Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:00:28 +0000

"Wow! Look at you, all dressed up with makeup and your hair fixed!!"

It was the next-morning greeting I received from the ladies at a recent women's retreat I participated in.

As I poured some orange juice and glanced around the kitchen, I noticed I was indeed the only one in the rustic cabin filled with twelve women, who had gotten dressed, fixed her hair, and put on makeup. Not that it was a bad thing that the others hadn't done that yet! I guess I was just surprised to see I was the only one who had.

Given that we were on a "restful" (and I use quotes because we were actually quite active a good chunk of the time, as we hiked and went for a run later on) get-away, I should have felt okay rolling out of bed, wiggling into a pair of jeans, brushing my teeth, throwing my hair back in a classic ponytail and calling it a day. I certainly didn't need to impress anyone. Seems the other women had the right idea.

But what about when we aren't out on a relaxing retreat? What about the time we spend in the everyday trenches of motherhood and homemaking? Do we really need to "get all dressed" for those days?


Sure, starting the day out having to get showered up and dressed and apply the war paint to our face slows down the start of our day. It's also hard to juggle finding time to shower or apply mascara when little ones are tugging on our legs. And well, what woman really wants to dirty another set of clothing unnecessarily. Goodness, there's enough laundry to do as it is, right?

The Secret to Being a More Productive and Confident Woman The Secret to Being a More Productive and Confident WomanThe more I've thought about it, the more I realize there are benefits to getting dressed each day. (Aside from the fact that nobody really wants to see us moms in our pajamas...except maybe our husbands, and even then, only if it's the really good pajamas, if you hear what I'm saying.)

But friends, this getting dressed every day thing? It's the secret to being a more productive and confident woman!

(...aside from seeking God first everyday...that of course, is truly the secret!)

When I get a shower, I feel clean and energized. I feel like I've had a healthy dose of much needed personal time, too!

When I dress myself in a favorite pair of jeans, a pretty top, some nice looking accessories from my jewelry box, and cover my feet with a pair of shoes (slippers do not count as shoes), I feel confident and ready to tackle the day.

When I take time out to apply some blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick, and then add some curls to my hair, I feel sexy and amazing!

If someone comes over unexpectedly, I won't feel the need to apologize for how I look. If I have to run out to the store, I'm ready. 1, 2, 3, Go! No looking in the mirror wondering if I should put a baseball cap over my tangled mane, or change into a different pair of sweatpants.  No secretly hoping I don't run into anyone I know - which of course always happens!

When I'm dressed and ready for the day, my kids take me seriously. They don't argue with my attempt to get them ready - "but you aren't even dressed mommy! I want to stay in my pajamas, too!"

When I'm feeling gorgeous and put together, my husband immediately notices it. I communicate in a more loving (and flirtatious) manner, I greet him with a smile and a kiss, and there's definitely a sense of passion "in the air" between us when we're together in a room.

Probably the biggest difference noticeable to me when I start my day out dressed and ready versus lazing in my sweats, is that I move faster and I'm focused. I get so much more accomplished! Don't you?

I really think being dressed changes our state of mind for the better.

I know you're on the other side of this screen nodding your head. You agree, but you're probably wondering how in the world we're supposed to find time to do this every single morning, right?

Here are a few tips/tricks to help you get your morning off to a great start:

  • Take your shower the evening before so getting dressed and ready in the morning goes much quicker.
  • Use a pretty hair clip or another type of hair accessory to put together a quick, yet very stylish hairdo.
  • Set out your clothing for the day the night before.
  • Allow yourself one day of the week that is set aside for wearing comfy sweats or lounge pants so you don't feel so on-the-go all week.
  • Reward yourself! Perhaps a pretty manicure/pedicure if you go all week successfully getting dressed each day?

What are your thoughts about getting dressed and ready for the day? Is there something that works well for you, you'd like to share? Please do so! I love your comments!


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Thank You, God, for Technology Tue, 19 Nov 2013 13:00:46 +0000 Thank You God for Technology Thank You, God, for Technology


There's a lot of debate about whether or not technology is a good thing.

I'm a woman who happens to love technology.

  • I love having a microwave on those days I've been too busy to think about putting the potatoes in the oven far enough in advance.
  • I love having a cell phone so my family can reach me when they need to, and so I can reach them when I need to!
  • I love having a camera to capture those picture perfect moments in our life.
  • I love knowing the chance of surviving some major illness or accident is much higher today with advancements in medical technology than it's ever been before.
  • I love having a computer I can pour my thoughts into - a place where I can write for the glory of God.

There are so many wonderful benefits of technology, where we've been empowered to use it for good! I'm grateful God allowed us the wisdom to learn and grow beyond campfire-chicken-on-a-stick and stone tablets.

With that said, I'll confess I don't like the details of said technology. I don't need to know how it works, just that it does. While I can do light HTML coding, I'll probably never understand gigabytes and megabytes or any other kind of bytes. Seriously, my eyes glaze over at the mention of them.

Because I'm married to Mr. Technology, I'm not lacking in "Tech Toys" at all. He makes sure I have cool things to enhance our day to day activities, like the wireless speaker on my kitchen counter that I can stream music to from my computer, or phone, or even from our TV.

But if he dies before I do (and I pray I won't have to face that day anytime in the near future)...I won't ever be able to move to a new home because I'll never be able to get that place wired the way he currently has things.

Goodness, I don't even know what a router is! Lol! Okay, well, I know it's some computer internet thingy... icon smile Thank You, God, for Technology

Our amazing God! Only He can place a technology challenged ordinary person into the extraordinary world of online ministry and make it work!

Thank you, God, for technology. May each of us choose to use it responsibly.

What's your can't-live-without piece of technology? I'd love for you to share in the comments.

~ Shining with an attitude of gratitude,


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Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:00:42 +0000

I have three daughters. They are 25, 8, and 5.

This list is based on gifts I've either given one of them recently or plan to give in the near future. Hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful or inspiring as you determine the perfect gift for your daughter.

*note: there are affiliate links in this post.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter1 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Age 3-6


A totally cute sound machine to help her sleep: Cloud b Sleep On the Go Travel Sound Machine. My daughters both had this adorable little guy by the bedside to help them drift off to sleep each night when they were younger. We referred to him as "Lamby."

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Because sometimes she wants to be the teacher: Pretend & Play School Set. This has been one of our most used play sets! It's seriously cute and such a hit with little girls.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Every little girl loves to listen to music and feel like she's a big girl: Apple iPod Shuffle.

Okay, I know some of you might be thinking this gift is a little "old" for your 3-6 year old, but honestly it's not. Did you ever have a Sony Walkman as a kid? I did. I loved it. This is a present day version of that. Plus it's a great way to teach your little girl to be responsible with a really cool gift that could easily be lost or damaged.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

If she loves to color and get creative: Crayola Ultimate Art Supply Case. It's lightweight, fantastic storage for crayons and colored pencils, and is easy to carry around to wherever your daughter decides to plop down with her coloring books.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Age 7-10


A Mother Daughter Devotional Book: The One Year Mother-Daughter Devo by Dannah Gresh and Janet Mylin. This book has been such a blessing in our home. I read this with my 8 year old each evening before tucking her in for the night. It's prompted some awesome mother daughter chats on subjects we otherwise wouldn't have talked about.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Christian Music CD: 1 Girl Nation. I took my 8 year old to a recent Secret-Keeper Crazy Girl Hair Tour event and 1 Girl Nation was there singing as part of the event. My daughter LOVED their music, and so did I! It's good, wholesome Christian music with a great message in a fun upbeat girl band style.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

A wall mural for her bedroom: Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful. I just love the message in this mural. It's something I want my girls to really embrace - that they can be their own kind of beautiful and don't need to follow the ways of the world and how society portrays beauty. What better way to be reminded of this wisdom than to see it on your bedroom wall every day?

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Devotional Book: Jesus Calling - 365 Devotions for Kids. I've heard really great things about this book, but we don't currently have it yet. I'm hoping to move into this one as soon as we finish the Mother Daughter Devo.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

She's growing up, and she wants music and games now: Apple iPod touch. (Sorry, I couldn't get a picture but if you click the link you'll see what they look like)

Yes, these are pricey, but as your daughter gets a little older, she will be able to handle it with care. We've given one of these to both my 8 year old and my 4 year old and they've had them for over a year without any breaks and only a few minor "whoops, I can't remember where I put my iPod" situations. Thankfully we found them - in the couch cushions. Lol!

Seriously though. They can listen to music, watch videos, play games and you can control what they have access to.

For your awesome artist: Crayola 200-piece Masterworks Art CaseWe gave one of these to my 8 year old for Christmas last year. She loves doing art and has kept this kit in impeccable condition. Since she doesn't want her little sister messing with it we have plans to get another one and give it to her sister for Christmas this year.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Age 11-14


A Secret Keeper Girl Book: 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters by Dannah Gresh. I just purchased this book at the Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair Tour a month or so ago. We haven't started reading it or going on our dates together yet, but I'm very excited to start soon.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

You will totally rock her world with this one: Apple iPad Mini.'s on the list this year. What can I say? My husband loves technology and he makes sure all of us are well equipped.

We actually plan to give one to our 8 year old, because we know it will be used for educational purposes as her school is now allowing them into the classroom. (Yes, this makes me a little bit nervous, but our daughter has proven to be very responsible with this kind of stuff so far.)

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Does she have a cool study Bible yet? Try this one: Girls Life Application Study Bible NLT.

I highly recommend a good study Bible for every child. She may open the box and view it similar to a pair of socks, but it's truly one of the most valuable gifts you'll ever give your child. But don't stop there. Read it with her!

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Your girl might truly appreciate some new jewelry. Two-Toned Sterling Silver with Yellow Gold Flashed Heart Center Cross Necklace.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Age 15-18

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Because these just look so awesome and teenage girl cozy: Microfleece Nap Socks. Get them at your local Brookstone store. They'd make a lovely stocking stuffer.

She's been begging for one of these, hasn't she?: Apple iPhone.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter


An opportunity for her to journal what's on her heart and then offer encouragement to her girlfriends: Hot Chocolate with God - Beautifully Made Journal, Notes, and Gift Cards set. This is just too cool.

If you're just not sure because she's so picky or already has way too much stuff: Amazon Gift Card. You can't go wrong with this.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter


Gift Ideas for Your Young Adult Daughter

Christian Music CD:  WOW Hits 2014 Deluxe Edition. I get the latest WOW Hits CD every year. It's always on my Christmas list. The music is a nice Christian mix to help any young (or old) adult feel a little closer to their Creator.

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

A classy place to keep her smartphone: Cassie leather smartphone wallet. If you've never shopped at Red Envelope before you'll find all kinds of lovely things to choose from.

Every young woman loves to curl up with a blanket and a good book from time to time: Nap throw blanket. You can get it at Brookstone or on Amazon. We have one that we keep at the foot of our bed and I snuggle up in it almost every evening while hubby and I are catching up on the day's happenings. It's so soft and...wonderful!

 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

She'd most definitely get use out of this: Apple iTunes gift card. Again, this is one of those gifts you seriously can't go wrong with.

What young woman doesn't love candles?: Cinnamon Caramel Swirl 3-wick candle. Bath and Body Works has some awesome seasonal candles on the shelves right now.

For her journal writing: Paper Mate Liquid Flair Medium Tip Felt Porous Pens. I have these pens and use them in my journal and when I'm noting things in my Bible. They are so smooth and gorgeous. If she loves writing, these will bless her sense of creativity so much. I'm even planning to tuck a pack of these in my 8 year old's stocking this year because she's always trying to use mine.

  Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

Because every woman needs a journal to pour her heart into: Cavallini Roma Lussa Leather Journal. I also have this journal and I love it! It's a 5 x 7 size, leather, and you can get it in different colors too, like red! icon smile Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter

  Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Daughter


What did I miss? Do you  have a great idea you'd like to share? I'd love it if you would!

Happy Shopping!


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30 Days of Christmas Fun Fri, 15 Nov 2013 13:00:58 +0000 30 Days of Christmas Fun 30 Days of Christmas Fun


Tis the season to be jolly!

Here are 30 Days of Christmas Fun you can enjoy with your loved ones:

1.  Bake Christmas cookies together.

Some of our favorites are homemade frosted cut-out sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread man cookies, snicker doodles, and peanut butter blossoms.

2.  Deck the Halls.

Have a family Christmas decorating party. I love looking at the ornaments and decorating the tree with our daughters. We turn on the Christmas music, enjoy hot chocolate and talk about the significance of the ornaments as they come out of the storage container.

3.  Go sledding!

Grab the sled and go find a fun sledding hill in your neighborhood, or better yet, do an online search for local tubing hot spots. There's one in our area we will definitely be trying out this Christmas season.

4.  Build a Snowman.

Actually, build a Snow Family. Don't forget the carrot noses, buttons for the eyes, some twigs for arms and a few scarfs and hats. icon smile 30 Days of Christmas Fun Don't forget to take a picture. If you get plenty of snow early enough this could even make for an awesome Christmas card photo!

5.  Have a snowball fight.

This is a great way to finish the snowman building party.

6.  Arrange to have breakfast with Santa.

Check your local organizations to see if this is offered in your community. If it isn't, create a new tradition in your home. Who do you know that would make a good Santa? icon smile 30 Days of Christmas Fun

7.  Drive around one evening looking at Christmas lights.

This is actually a really cool thing to do after church service on Christmas Eve. It's one of our family traditions.

8.  Start a 12 Days of Christmas Tradition.

This can become a fun family event, like 12 Days of Blessing Others.  Or you can do something special just between you and your husband - perhaps a very intimate 12 Days of Sexy Dress Up Nights gift for your man? I promise he'll think it's the best gift you've ever given him!

9.  Watch a Hallmark Christmas movie.

If you haven't done this before, I recommend it! I actually like to record several of the Hallmark channel Christmas shows and watch one each day leading up to Christmas. They're great chick-flicks!

10.  Put on some Christmas music and dance!

This is fun to do anytime of the year, just change the music to match the season - or not.

11.  Make reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve.

We usually mix some dry oatmeal packets with glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. When we feel creative, we add sprinkles too. It's just a fun little tradition the kids enjoy.

12.  Set up a hot cocoa bar in the kitchen.

You'll need some fun toppings like whipped cream, colored sugar, sprinkles, candy canes, chocolate chips or shaved chocolate, and anything else totally delicious and awesome you can think of. Let the kids fix up their own toppings, cause that's the most exciting part of this event.

13.  Go Christmas shopping.

I personally prefer to shop Amazon Prime rather than standing in long lines or fighting the crowds, but with the right shopping partner and attitude, it can be a lot of fun. I suppose...

14.  Build a gingerbread house.

This is another family tradition of ours. Actually it's a daddy-daughter tradition in our home. I buy the supplies, but my husband and daughters meet in the kitchen to build it together. Last year we built a gingerbread train instead of house.

15.  Ride the Polar Express.

I don't know much about this yet. We are scheduled to ride the Polar Express very soon. My understanding is that it's a two hour train ride that sort of reenacts events from The Polar Express movie. Kind of excited to see how it is.

16.  Go Skiing.

Plan it and go. This can be a great family day enjoying the snow and slopes!

17.  Operation Christmas Child.

Get together with family and friends and pack some boxes of Christmas goodies to brighten a child's Christmas. The mission of Samaritan's Purse is to give aid to the world's poor, suffering and sick by providing food, medicine and other assistance all in the name of Jesus Christ. These Christmas boxes of goodies will be sent to children in need.  This is definitely worth checking out.

18.  Read Christmas books.

A few favorites around here are: The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Legend of the Three Trees (I really love this one!), The Legend of St. Nicholas, and much more.

19.  Host a Holiday Dinner or Party for Friends.

Don't forget the Eggnog!

20.  Deliver surprise goody bags to neighbors and friends.

This is always fun to do. Gather the kids around and fill up some Christmasy looking goody bags. Put little Christmas candies inside and anything else you think might be fun. Then deliver them to a few select family, friends or neighbors houses. Leave the bag with a special note on the front step. Ring the doorbell. Then run before they answer the door so they don't see who left the goodies. icon smile 30 Days of Christmas Fun Yes, I realize what this teaches the kids, but it's all in good fun. Live a little.

21.  Go to an Advent Workshop (check local churches in your area)

Often times these workshops are great inspiration for a few homemade gift ideas and are just plain good old fashioned lady fun. Moms, take your daughters with you.

22.  Play Christmas Games

Here's a link full of ideas for this fun day.

23.  Make Christmas crafts

If you have a Pinterest account, I'm sure you can easily find a gazillion ideas for this there, but if not, do a quick Google search for 'free Christmas craft ideas.' The hardest part of your search will be trying to decide which crafts to choose from. There are so many cute ideas out there.

24.  Work/Read through an Advent book as a family.

Sarah Mae's More Than Candy is a good choice.

25.  Go Christmas caroling.

Even if you aren't very good at singing, this can be a really fun thing to do when you visit 'safe' family and friends who aren't going to judge but will grin ear to ear and feel completely blessed by your efforts. Plus your kids will never forget it. (No, I have not done this with my kids - yet!)

26.  Read the story of Jesus' birth in the Bible.

I actually recommend the entire book of Luke (and Matthew, Mark, and John) because it's just full of God's glory and awesomeness.

27.  Get dressed up all fancy and go out for dinner.

Why not? My husband and I used to have a formal Christmas party we'd attend together for work, but his current employer doesn't have one of those so I think this year we're going to get all dressed up, dress up the kiddos too, and go out for a fancy meal.

28.  Get tickets to the Nutcracker or another festive seasonal show in your area.

I remember going to see Phantom of the Opera one year with my hubby and my dad. It was the coolest thing ever! And I'm not a big fan of Opera. It's just fun to get out and do something new and different.

29.  Make a new holiday recipe together.

Cruise through Pinterest with your kids and look for something fun to make together. You could even put together a whole meal of new recipes. Make sure they're festive for the season so it's an extra special family event.

30.  Track Santa.

Our family teaches 'Jesus is the reason for the season' first and foremost, but we do let our girls enjoy the mystery of Santa too. We know it won't last forever. In the meantime, we like to get them all excited by tracking Santa's flight path on Christmas Eve.

What have I missed? I'd love for you to share some of your Christmas fun ideas in the comments!

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Thank You, God, for Giving us the Ability to Touch Life Around us, and Feel Touch in Return Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:00:20 +0000


His hand touches my hand, and I feel safe.

His lips press passionate with hunger against my lips, and I feel loved.

Her little hand tugs at my pant leg, then wraps tightly around my fingers, and I feel needed.

When my sweet girl pulls near for a hug, my mama fingers instinctively touch and tousle little ringlets of brown hair and ribbon.

When I'm chilly, I reach for a blanket touching it's velvety softness.

In the bathtub, I touch water and instantly feel calm, relaxed.

In the summer, my hands dig into rich garden soil, God's earth, and I feel empowered by His Spirit.

And in the snow, my hands feel cold and wet as they tightly form a ball between them, releasing it into the sound of squeals and giggles.


Thank you God for giving us the ability to touch life around us and feel touch in return Thank You, God, for Giving us the Ability to Touch Life Around us, and Feel Touch in Return


Can you imagine a life without touch? A life without feeling your lover's skin or your daughter's hug?

What if we never experienced the feeling of bread dough underneath our kneading hands, or the goo of pumpkin guts that cause so many "ewes and ahhhs" while carving pumpkins with the kids?

What if we never felt the silkiness of a rabbit's fur, the durability of the leather on our favorite jacket, the furry warmth of the inside of an UGG boot?

The very fact that we're able to touch and experience these very tangible pieces of our life is a miracle!

To think God planned every tiny detail of our being, including something as simple as the power of touching and feeling...

He knew exactly what we would need in order to thrive - it just leaves me in awe of His greatness!

Thank you, God, for giving us the ability to touch life around us, and feel touch in return.

When you hear the word 'touch' what do you think of?

Shining with an attitude of gratitude,

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Thank You, God, for All Things COLD! Brrr… Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:07:44 +0000 Thank You God for All Things Cold Thank You, God, for All Things COLD! Brrr...


My husband still teases me about our honeymoon.

We flew to Curacao, 37 miles north of the Venezuelan coast. It was beautiful caribbean bikini weather, and there I was in a sweater. Cold. Running a fever, actually.

I’m one of those people who knows I’m running a fever because I get the chills so bad nothing seems to help me warm up. It must have been the stress of planning a wedding that knocked my immune system out of whack, because as we sat in the Admiral’s Club waiting for our connecting flight, the sneezing, coughing, snot-running-like-a-faucet, and chills hit me fast and hard.

We enjoyed our week in the caribbean, but a good chunk of that time I spent snuggled under warm blankets with a Vicks Vapor Rub coated towel wrapped around my neck. Sexy! Lol!

I had a good excuse for feeling cold during my honeymoon. But even now, back in the normal day to day life I live, I’m frequently cold. My daughter even teases me for always being so cold. I can't help it. I guess it's just how God made me.

Yes, I love to be warm. I also love the changing of seasons and temperatures. This very moment, I have a fire roaring in the fireplace. I’m wearing my favorite jeans, a sweater, and my super warm cozy UGG boots. I’m also drinking warm coffee.

Outside - it’s snowing. icon smile Thank You, God, for All Things COLD! Brrr... Nothing major, but snowflakes are falling from the sky, and I’m secretly hoping they’ll stick and then more will come and stick. And more. And more.

You see, I love to be warm, but I also LOVE to play outside in the cold and the snow with my family. I love to go sledding and build snowmen and have snowball fights. I love the rosy cheeks and the cold nose kisses. I love the “smoke” that comes from our mouths when we breathe cold air in and out. I love it!

So today, I’m thankful for all things cold.

Cold weather.

Cold drinks.

…And yes, even head colds (because they give me a good excuse to snuggle up and stay in pajamas all day, nice and warm!)

The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.

~ Job 37:10-11

Thank You, God, for all Things COLD! Brrr… 

How about you? What do you love about the cold?


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Thank You, God, for the Feeling of Warmth Thu, 07 Nov 2013 13:00:07 +0000 Thank You God for the Feeling of Warmth Thank You, God, for the Feeling of Warmth


The hot crackle of the flame in the fireplace.

The coziness of a blanket tossed gently over my legs and feet.

The heat from a shower.

The intense heat of my husband’s body laying next to mine at night.

The warmth of my daughter’s snuggling as we rock together in a very tattered, well-used chair.

Every one of these situations describe a sensation I’m able to feel and appreciate. It’s a sensation the God of the Universe gave us. It’s a gift we often take for granted.

When my Father-in-law passed away, we had a private family viewing before opening the funeral home for calling hours. I’ll never forget how shocked I was when my hand slipped down to rest on his as tears fell down my cheeks.

He was ice cold. Of course my brain knew this would be the case, but when I felt him, my heart - my senses - made the connection that he was gone. I had held his warm hand over and over again during our Sunday family gathering mealtime prayer. All that was left now was an ice cold empty shell.

Now, when my daughter hops into my lap to hug me or when I feel how hot my husband’s hand is when he reaches to grab mine, I have a whole new appreciation for warmth.

When I tiptoe downstairs for my time with God early in the morning, and I notice how cold the house feels after sitting dark overnight with the air notched down an extra degree, I’m appreciative that I can walk over to the thermostat and switch it to Heat.

Or - I can flip a light switch on the wall and the fireplace will automatically turn on.

I think so often we forget what a gift it is to feel warmth. We forget how soothing heat can be on our aching muscles. We don't take notice of how hot the marriage bed gets in a moment of passion. Or even the heat from the hot sun beating down on a summer day.

Hmmm... I wonder what the temperature is in heaven…

The the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (warmth), and the man became a living being.

~ Genesis 2:7

No challenge today. Let's just be very aware of the warmth surrounding us, coursing through our bodies, and in those we love.

Let's shout our praise to the Lord for creating us in such a way that we radiate warmth to one another and can feel warmth around us.

When you think of the word "Warmth" what comes to mind? I'd love for you to share in the comments.

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Thank You, God, for the Gift of Time Wed, 06 Nov 2013 19:37:49 +0000 Thank You God for the Gift of Time Thank You, God, for the Gift of Time


Oh, how I hated that 3 hour commute.

Years ago when we lived in Southern California, I was analyzing credit bureaus and underwriting car loans for a living. We had chosen to buy a home in a family friendly neighborhood 52 miles away from the office.

The result was a very long commute to work. 1 1/2 hours each way, to be exact, and that was only if there weren't any accidents on the road. So I spent 3 hours, 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year sitting in my car on the I-15 freeway. (This was commute time. Not time my employer paid me for.)

If you do the math, that equates to roughly 780 hours of my life every year sitting behind a steering wheel staring at a crazy person in the car next to me shaving their face, reading on their Kindle or chattering away on the phone.

That’s 32 1/2 DAYS per year! Of crazy...

To add to the stress, in the Fall when we would fall back an hour, it would be dark when I left the house to drive to work in the morning and dark when I left the office to drive home at night. The only daylight I was able to enjoy was during my lunch hour, and half the time I didn’t take a lunch hour for myself like I should have.

It was the rat race.

My husband and I both lived and breathed the rat race, day in and day out. And for what? We had maybe one hour with our baby girl each day before she had to go to bed for the evening. We weren’t happy. Sure our bills were paid and we had a nice house.

But again - all that for what?

Is it the nice house and the cars and all the material stuff that bring happiness? Or is it the time we spend making a difference in the lives of those around us?

If you walked out your door today and were hit by a bus, would you honestly be able to say “I lived a full and meaningful life!”

Think about what your last five years have looked like. How much time do you spend with the people you love? How much time do you spend being God’s hands and feet in this world?  How much time do you spend smiling and laughing and creating fantastic moments and memories with your husband and your children?

Friends, my family has been down a very hard road in recent years. We’ve gone through long term unemployment, major financial crisis, and we’ve lost dearly loved parents who should not have died at the very young age of 75 years old.

The one thing God keeps pointing my eyes to see is the gift He brought out of our hardship.

The gift of time!

He took that commute away from me. He took our obsession with money and our dreams of keeping up with the Joneses away from us. I don’t really care now about all of that nonsense.

He allowed us to go through deeply frightening trials so we would draw near to Him, but also so we could see there is a more meaningful purpose to our life. The time we’re each given is short and we only have one life here on earth to live. One opportunity to get it right. God has shown me the value of time. No it hasn't been easy. Yes, we've sacrificed a lot and have learned to live on less.

It's worth it though! I always say if I could have any one super power I would choose the ability to stop time, or at least slow it down, because there never seems to be enough of it.

The thing is, God gives us plenty of time. We just don't choose to use it well.

This is in part why I’m moving to one website after the beginning of the year. I have to cling to the time He’s given me to be with my family, and to come to know Him better through Bible reading and quiet stillness.

We aren’t meant to be so busy that we don’t have time for our own family. We aren’t meant to be so distracted by other bright shiny objects in our world that we don’t have time to serve God’s purpose or wildly chase the plans He has for us.

He’s given each of us the gift of time.

What are you doing with that gift?

Are you trying to balance it all so you can have it all? (I know I’m guilty) Or are you submitting yourself to God and the way He would have you spend those precious hours and minutes of your day?

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again; there is nothing new under the sun. 

~ Ecclesiastes 1-3, 8-9

*This post was written and published later in the day because I chose to submit to God’s plan. Instead of writing, I had mommy daughter time with my four year old. Absolutely no regrets. icon smile Thank You, God, for the Gift of Time God always knows best!

Today, I Will:

Give myself a much needed break. My To-Do list can wait. I need to smile again.

Your Challenge:

Take five minutes to be still in the presence of God. During this time, ponder the questions I’ve asked in this post. Are you living a full and meaningful life? What are you doing with the limited gift of earthly time God has given you? Do you feel the Lord urging you to make some changes?

Thank You, God, for the very beautiful, yet certainly limited gift of earthly time. May we glorify You in all we do. 

What do you find to be your greatest time challenge? I’d love for you to share in the comments.


Did you know Thank You, God, for the Gift of Time





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