Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grace Is Always Enough


It is always enough.  Pure grace.  The ability to let God be God, and man {woman} be human.  There is no room for imperfection in a perfect God and likewise, there is no room for perfection in the very imperfect human.  Any good in us is like a filthy rag and we so desperately need Him to love through us.

My daughter was struggling saying that she was trying to obey, but sometimes couldn't help but sin.  I know honey, Mommy needs to ask God daily to love through me, I humbly told her.  Because just that morning, I prayed {pleaded really}with the Lord, before my feet hit the floor, that He would love through me because I just can't-do-it-on-my-own.  This life.  Any of it.  

And so... when people let you down, and feelings get hurt, and misunderstandings happen, and you are tempted to let hatred spew from your lips... remember, grace is always enough.  

I had a post on facebook that read:  "Some days parenthood is just plain HARD. Trusting the Lord during this teaching/training/whining phase of motherhood!"

This response from a friend really hit me: "Let LOVE be the first emotion you think and act with, if it is not... wait and pray for HIS view of things and LOVE and teach through HIM!"

That is some of the best advice I have ever received!

Do you want to receive grace?  Then give it out freely and in abundance...

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie - N - Oreo Brownie Bar



Yeah, I know... RICH!  Chocolate chip cookie.  check!  Double Stuffed Oreos.  check!  Brownies and fudge topping.   check!

I'm not sure if you'll love me for this recipe or hate me?  Please love me?  I blame Amanda!  

Layer 1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter


                    Layer 2: Double Stuffed Oreos


             Layer 3: Brownie Mix & 1/4 Cup Fudge Topping


Result:



Easy-Peasy Recipe:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz bag) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg double stuffed oreos
1 family size (9x13) brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish that's been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with a layer of Oreos.  Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix.  Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.  COVER with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting--brownies may still be gooey in the middle when still warm, but will set up perfectly once cooled.  Enjoy!  Just click the Printer Friendly Button under my name to print the recipe!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

God Wants To Use You!



God says in His Word, that if we don't praise Him, the rocks will cry out!  But He wants to use you!  He wants your life to make a difference for Him!  He doesn't want to use stones, He desires that you would be His vessel!

What's holding you back?  Some things to consider:

1) If you want big changes in your life, you have to make big changes.

There are no shortcuts, or quick-fixes.  Drastic results calls for drastic changes.  Are you ready?

2) God wants all of you.  Which pieces of your life are you hoarding for yourself?

Just like a puzzle needs all the pieces to fit together and create a complete result, if we are hoarding those few last pieces to ourself, the picture isn't finished.  Do you keep asking God why things are the way they are?  Do you need to hand over those puzzle pieces to Him today?

3) To be used in great ways for the Lord, He asks for your obedience.

God is calling me to be more diligent in prayer.  I've committed to praying at least 15 minutes a day.  It's hard... but He ask for our obedience and promises to bless it!  

4) The hard things He calls you to do are for your good and His glory!

He does not what to harm you but desires to do you good all the days of your life.  Trust Him with these hard things.

5) Trust God today for the uncertainties of your tomorrow. 

God already goes before you.  Trust Him.  He holds yesterday, today, and tomorrow in His hands.


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Friday, March 23, 2012

LOUD

So much loud background noise and influence bombard her 5-year-old mind.  Will she be a leader?  Will she stand up for truth?  Will she cheer for the underdog in her class that sits alone at lunch time?  Will she smile at the face of adversity and accept each new challenge?

This is my prayer.  We can only protect our children so much.  The sheltering is good for a time, but sooner or later they need to face the real world.

We must bathe our little ones in prayer, because really only God's power working in them can allow these little people to grow into caring and strong adults.



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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

RID THE CLUTTER IN YOUR HOME! HAPPY SPRING!



Spring time is fast approaching and with it comes clearing out the snow-covered clutter in our home.  Here are some simple and practical ways you can rid the clutter from your home.
FINISH READING OVER HERE....................
  

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Brave

Most days I don't feel brave.  I feel anything but brave.  To be a godly woman takes bravery.  It requires taking up the shield of faith and choosing to obey in the ordinary moments.  Moments that don't feel anything spectacular at the time, but still require brave obedience.  

To choose to see the beautiful in what little choices of the not-so-pretty will transform into.  Because they will.  Feelings are fleeting and do not promise any sort of security.  They blow with the wind and flit about and land where they may.

And so, I'm choosing to be brave, because Jesus makes me brave.  He is my confidence and my hope.  I will trust in Him.  And so, to be a godly women may look like going to battle, with our messy emotions, tired feet, and weary heart- front lines, enemy pressing in on us, no turning back.

Don't wave that white flag in defeat; press on, dear woman of God!  You are valiant because He made you strong in Him.

Romans 8:37: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.


linking with five minute friday...



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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lose 10 Pounds By Walking

I have learned that walking is the number one thing that helps me lose weight (as far as exercise goes).  Not to mention it is one of the easiest and cheapest forms of exercise!  Who doesn't love EASY and CHEAP?  

This week it has been in the 50's-60's here in Upstate, NY and I have been able to get out with my boys for regular 40-minute brisk walks.    

After just four days, I feel my clothes getting baggy and loose!  What a great feeling.  Here are some other benefits to walking:

1) It reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
2) It is good for your mental health.
3) It lowers high blood pressure.
4) It helps control joint swelling and pain.
5) It boosts your mood.
6) It reduces stress and anxiety.
7) It helps decrease symptoms of depression.
8) It helps you feel more energetic.
9) It helps you lose weight.
10) It helps you sleep better.
11) It helps you stay regular.
12) It boosts your self esteem.
13) It is good for your brain and cognitive function.
14) It helps reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
15) It helps release those happy hormones.
16) It improves circulation.
17) It boosts your immune system.
18) It increases your desire for bedroom activity.
19) It could eventually get you off of some of your medications.
20) It helps your skin glow.

So get out and walk this month.  Spring is coming and who doesn't want to feel better be shedding that extra 10 pounds hanging onto you for dear life!  Tell those unwanted pounds goodbye as you stroll around your neighborhood!  Set a goal to walk 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes.  

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our Number One Ministry


Our number one ministry is within our own home.  Within those four walls, where only you and your family know of the angry voices in heated moments, harsh glances, and debilitating words.  Our homes are meant to be a safe place.  A place of refuge and security; yet so often we cut those we love down, we withhold grace, and are quick to hold grudges.

Are you spreading seeds of grace and mercy towards friends, church members, and your online community only to leave you home left wanting?  

God doesn't care about your growing blog, your women's ministries, or even the way you extend unconditional love to the needy world, if you aren't starting within your own home.  This is where it counts.  This is what shows you all about that sinful heart of yours.  {Mine}.

I'm reevaluating a lot lately.  I want to be more devoted to my family and the calling I have within my home.  You know, where you don't always get left "comments" and you don't always get a pat on the back for a job well done. 

How about you?  This really spoke to me.  Sarah Mae's resolution.  You should check it out.  Do you have some reevaluating to do in your home?  I do!  I want to look back and know I did everything I could to be ministering to my family.  I don't want to regret spending too much time online and missing the lives growing before me each day.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

This Mama Needs Help!


I forget how much I NEED help as a Mom. From the moment I wake up, my day comes crashing in on my.  People and things pull at me from all directions and before I can even think of organizing  my thoughts, I feel overwhelmed.

Then I am reminded that I don't need to do this thing called life alone.  God has left me the Holy Spirit, and He lives within me!  He wants me to take everything to God in prayer.  Every. Little. Thing.

Why is it so important to be filled (controlled) by the Spirit each day; especially as a mom?

1) Without His help and guidance we can say hurtful things.
2)  Without Him working within us we can do hurtful things.
3) Without His power fleshing out our junk and shining His perfect beauty, we can do nothing eternally good!

I want to be a Mama that ministers to my children the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every day.  Not just being a good Mommy, but being used by God in their little lives so that they may see Jesus in me.

Do you want the same thing?  Choose to say a little prayer each day before your feet even hit the floor... confess your sins.  Plead with Him to help you be controlled by Him.  And in doing so, we will be making an eternal difference in our children... one day at a time!

ROMANS 8:9-11 "9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[a] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."

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Friday, March 9, 2012

EMPTY



We all have times of feeling empty.  When I feel empty I usually go to things.  People.  Stuff.  Food.  Oh... FOOD!  I'm learning that things don't satisfy the empty feelings that sweep over me.  

I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I should be going to HIM first and foremost.  I know this.  I do.  But I'm human and this flesh craves other things sometimes.  

But things don't satisfy the empty places.  
People don't even satisfy the empty places.

Nothing apart from Christ will satisfy the empty places of my soul.  Only when I decide to take the empty well of my soul to the Life-Giver can I ever be completely filled up and satisfied in this life.

Isaiah 40:8 
The grass withers, the flower fades,

    but the word of our God will stand forever.


From The Message Bible: Isaiah 40: 6-8
A voice says, "Shout!" 
   I said, "What shall I shout?"
   "These people are nothing but grass, 
   their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, 
   if God so much as puffs on them. 
   Aren't these people just so much grass?
True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, 
   but our God's Word stands firm and forever."


This video from Renee Swoop really explains it all.  If you have a moment in your day, you will be blessed by it I'm sure!  It's called: "Letting God Fill The Empty Places In Our Hearts."

What's my biggest struggle?  Turning to food when I feel happy, sad, lonely, hurt, discouraged, etc. etc. etc...

But I'm learning, over and over, that food will not solve my emotional well-being.  

I'm learning to say no to running to food, and instead, running to my Jesus!





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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Before And After Kitchen/Living Room Remodel

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