Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is There Not A Cause? It's Time To Evaluate Your Blog.

Why do you have a blog?  Is it to keep your family up to date with your life?  Is it to bring humor into people's lives?  Is it to encourage?  Is it to write devotionals?  Is it to do fun tutorials and D.I.Y projects?  Is it to make a little profit on the side while you are a stay at home Mama?  Why do you have a blog?

For me, it is birthed from desperation.  A overwhelming need to write.  A driving force to create beauty and art.  The need to urge others towards godly living.  There is a gut-wrenching desperation within my innermost being... 

With anything we do in life, we should take a step back and bring it before the Lord.  Offer it back to Him.  Reevaluate things.  Check your motives.  Send it through a filter of sorts.

There should be integrity with our writing.

There should be intention behind our writing.

Purpose.  

1 Samuel 17:29 " And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?"



Are you writing just for the sake of writing or is there a purpose?  Is there not a cause?

"Women have become a needy people.  Needy of approval.  Needy of affection.  Needy of pleasing people.  With that need can come the hamster wheel cycle of run - run - run but never get anywhere... we then lead shallow lives without integrity and intention.  There is a threat of becoming cultural copycats instead of exactly who God designed us to be."

More than my desperate need to write comes the desperate love of God.  A love so amazing, so wonderful, so powerful.  It must be His purpose in my life that is the driving force.  Anything apart from that is earthly, sensual, self-pleasing.

Is there not a cause?  Your life... you are here for a purpose, sweet sister of God.  Does your life have a cause or are your days viewed as mundane tasks that get checked off only to hurry up and shuffle into your tomorrow.  Your tomorrow isn't a guarantee.  You only have today.  Maybe not even today.

There is a cause.  It's His cause.  Ask Him for wisdom and guidance.  He will be faithful to reveal it to you as you submit your day, your life, your schedule, your expectations to Him.  Lay it all at His feet right now.  

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Easy Mod Podge Children's Wall Art




Have you ever Mod-Podged?  My friend Shannon introduced me to it!  I'm in love.  To make this simple craft just go to your local craft store of choice (with coupons in hand of which I did not this time, "sad face") and purchase:

1) A wooden letter (I got a white one) - one for each of my older two children's first initials.
2) A piece of scrapbook paper and stickers that match.
3) Mod Podge glue.
4) A small brush.
5) You'll also need a pencil to trace the letter onto the paper and scissors to cut it out.

ALL FOR UNDER $10!

1) Trace the letter onto the paper.
2) Cut it out.
3) Paint a layer of mod podge glue onto the letter.
4) Place the cut out letter over the wooden letter and rub your fingers across it so it sticks.
5) Place your stickers any way you'd like.
6) Put another layer of mod podge glue over that layer.
7) Let dry.
8) Repeat for a second layer.
9) Add a wall hanging hook to the letter.


 



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A Community Of One Cannot Stand


Community is what I make it.  This thing called life, every breath, is a gift.  The people that cross my path, whether in flesh or over computer screens have the potential of being part of something grander; and I a part of theirs.  Come, let us have unity.  A community of one cannot stand.  

Each community takes on its own shape, smell, and sound.  Is yours full of sweetness and love or backbiting and envy.  When a community is filled with hatred, it will crumble and dissolve in the making.  When a community is filled with forgiveness, grace, and love... it will flourish and bless the giver and the receiver.  It is a joy to be part of this one.  

The online world has removed the limitations of geography.  It has caused people to join, hand in hand, while stepping foot on different soil.  It has bridged the gap of time, location, and economic status.

Community is what you make it.  To have friends you must show yourself friendly.  To receive the gift of community you must, with hope and faith, extend your hand and your heart in wild abandon. 

Community is not about what we can get back from it, but what we can give... with broken hands, broken lives, and broken dreams... 


LINKING WITH THE GYPSY MAMA'S FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY....

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Search For Wisdom More Than Facebook Feedback

We all love feedback.  We all love hearing, "job well done".  But how much more important to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," from the God of this universe!

I've been meditating a lot on wisdom.  Not the wisdom of the world, but true wisdom from the truth of God's Word.  I've been reading Proverbs 1-4 every morning.  It got me thinking...

What if I searched for wisdom more than...

feedback from facebook...


comments on my blog...


pleasing people...


twitter...


my appearance...


my own agenda...


my social status...


fame...


fortune...


I go to great lengths to please myself.  To get my own way.  To gratify my flesh.  But what of wisdom?

If we search after wisdom, we will have:

Understanding
Discretion
Guidance
Grace
Protection
Integrity
Deliverance
Power
Peace
Success
Straight Paths
Long Days
Healing To Your Flesh
Refreshment To Your Bones
Full Barns
Wealth More Than Silver
Pleasant Ways
Life To Your Soul
Blessing
Security
No Fear
Sweet Sleep
Confidence
Insight
Precepts From The Lord
Honor

Search for wisdom...


Hear it...

Treasure it...

Be attentive to it...

Seek after it...

Keep it...

Don't lose sight of it...

Don't forsake it...

Prize it...

Accept it...

Don't let it escape your sight...

Gaze upon it...


Proverbs 4:20-27


20 My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
     keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their[m] flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder[n] the path of your feet;
     then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Don't Have Control Over Our Child's Actions



Our children are sinners.

              They will make wrong choices.

                                They will break our hearts.

                                                  The real question is, how will we react?



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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

100 Smoothie Recipes!





FRUIT

1) Strawberry Smoothie
2) Orange Smoothie
3) Mango Smoothie
4) Peach Smoothie
5) Banana Smoothie
6) Blackberry Smoothie
7) Strawberry Banana Smoothie
8) Pomegranate Smoothie
9) Orange Juice Smoothie
10) Blueberry Smoothie
11) Cherry Smoothie
12) Pineapple Smoothie
13) Raspberry Smoothie
14) Berry Smoothie
15) Apple Peach Cherry Smoothie
16) Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie
17) Melon Lime Cooler Smoothie
18) Cantaloupe Frenzy Smoothie
19) Cranberry-Orange Smoothie
20) Fig Smoothie
21) Grapefruit Smoothie
22) Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie
23) Lemon Pineapple Smoothie
24) Lemon Berry Smoothie
25) Papaya Passion Smoothie
26) Date Smoothie

VEGGIE

27) Groovy Green Smoothie
28) Avocado Smoothie
29) Cucumber-Honeydew Smoothie
30) Green Monster Smoothie
31) Green Slime Smoothie
32) Kale and Banana Smoothie
33) Lean Green Smoothie
34) Kale and Spinach Smoothie
35) Spinach Mango
36) Kale Strawberry Peach Smoothie
37) Peach Spinach Smoothie
38) Apple Kale Lemon Smoothie
39) Pear Kale Mint Smoothie
40) Spiced Carrot Smoothie
41) Broccoli Blueberry Smoothie
42) Sweet Veggie Smoothie
43) Tomato Smoothie

PROTEIN


44) POM Morning Protein Smoothie
45) Barry Zito Protein Smoothie
46) Healthy Breakfast Smoothie
47) Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie



SPECIALTY 


48) Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie
49) Red, White, and Blue Smoothie
50) Tropical Coconut Smoothie
51) Homerun Smoothie
52) California Smoothie
53) Cherry Almond Smoothie
54) Coconut Avocado Smoothie
55) Flax Seed Smoothie
56) Gator Smoothie
57) Honey Mango Smoothie
58) Peaches N Cream Smoothie
59) Raspberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
60) Merry Christmas Smoothie 
61) Peppermint Smoothie
62) Eggnog Smoothie
63) Jack O Lantern Smoothie
64) Key Lime Smoothie
65) Cherry Pie Smoothie
66) Peaches -n- Cream Smoothie
67) Maple Leaf Frappe Smoothie
68) Ginger and Pear Smoothie

DECADENT


69) Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
70) Apple Caramel Mocha Smoothie
71) Iced Mocha Fusion Smoothie
72) Apple Pie Smoothie
73) Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie
74) Chocolate Cherry Banana Smoothie
75) Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie
76) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
77) Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie
78) Tiramisu Smoothie
79) Neapolitan Smoothie
80) Rocky Road Smoothie
81) Strawberry Trifle Smoothie
82) Raspberry Cheesecake Smoothie
83) Caramel Candy Bar Smoothie
84) Chocolate Truffle Smoothie
85) Double Fudge Smoothie
86) Apple Crumble Smoothie
87) Mocha Smoothie
88) Banana Caramel Smoothie
89) Cherry Heaven Smoothie
90) Banana Split Smoothie

COFFEE 

91) Coffee Banana Smoothie
92) Coffee Dessert Smoothie
93) Coffee Power Smoothie
94) Coffee Smoothie
95) Coffee Non-Dairy Smoothie
96) Starbucks Coffee Smoothie
97) Chocolate Coffee Smoothie
98) Coffee Banana Smoothie
99) Smooth & Refreshing Coffee Smoothie
100) Vanilla Coffee Smoothie


Linking with WLWW!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

THE ROCK






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Are You Comfortable?


"We have far too poor a conception of the intimacy with our God which He desires should be habitual.  We are satisfied with too little and so we know too little of the light in the woods of life--that light which is always there."  ~ Amy Carmichael GOLD BY MOONLIGHT

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's Helping Me During A Season Of Depression. Perhaps It Might Help You?

I finally realized I was in a season of depression when I acknowledged it.  I said it out loud.  I'm depressed.   I was constantly tired, anxious, angry, withdrawn, lonely, and felt helpless.  I didn't want to acknowledge that I was depressed.  After all, I have a beautiful family, three healthy kids, wonderful friends,and a relationship with the God of this universe.  


But depression isn't a respecter of persons, places, things, or events.  It can happen to anyone, at even the most happiest times of life.  Have you been there?  Are you there now?  These are some things that are helping me and maybe they will help you too.

1)  Bathe Yourself In The Bible:  I mean all the time!  Have a little Bible with you everywhere you go.  Read a certain passage that helps you over and over.  For me, it's Psalm 139.  My sweet hubby read it to me last night and I saw it in a new light.  Read it in several different versions.

2)  Worship Him Through Song:  My awesome sister in law suggested I play Pandora music whenever possible.  A wonderful station she suggested that I'm LOVING is Selah.  I found this gem of a song:  Oh God Of Mine, By, Rita Springer!  I'm going to be listening to this song over and over and over!

3)  Seek Wise Council:  You need to acknowledge that you are struggling.  When I finally did and asked a few wise people for help, they gave wise council.  Proverbs 1:5 says, "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance."

4)  Be Content:  God is bigger than us.  He sees all, from past to present to future... all at the same time.  We need to learn to be content in good times and in times of depression.  Philippians 4:11-13 says, " 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

5) Give Up On Perfect:  I grew up surrounded by certain people that you never knew what mood they would be in.  I felt as though I walked on egg shells constantly and for that, I developed a "help all people be happy all the time" mentality.  I've realized now that I'm grown that this constant striving for perfect is not healthy.  I need to realize I can't make everyone and every situation perfect.  

6) Take Baby Steps:  For me, just getting out of bed and doing the normal things were difficult.  Take baby steps.  Start by getting a shower first thing and getting a good breakfast.  Don't expect too much at first.  Do the simple things.  Develop some sort of simplified routine for your day/week.  This will help you to have structure.  Also be flexible because things change and you must learn to bend.

7) Do What You Can:  You can only do what you can in a day.  You can only do what you can in a day.  You can only do what you can in a day.  

8) Don't Over Commit:  Do you need to take some things off your plate?  It's okay to take a step back from  certain obligations in your life that are weighing you down for now.

9) Take Care Of Yourself:  Get your rest.  Bathe yourself.  Eat right.  Drink water.  Get some sort of exercise during the day.

10)  Remember God Is With You:  You are not alone!  God is with you every step of the way.  He has a purpose in allowing you to go through this.  It is ultimately to bring His name glory and to encourage someone else.  Read and meditate on Psalm 139.  It will help you.  

11) Simplicity Vs. Gain:  Don't be greedy of gain.  Proverbs 1:19 says, "19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors."  Whatever that gain may be.  A better figure?  A better bank account?  A better social status?  Fame?  Your wants vs. serving others in your home?  God wants us to love simplicity and to seek wisdom above all else.  Where do we find wisdom?  In God's Word.

12) Find Time To Laugh:  This might sound silly, but find time to laugh.  Don't take everything so seriously.  Laughing is good for the soul!


13) Cast Down Your Idols:  I came to realize that I had many idols I was holding onto in my life.  The idol of perfect.  The idol of a perfect body/weight.  The idol of pleasing people.  Cast down any idols in your life.  Depression feeds on idol worship.  They suck and devour it and it gives it strength.  Cut it off at the root.  Cast down this depression's life line!


14) Remember This Is Just A Season:  Whether you are experiencing depression for a day, week, month, or several years, in light of eternity, this is just a season of life.  Glorify God in it.


15) Ask God For Wisdom:  He will give you wisdom.  Seek it above all else.  Think about the things you love... you go to great lengths to make those things happen.  Search for wisdom above even those very precious things.   

Proverbs 2:6-11

For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10 
for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 
discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,"


I love you!  If you are experiencing a time of depression in your life, seek His face!  If you have a history of clinical depression, please seek medical help.  What I am experiencing is a season of depression; I am no expert on clinical depression.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When It Is All Too Much



When it's hard to keep up with life; the pain, the joys, the duties, the hurt, the expectations... take time to just sit and rest in Him.  You {I} don't need to figure everything out.  You {I} can't please everyone.  I'm giving up on perfect for His perfect work in me. 

I am but clay in your hands, Lord.  For you to mold, use, and reshape into something beautiful for your honor.

Sometimes good things need to be left on the shelf for another time.  Another place.  Another purpose.  Are you doing too many things that wear the name "good" only to be left burnt out and empty?  

Go to the one that can refuel, refresh and renew your worn out mind/body/spirit...run to Him, weary one!  

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My Babies


I love these little smiles, little feet, little lives.  God has given them to me for this time, this place, this life.  I want to enjoy my days with them, not just survive.  Some days it is just surviving, minute by minute... but how much more when we can truly enjoy them!  Are you enjoying your children today?  Read a post by my friend... it will bless you.  "Dear Moms With Little Ones"

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

God's Grace... For When A Mom Kicks A Hole In The Wall



Yes, you read that right.  I kicked a hole in the wall yesterday.  I flat out punted the wall actually.  {Totally humiliating I know!}  I considered keeping this horribly embarrassing and humbling nightmare a secret, but when you have two children who saw you do it and they blab it to a stranger in the grocery isle of Wegmans, is there really keeping it a secret?  So why not blog about it?

My daughter to me, "Mommy, don't you wish that was a dream and it never happened?"  "Yes honey, I do."

The fact is, we do stupid things.  We fail.  We are human.  I am flesh.

I'm not going to go into details, but I was low on sleep, high on stress, the baby was finally asleep, the older two screamed at the top of their lungs and woke him up, and this Mama flat out kicked the wall!  

There.  Now don't you feel better about your poor-mommy-moments?  I'm glad I could help.

What I've learned...and what I hope you can take away from this and never repeat my horribly shameful wall-kicking escapade:

1) We need to ask for help as moms.  Sometimes we think we can do it all.  We can't.  We can't.  We can't.  And when you think you can and you come to your breaking moment, you may just kick a hole in the wall.  So ask for help.

2) We need to find a way to release our stress.  Exercise is a must for anyone, especially a mom.  I (you) need to find a way each day to get some exercise and frustration out.  Or else.

3) We need to be in God's Word daily.  There's really no way around this one.  We need to be reading, meditating, and recalling scripture to mind all throughout our day.

4) Don't let your stress build to the point of wanting to kick a hole in your wall.  That is just not cool.

5) There is grace (much grace) in our less-than-fine moments as a mom.  Ask for forgiveness from your children.  Admit and confess your sin.  Move on.  

God is good... all the time, His grace is sufficient... 

2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome To The Ultimate Blog Party 2012!





Ultimate Blog Party 2012


I'll keep this short and sweet since you are likely going to be visiting a ba-zillion other blogs this week.  My name is Traci and this is a blog about ordinary life events... but if you take a closer look, these ordinary moments are really so much more!  I love to encourage women to be better moms, wives, and children to a Wonderful God!  I recently wrote a post about how I work outside my home now.  I hope you'll check it out.  I'd love to have you do the following (and I will return the favor to YOU):

1) Subscribe (RSS, email)
2) Follow via google friend connect
3) Follow via facebook
4) Follow via twitter
5) Follow via pinterest

Leave me a comment that you stopped by and did these things and I will return the favor to you!  So glad you stopped by for the BIG PARTY! 




Oh, and I just made this new blog design.  I just LOVE the yellow and gray theme! You can visit my graphics site here if you are interested in a VERY AFFORDABLE BLOG DESIGN for your blog!


And since this is a party, will you go check out one of my awesome sponsors, Party Pail?


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over 100 Kid's Birthday Cake Ideas!




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When You Don't Feel Like You Are Enough

When the God who painted the sky with brilliant light, breathed life into you, He created you just the way you are.  So when you don't feel like you are enough, or just can't seem to measure up, remember He painted you!

You don't look just like that other women, because He created you special!  There are things you can do that no one else can.

Are you feeling defeated today?  Remember, if you are a child of God:

You are loved. (John 3:16-17)
You are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
You are adopted. (Ephesians 1:5)
You are not alone. (Hebrews 13:5)
You are victorious. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
You have hope. (Ephesians 1:12)
You are beautiful. (Psalm 139)
You have purpose. (Ephesians 1:9)
You are redeemed. (Galatians 3:13)
You can walk in peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)
You can approach God's throne at any time! (Ephesians 3:12)
You are an over-comer. (1 John 4:4)
You claim a heavenly inheritance. (Ephesians 1:3)
You are God's workmanship.  (Ephesians 2:10)

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Monday, April 9, 2012

I Work Outside My Home Now



Some days motherhood is really exhausting.  Lonely.  Monotonous.  Hard.  The other day I told my husband that I'd go to work for him if he'd stay home with the kids for the day.  He didn't oblige and laughed.  The truth is, some days I'm just plain jealous of my husband.  He gets to leave and go visit all sorts of people throughout his day, and do seemingly grandiose things while I'm home wiping noses, bums, and toilets.  

Just this morning I had an epiphany of sorts.  It hit me.  I am married to this man and we are one flesh.  I go with him to work!  It is my desire that he will work hard and succeed at his job and I gladly cheer him on and go with him. Complaining about my day, whining that I'd wish he were home earlier and telling him that I want to change places does not help him do a better job.  It doesn't make him feel able and willing to do his very best.  

He also is home with me during the day!  Not physically but he really is.  He wants me to succeed as a woman who has been entrusted with these precious little ones for such a time as this.  As I read God's Word and see the way God desires me to mother these babes, I'm blessing my husband while he is physically away at work.  While my husband is away at work during the day, he is blessing me by being a hard working, diligent husband and father.

Tired mother, can I ask you a question?  Did you go to work alongside your husband today?  Go with him; with your kind words, joyful spirit and right attitude.  You sacrifice so much.  God sees your hard work.  Remember, you and your husband are a team!

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Outfits I Put Together On Polyvore! Come Shopping With Me?

I love polyvore! Have you ever played around with it? Here are some outfits I put together. Which one do you like best?  It's so much fun!  Shopping without spending money!




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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Slowing Down Your Hurried Home!

I want to have a home that loves to be home.  Together.  Having fun.  Not rushed to this ball game, and that dance recital and grab a bite to eat quick quick quick and gulp down that drink.... FASTER!

Some ways that I am seeking to bring rest to our hurried home is to:

1) Turn off media
2) Spend more time outdoors
3) Laugh together... often!

This looks great!  It gives practical advice for slowing down your home!  It even has a video series!

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How To Get Your Skinny Jeans Back Before Summer


1) First, hang up your goal jeans in plain view as a reminder.
2) Regain control of your home... don't allow tempting treats.
3) Ask yourself, "How bad do I want this?"
4) Get your game face on and get serious.
5) Remind yourself, each time you say "no" to bad food, you are that much closer to your goal.
6) Do 200 crunches a day.
7) Do 200 leg lifts a day.
8) Do 200 jumping jacks a day.
9) Drink 10 glasses of water a day.
10) Eat more protein, fiber, fresh fruits and veggies.
11) Say no to white flour, sugar, and salt.
12) Don't get sidetracked... starting over is never fun!
13) Make a chart and track your progress.
14) Give yourself small rewards along the way.
15) Try and do 20-30 minutes of aerobic/strength exercise 4-5 a week.
16) BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!!!!

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