Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review - Simon and the Easter Miracle

This is not the Biblical story of Easter, but rather a loosely historical fiction story told from the perspective of Simon, the man who carried Jesus’ cross up the hill to Golgotha.   It’s the tale of Simon’s trip into the market to sell his wares, why he was chosen to carry the cross for Jesus, and how he discovered that a miracle had happened.  But it never tells of Christ’s resurrection.  And it only describes Jesus as a man preaching a message of peace.

If you’re looking for a folktale related to the Easter story, you will appreciate this book.  If you’re looking for a tool to teach your children about the miracle of Christs’ resurrection, you will be disappointed.
My favorite parts of the book were the two final illustrations.  You can feel the beauty and energy on the pages, and I would love to see more of illustrator Anna Luraschi’s work.

If you do read this with your children, use it to introduce the gospel story of Easter from the Bible (Matt. 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-21) and share the real Easter story – how Jesus lived a perfect life, suffered through a horrible death in order to pay the penalty for our sins, and conquered death when he rose again on the 3rd day.  Share about the miracle of God bridging the gap between our sins and a holy God, and that he wants to live in fellowship with us each day on earth, as well as in heaven for eternity.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.  


Understanding Why We Get Angry - from Joanne Miller

With 3 children, I know about how quickly tempers can flare and anger can dominate a situation.  I don't like angry voices at all, so they frustrate me easily.  I appreciated this post from Joanne Miller, about understanding WHY kids get angry:


Friday, March 23, 2012

Creative Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is just around the corner, so you'll soon be thinking about what to put on top of your Easter grass. My friend Mary is looking for Vanderbilt baseball jerseys to give her boys who love baseball and love attending Vandy baseball games.  Last year she got them spring raincoats, umbrellas and rainboots for the baskets.  I juts picked up some Nerf Gun jerseys and sidewalk chalk spraypaint blasters for my boys.  I like to get them toys that will encourage outdoor play in the spring/summer.  Here are some more Creative Easter Basket Ideas from Faithful Provisions.   What ideas do you have for your children's baskets?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

8 Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget

Kelly from Faithful Provisions posted this article titled, 8 Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget.  She shares many wise and simple ways to keep your budget and make healthy food choices.  Check out her other posts while you're on her site!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Review - 1000 days: The Ministry of Christ

1000 days: The Ministry of Christ is a Jonathan Falwell’s new devotional book that teaches about Jesus time on this earth. Falwell uses stories, sermons, and even classic literature to give readers insights into the life and ministry of Christ. And each chapter has 5-6 questions for individual reflection or group discussion.

Here are some of the topics covered:
• Jesus uses simple people to illustrate teachings and to represent him.
• The source of true happiness is only God.
• Jesus focuses on relationships instead of popularity.
• A look at hypocritical followers of Christ.
• Life is not about stuff – less is best.
• How Jesus wants us to live based on his lessons from the cross

There is a 45-page reference section at the end of the book, that includes a Bible Study Guide and an outline of the 100 main events in Jesus’ life I think the reference section was my favorite part of the book..

This would be a good book for a new believer, or someone exploring who Christ is. It provides a good introductory study to the life of Christ. As a long-time believer, though, I had a hard time reading the whole book. It was much more simple than I expected, and a bit repetitive.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Creating a wardrobe that works for you

Hallie Lord wrote this article about clothes and closets:

Second only to running out of coffee, nothing puts a damper on my mornings quite as effectively as not being able to find anything appropriate to wear. I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually operating at maximum capacity first thing in the morning. The last thing I need is to go toe-to-toe with a disorganized closet while still bleary-eyed and fuzzy with sleep.

After engaging in far too many gruesome early morning outfit battles, I decided that something needed to change. Bound and determined, I set out to regain control of my wardrobe. If you find yourself in a similar position, these simple steps might just help you to do the same.

Read the rest of her article (the practical tips) here:


Saturday, March 03, 2012

31 Days of Prayers for our Children

I love this resource that I found on pinterest.  It's a collection of 31 simple prayers and Bible verses for families.  You can keep it on your computer, or they've formatted it into a little book that you can print to keep in your family's common areas. 

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Strong Marriages

Prov. 31:12 "She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life."

As we have spoken so much about marriage at 24 Church lately, I have put much thought into my role as a wife and what I could do to make sure that I am honoring God as much as I can in that area of my life. I feel as if I go through seasons of focusing on my role as a wife, coasting for a while, then realizing I have slipped in areas that I didn't mean to, and trying to fix things again. What a pitiful scenario! My hope and prayer over the past few weeks has been that I will keep my marriage a priority. And Prov 31:12 came to mind.

All of a sudden I began to wonder how I might be harming Chris. The easy answer was "I'm not." But God was not satisfied with that answer. "What about a lack of respect," He asked. Again, I thought I was covered. But God began to reveal areas in my thought life that were more harmful that I realized they could be.

I have always known that respecting my husband is one of the most important things that I can do for him. And I thought that because I wasn't outright saying disrespectful things, that I was doing a great job. But God began to reveal to me that the seemingly small, harmless, disrespectful thoughts that we have about or towards our husbands are going to grow a root of bitterness toward him that may tear us apart in the future. "How can he go have fun with his friends while I'm at home with the kids?" "Why does he get to rest today? I never get a break or a nap." "I only ask him to do a few things around the house, and he can't even do those simple things." You get the picture. These are just a few generic examples of disrespectful thoughts that we could easily have on any given day without realizing the harm we could be causing our marriage.

Rom 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

We must capture these thoughts and renew our minds! Practice makes perfect. When these types of thoughts arise, we must recognize the pattern, and make the choice to change it. Practicing the right types of thoughts will have our hearts working towards more respect...and our mouth will follow. "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matt 12:34b

This passage from "Real Marriage" (Mark Driscoll) really stuck out to me:  "If you married him, you must have seen something you appreciated and admired about him. We can develop new habits of biblical thinking by being thankful for our husbands' gifts and strengths, rather than being bitter about their weaknesses and shortcomings" p. 68

Take the time to observe your husband closely and journal or make a list of things you appreciate about him: working hard, staying faithful to you, spending time with your kids, being a friend, certain tasks he does, etc. Make the positive observations about your huband over the next few days or so, and share these reasons of why you love/repsect him in a special way that I will share later.

After I read Romans 12:2, I continued reading. In verses 9-13, I found an amazing picture of what our marriages could look like! Please read them...What if we made if one of our life's goals to do everything we can to make our marriages reflect these verses. Glory to God! What a beautiful thing!

Whether we like it or not, our lives and marriages are on display. Instead of being intimidated or embittered by that fact, we should find joy in this very serious priviledge that we have. God has given us an opportunity to shine His light on the subject of marriage. What an amazing gift, that if we focus on the marriages that we have been given, and do all scripture teaches on how to make them wonderful, God-honoring marriages, we will be doubly blessed. Our lives will be full, and our lives will help others' marriages as well. Praise God!

So here is the 2 part challenge :)

1. Write your hubby a love letter. Include the following:
-Resons we love/respect them from observations
-Rejoicing for joys and hopes in your lives/marraige over the past year(s)
-Praise/thankfulness for ways that you have grown and thrived from persevering through tribulation.

2. Love and repsect your husband in a few ways that you have been afraid to, have fought against, or simply not known to be important. Make some changes he will clearly see to be for him. Here are 6 areas to make some of these changes:  Appreance, Home Management, Intimacy, Words, Daily habits/routines, and Spiritual needs/prayer

May God be glorified in each of our lives. I know that our marriages are one of the ways He can be made known to us in great and mighty ways!



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