Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Exciting things coming for Super Mom the Illusion!

Podcasts, Books, and Pursuing Dreams

This week is filled with so many new things!  I began recording some podcasts with my brother-in-law and we hope you enjoy them.  I suppose in a way, he's my witty sidekick! But don't tell him that.  We're going to bring you a morning coffee time of conversation, fellowship, and fun as we discuss homeschooling; visions, dreams and goals; reflections from the Word and much more!  Check back for updates of our first release.

Speaking of release, this Sunday (August 4th!) I'm releasing my new book, "The Breakthrough"!  It's a story of overcoming trials and holding on to our dreams and goals by trusting in the Lord for the breakthrough to come.  I hope you'll check it out and follow the blog tours that will be hosting this release.  

And finally, a big theme I have on my blog is finding our vision and dreams the Lord has given us.  The release of my podcasts and first book mark the realization of my own dreams given to me in my youth.  It has been a long time coming for this book publication to come to pass, but I believe it is launching at just the right time.  Don't let go of your dreams if they aren't being fulfilled in the time frame you think they should.  God knows what He's doing, and His plans are far better than anything we can hope, think, or imagine!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Ways to Reuse Various Bottles

Ever thought about how you could recycle and reuse some of those nifty bottles like ketchup and Parmesan cheese come in?  I've got a few tips for neat ways to use these bottles again!
  • Use empty, washed Parmesan cheese canisters to make and store your own onion soup mix, ranch mix, and taco seasoning in.  (I got the recipes for those three mixes on Facebook!)
  • Use the empty, washed ketchup bottles (the kind you set on their lids) for perfectly squeezed portions when making pancakes or waffles.
  • Use leftover breast milk storage bags to store chicken or beef broth or even the main ingredients of Good Girl Moonshine from Trim Healthy Mama!
  • Tired of losing cough drops in the bottom of your purse?  Try putting a few in an old prescription bottle!  It's much easier to find. 
  • Tip Of The Day: Remove wrap from Coffee Mate and Use as Storage {Organized CHAOS Online}
    Photo from Organized Chaos Online
  • Use empty fancy coffee creamer bottles (like International Delight or Coffee Mate found in the  efrigerator section) to store kids' snacks like cereal, cheese puffs or dried fruit.  You can also store baking items like almonds and chocolate chips.  (I got that from my friends over at Organized Chaos!)
Have some reusable ideas and tips to share?  We would love to see them!!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting the Vision, Pursuing Your Dream

I have a passion for writing stories!  I love every aspect of telling stories (mostly fictional accounts) of the ways the Lord has changed the characters in my books from hopelessness to becoming redeemed from their situations through the hand of God.  I think everyone has a real-life story to tell, a life message to share that only you can explain.  I believe these stories will change your life and impact the lives of others, too.
This vision didn't come overnight for me.  As a matter of fact, looking back over my life, I've always enjoyed writing and relaying stories, but I didn't always have a passion for it.  At least, I couldn't call it a passion for writing.  In 2005, I attended a women's retreat and was given the book, "Your Best Life Now Journal" by Joel Osteen.  Reading through this book is how my passion for writing was ignited!  There was a devotion that asked what our dreams in life were.  What did I want to become?  What goals did I want to accomplish?  And there were several other thought-provoking questions that I had hardly given thought to, if ever.  But one line caught my attention: If you've forgotten your dreams, ask the Lord to reveal them to you again.  I prayed and asked God to show me my dreams of my youth, and He did!
It can be that way for you, too.  Have you forgotten what dreams and goals and plans you had for your life when you were younger?  Here are some tips on getting the vision and pursuing your dreams:

  • Ask God to reveal the dreams of your youth
  • Think about things you used to do as a child, just things you did for fun.  Write those things down.
  • Think about how those things of your childhood are similar to things in your life now.  Often, the things you do now in life are somehow intertwined with your passion and your vision!
Write down your observations of these things you've been thinking about.  Most likely, you'll remember your dreams and can start on your path of accomplishing the goals and plans God has for you.  Habakkuk 2:2 says: Write the vision plain as day so that you can see it in your comings and goings.  Keep that vision in front of you once you get a hold of it!  You're on your way to doing great things!


Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Not Be Disappointed by People

It Matters Where You Put Your Faith and Trust

I can't begin to tell you how many times have I been hurt, disappointed, and brokenhearted by others.  As I mentioned yesterday, our experiences with people shape our future encounters, often for the worse as we begin to build walls against these things to keep from being wounded any further.  
I would like to tell you there is a simple formula to follow so that you can avoid being hurt.  The truth is, there really isn't one fix-all solution.  I can tell you that even in Biblical times folks dealt with being let down and disappointed, so it really isn't anything new.  The Word says, "Some trust in chariots, some in horses.  But we will trust in the name of the Lord our God!" (Psalm 20:7).  People will hurt us and disappoint us, but it is our reactions which we can control. 

Recently, someone deleted me on a social media site.  I don't know the true reason (although I believe it to have been something trivial), but I know the Word tells me that my God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies (Psalm 23:5) and that I am called to pray for those who persecute me (Matthew 5:44).  My reaction to the situation will either fuel it to cause emotions and tempers to escalate or will defuse the situation by my lack of response and my increase in praying for those involved.
Next time you're faced with being hurt and you want to lash out or retaliate, remember what the Lord tells us to do about those who break our hearts and cause us emotional pain.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trusting God With Child-Like Faith

Leaning Completely on God

Recently, a friend was telling me about her husband praying for her for healing of some dizziness.  While he was praying, their 5 year-old son asked to join them, and they allowed him to join in the prayer.  The next day, my friend said she mentioned she was dizzy, and her son said, "Mommy, remember what daddy said?  Trust God!"  
When she told me this story, I began thinking of how this little boy's faith and trust was so pure, genuine, unwavering, and without doubt.  That's the kind of faith God wants us to have.  But all too often, experiences in my life have scarred me, and instead of allowing God to be first in my life, I've pushed him back to a place where I can call on Him when I have need.  That's not what the Word says, though.  It says, "In everything, through prayer and petition, let your requests be known to God" (Philippians 4:6).  That's everything--good and bad--fully trusting that the plans God has for me (and YOU!) are for good.
What have you asked the Lord for recently?  I know there are things that I feel I have been praying for, but I've grown impatient for the answers.  Rather than to trust my Heavenly Father that what His Word says is true, I have doubts.  The way to overcome that is to get the Scriptures into our hearts and recall them as doubts creep up, we begin to worry about situations in our lives, and our trust in God's plans get shaky.  We also need to remember that although those in this world have let us down and disappointed us, this is not our home.  Heaven is our final destination when our work on Earth is done, and we live for telling others about Jesus and His love for us.
The more I make a choice to put my trust in God and the more I read and memorize the Word, the more often I will be able to completely trust His plan for my life.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adventures in Odyssey: 90 Devotions for Kids

Grow in Your Walk with God Every Day

For moms with kids in school, the most hectic months of the year are usually September and May. The end of the school year involves parties, playoffs, and final projects. The beginning of the year has moms and kids feeling overloaded with shopping trips, sign-ups, and new schedules.
Establishing healthy, positive routines is a tough job. Too often, music lessons, sports practices, and after-school clubs can overshadow the routines that build family and healthy habits—both physically and spiritually. 
One of the great new Adventures in Odyssey products released this year is 90 Devotions for Kids, aimed at kids 8 to 12.  This soft-cover book draws you in with illustrations, puzzles, and kid-friendly applications. It also includes a daily Bible verse, daily challenges, words of encouragement from different AIO characters, and more. Even if your kids aren’t already Adventures in Odyssey fans, they’ll enjoy these daily devotionals, and get to know the Odyssey crew along the way.

This devotional, and the edition coming this fall (90 Devotions for Kids: Life Changing Values from the Book of Matthew) are great tools to help your kids put a regular pause in their day for Bible reading, prayer, and thoughts about God. If you start now—by the first day of school, you’ll already have a spiritual component scheduled into your kids’ routine. After that, everything else will hopefully just fall into line!  

To help you with your Summer of Service, we're hosting a giveaway of 90 Devotions for Kids:  Life Changing Values from the Book of Matthew!  Interested in reading a little bit of this fantastic devotion?  We've included a FREE download of an excerpt from 90 Devotions for Kids, downloadable from this private link: 

Enter the Giveaway below!!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Sunburn relief

Best Remedies for Sunburns

With summertime activities outdoors, and even with sun protection, sunburns can occur.  I know because I was caught unprepared for an event I attended last week and now have a nice red hue to show for it.  I know there are a few recipes for homemade sunscreen, although I've never made my own.  I have relied on sunburn relief products in the past, but I prefer vinegar as my go-to solution for stinging, burning sunburn pain.  I soak a washcloth in vinegar and set the cool cloth on the sunburned area until the stinging subsides or the cloth gets warm again.  As the sunburn heals, I reduce the vinegar and make the solution more 50-50 with water.  
Do you have a favorite sunscreen recipe?  What is your go-to remedy for taking the sting and burn out of sunburns?

Remember, too, with sunscreen, anything over 50 SPF isn't really doing anything.

Have a safe, sunburn-free summer!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Guest Blog: Author Kelly Martin Talks About Her Newest Book

"The Deception of Devin Miller" by Kelly Martin

Courtesy of Kelly Martin
I want to thank Lyn for having me on her blog today to talk about my new book, THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER. I didn’t know what to write, but I love lists. SO, I decided to write you guys my top five favorite TV shows and how they relate to my book.  


1)      SHERLOCK (BBC): It’s no secret that I’m ‘slightly’ obsessed with this series. I love a good mystery. Actually, the sequel to my novel, SAINT SLOAN, has more to do with Sherlock (Hint…)

2)     TWISTED (ABC FAMILY): Like I said, I love a good mystery. Devin’s mystery is who really drove the car the night of the crash. Twisted’s mystery is who killed Regina. I think I know… do you watch it? I’d love to fangirl with you over it…

3)     DUCK DYNASTY (A&E): Ducks, God, and Uncle Si. Need I say more? (not that Devin has Ducks or Uncle Si in it ;) ) Trey sort of reminds me of Jase though J In a good way…

4)     ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC): I’m all about fairy tales! Love them. That’s why I love Once Upon a Time. For twenty-eight years, the folks in Storybrooke had amnesia… Devin has amnesia… hmmmm….

5)     WHODUNNIT? (ABC): Have I mentioned I love mysteries?

Those are my favorite shows and how they relate to Devin Miller. Do you watch any of them? Like I said, I’m a huge fangirl so if you ever want to chat about them, come over to my fb page or twitter. I’d love to get all giddy (especially when the new season of SHERLOCK comes out…EEK!!)

So… what exactly is Devin Miller about? 
One month ago, seventeen year old Devin Miller wrecked while intoxicated— or so she’s told by the sightly ticked off blue-eyed boy when she wakes up from a coma. The only thing Devin remembers is the darkness holding her down and the voices-- some happy, some upset, and one very agitated. She can't remember her name, her age, where she lives, or who in the world the blue-eyed boy is. But he knows her and against her better judgment, she offers to pay him for his memories so she can trick the ones closest to her into thinking she's fine. 

That is her first mistake.

When Devin gets home, the deception is harder than she thought. People she doesn't know keep talking to her. Trey (the blue-eyed boy) doesn't show up like he said he would. And the police want to talk to her about her involvement with the car accident. Plus she keeps seeing flashes of the wreck, but none of them make sense. What would a red plastic cup have to do with anything? And why can't she seem to trust the people she is supposed to trust the most?

Facing DUI charges for a wreck she can't recall, Devin fights to remember exactly what happened the night of the crash: something the real driver desperately wants her to forget permanently.

Who is really doing the deceiving?

Want to read more? 

AUTHOR BIO: Kelly Martin is a southern girl who writes...a lot. She is the author of SAINT SLOAN and Grace Award winning, CROSSING THE DEEP. By day, she is a special education preschool teacher. By night, she has her hair in a bun and her fingers on a keyboard. She loves God, is addicted to chocolate, and would rather write than sleep. Kelly loves a good mystery and believes in Sherlock Holmes.  
You can find her at
She's also on twitter:
And on facebook:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Being the Example

There are times in life that in order to be a good leader we must be an example.  There are also times when, honestly, I don't feel like being a good example of the right attitude to have; I don't feel like being patient in certain situations; and I simply struggle with being in a good mood about trials that have come.  Have you ever felt that way?

But you know, Jesus was the perfect display of leading by example.  He was tried and tempted and tested, but His example was to refer to the Word of God.  He knew the Scriptures, of course.  But He also applied them in His life.  I don't know how many times I could have quoted the Bible in a situation, but instead, I whined and complained, and my attitude showed my sour mood, too.  I'm not being a very good example to those around, and worst of all, I'm setting a poor example for my children.
As I meditated on this verse, I began to seek the Lord asking Him to change my heart and keep me in a thankful spirit of praise.  The verse was this:

  • Do all things without complaining and arguing...Philippians 2:14

In order to not complain, I have to stay in the habit of keeping my attitude in check.  In order to remain patient in stressful situations, I must rest in the calm and peace of the Lord.  And in order to achieve a good mood during trials, I must give them all to God knowing that He not only can solve my troubles but that He already has the solution!!
This week, how will you be the example to those around?


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Author Interview with Elizabeth Kaiser: Traitor's Knife

I recently interviewed author Elizabeth Kaiser, author of "Traitor's Knife."  We had so much fun and I am so excited about her book!  Here's what she had to say:

What inspired you to write your first book?
I started this story line as a gift for my youngest sister, Abigail. She was turning 16, and always a big supporter of my writing, and I wanted to do something special for her. But she hates all the "sweet 16" cliches, (as well as most others ) so I set myself the challenge to write a cliche-free story about a girl who was 16. I think I mostly succeeded, and she loved the novel. She loved it so much, she insisted there be more to it, and so we came up with more... a lot more! We now have a projected 5 book series, and Traitor's Knife, this summer's release, is the second book.
I chose jewelry making as a main activity because it was something that was uncommon in fiction in general, and something I know quite a bit about.
My other options of Horses, Farm, Shepherdess, Herbs, were all sooo overdone, they've nearly become cliches. So they were out!
And gems have always fascinated me, so they were easy to write about, and Abi's a sucker for a good stone of almost any color, so I knew she'd fall for it.
I think we all do! There's something eternally mysterious about gemstones, they're just so gorgeous. And most of them are pretty useless as far as actual uses, but their allure has held fast in our hearts and minds for centuries and centuries.
(I love finding photos of ancient jewelry, even more today than I did as a girl!)
What books have most influenced your life most? 
Oh, that's a toughy.  I guess my favorite author is easiest, Tolkien would be the answer, and the Hobbit is my favorite work of fiction. I love the language, he polished that book to perfection; in a way that LOTR didn't have time for. I can pick it upand read any sentence, and come away with a smile. It's just that good.
Like I said, I love the language, and one of the thrills of writing is beign able to use words to paint pictures.... and a great source of truly inspiring, hard hitting words is the KJV. That's got a flow and a flavor to the words that can't be replicated. So I do get a lot of inspiration there, but I make sure my writing doesn't slid off the edge of words-for-words sake.
Another place where the Bible is great at, succinctness. Very to the point in most places, and yet there's so much for the imagination to fill in.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Tolkien, with the Hobbit.
What book are you reading now?
I'm actually in the middle of Writer's Digest magazine, and also a couple of Reader's Digest. I find these two magazines are great for short pithy word inspiration. I have a stack on my TBR shelf, but none of them are calling me at the moment.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
New authors... well, there are a smattering of "unknown" writers I've found around the internet , (places like, etc.) that grabbed my imagination and haven't let go; if I were suddenly a famous author I'd get a hold of them and say "let's work something out!"
What are your current projects?
I've got the 3rd Fia book on the burner, and am taking a bit of a break from her world with: 1) a historical romance, 2) another fantasy, & 3) there's a sci-fi story hanging around my brain that serves as great "creative break" material!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Traitor's Knife worked great. I love the new mastery I discovered while in there, and the plot flowed out really nicely. I'm always up for learning something next book, though!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Absolutely! I love it when I get to quote my books! (Egotistical of me, I know... but it's true!  )
~ “Why not?” he challenged. “Why shouldn’t your mother receive a fine silver holly sprig from her talented daughter? Especially when that daughter has such a high ranking position: first apprentice to the House of Olayin?”
She chuckled. “The Olayin’s only have one apprentice, Andro.”
“So?” he demanded. “Is it my fault if lesser houses want to go filling up their ranks with apprentices with no talent, and thereby make first apprentice sound better than it is? We…” he laid special emphasis on the word. “We only accept the truly gifted and exceptionally talented.”
Her smile faded into a puckered up mouth. “Aren’t you leaving out the other important qualification? You only accept those truly gifted and exceptionally talented troublemakers who are foisted upon you by your king.”
“That too!” He refused to be put into a serious mood. “Now that… that is a serious talent. Very few people have that.”
She gave up and laughed at him. ~
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I am a "struck by inspiration" writer, so when that happens I can put out 2-4k words in a session of several hours and it's glorious. The words are gold, everything is beautiful, smooth sailing. But for a novel to be finished, there's a whole lot of "trudging" required, and that is my biggest challenge. I'm getting better at finding that balance point between necessary dedication and burn-out... and I think that will always be the thing I have to manage carefully.
Who designed the covers?
My sister and I. I'm blessed enough to have pretty talented genes in the family, and Photoshop for the family business... so we worked them up ourselves. I had the brilliant idea of taking some options to my blog readers for a vote; and the crowd-sourcing worked wonders!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting all the little missing pieces in. The "last part of the middle is sooo hard!" syndrome.

Did you learn anything from writing your book (about yourself, the overall writing process, publishing, etc.) and what was it?
I learned that I'm actually quite influenced by themes that I don't even know are going on. It's been fun to look at the whole work and say, "Oh! I can see what's underlaying this!"
Thanks, Elizabeth!  That was fun!!  
You can find her book at!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Homemade Window Cleaners and Stain Removers

I like to make as many household products as I can.  It is more cost effective in the long run, and if I run out of laundry soap or something like that, I just make more!  Today, we're talking about our favorite homemade window cleaners and stain removers.
By far, one of my favorite window cleaners is vinegar.  The trouble is, the house smells like a salad when I'm finished, but my windows look great!  Ammonia is also a good window cleaner, but I try to stay away from harsh chemicals like that even though I no longer have little children.  I use vinegar on my bathroom mirrors and shower door as well.  Just wipe it on with a cloth and  wipe it off with a dry cloth or a squeegee.
Now let's talk stain removers.  With three sons still at home and a daughter who loves to play in the dirt, I needed something to help with stains.  I found a recipe for a Shout type stain pre-treater that I like over at One Good Thing by Jillee.  Now, I know I said I didn't like to use ammonia for the windows, but in this case I do use it for the pre-treater.  This recipe is so easy, too.

(I had Palmolive on hand, so that’s what I used)
  • 2/3 cups ammonia
  • 6 Tblsp baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water (From One Good Thing by Jillee, 2012)
All these ingredients are poured into a squirt bottle, and I keep mine in the laundry area for quick, easy access.

So what's YOUR favorite window cleaner or stain remover tip?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Time is Now

Don't Flounder in Your Walk With God

If you have been reading my blog this past, you know that our church just finished an amazing time with our Vacation Bible School.  My family was so busy every day!  Some were involved in skits while I was involved with the audio-visual department and still others were participating in the fun of VBS.  I was relieved when we concluded our events, but I began to think of how easily we might fall back into a complacent life once again.  
At Vacation Bible School, we prayed a salvation prayer every day, memorized Scripture, sang great songs of all that Jesus has done for us, and created some pretty awesome crafts.  I was eager to not have to rush to get to the church to set up for the day, but I was missing the overall point of what my children (even the older ones) would truly be missing.  They had ministered to other children through love, servitude, and hospitality.  When VBS was over, we wouldn't have that any more.  Then I really began to think...
Why can't we still do that?!  Just because Vacation Bible School is over, what is there to keep us from ministering to children in our neighborhood and in our area of town?  The answer is that nothing is keeping us from doing that except us!  We can still be servants and be hospitable to the children and families we come in contact with at any time.  After all, that is the Great Commission, to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15).  And by ministering, we're causing our hearts to grow closer to God, too.  Growing is what God intends for everything He created!  Look at plants, animals, birds, fish and people.  We are born and we GROW!  If we aren't growing, we aren't thriving.  If we aren't thriving, we're floundering in our walk.  The time to act is NOW!
This week, our family is going to brainstorm some ways we can serve others in our neighborhood.  I would like to encourage you to do the same.  Then post a comment about what your family did to serve others in your area!


Friday, July 12, 2013

A Day in the Life...

What Does Your Day Look Like?

I love printables!  I fill my office walls with many that inspire, remind, and encourage me throughout the day.  Printables are sort of paper size posters that have sayings or poems on them meant to be visual reminders.  In this case, many of the printables I have have spiritual inspirational sayings on them.  One of my favorites is from Thankful Homemaker and has words like "Give thanks," "Time with the Lord," "What's for Dinner?" and "Turn on Some Music."  
I enjoy these little reminders that I can quickly look at because sometimes my daily activities just find me so busy that I need these gentle words to get me back on track.  So many times, life just seems to rush on by me.  I know I need to give thanks and spend more time with the Lord, and that is my desire every day.  But it is wonderful to also have sisters in the Lord creating these amazing little printable sheets that can be placed in various areas in my home and office to bring back to my memory those things I truly must focus on daily!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Budget Homeschooling

You CAN Give Your Children a Great Education

A few weeks ago, I was looking over a homeschooling blog I follow.  One of the rather new homeschooing moms had asked how much other families spend on curriculum each year.  I was blown away at some of the answers parents gave!  Not that investing in curriculum is a bad thing, but it seemed excessive for this mother of eight.  I saw some parents had answered $100, $250 and even as high as $800...per child per year for home schooling!  I want to tell you that you don't have to spend a lot of money to give your children a very good education.  As a homeschooling mother, I believe part of my job is to spend wisely when investing in the education of my children.  Besides, spending more money doesn't necessarily mean a better edcuation! 

My first piece of advice is to decide what you want your children to learn.  
  • Are you looking for them to meet state Common Core standards?  
  • Do you want them to meet the standards of your local Christian school?  
  • Do you know what your children should know and learn in each grade level?
There are a few resources for identifying what you want your children to learn or what they should learn.  
  1. What Your___Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  2. Home Educator's Scope and Sequence by Accelerated Christian Education Curriculum
  3. Your own state's department of education Website
You can find a lot of worksheets for free online that will meet many of the lower grade requirements for subject matter.  Here are a few of my favorite sites:

And there are even full courses for free online for high school!  That really takes the pressure off of those of us who think we can't teach our children a particular subject.  Here are a few we've used:


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Changed by God

Becoming a New Creation Inside and Out

Our homemade ship!
This week at our church Vacation Bible School, we've been reading various excerts of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by C.S. Lewis.  Today, we discussed how Eustace was changed into a hideous dragon because of greed, selfishness, and his desire of material things.  As I listened to the storyteller weave the tale, I realized that all those negative, disgusting things were once inside me, too.  
our location moved to another room where we heard the story of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:1-18).  Saul was a man who saw no need for a savior...until he came to the end of himself, more or less.  In fact, not only did he not see a need for the Lord, he mocked, ridiculed and threatened men and women of the Lord with death!  He appeared to be the farthest from accepting Jesus as his Savior.  But an amazing transformation happened to Saul.  The Lord spoke to him, caused him to lose his sight for 3 days, and had a plan to heal him when Saul was ready and would know it was God who was responsible for the change.
Are you ready to be changed by God?  Completely changed into who He meant for you to be when He formed you in your mother's womb?
I gave an invitation to ask Jesus into the hearts of the children.  I explained that it's okay if you've said it before and you're saying it again.  Maybe this time it means something different.  Maybe this time, you really, honestly asked Jesus to come into your heart and change you from the inside out.  And maybe this time, you knew it was really happening!
You know, we're never too old, too tired, too stubborn, too rich, too poor, too well-off to recommit ourselves to the Lord.  And maybe this time, saying the sinner's prayer will bring a new revelation of the Lord to you.  I pray that for you today!
So, right now, join me in this prayer:

Jesus, I am a sinner and I can't change on my own.
I know I need you to make a real change in me that I can see and that those around me will take notice of.
I thank you for creating me for a purpose!  
I am ready and willing to do the assignment you have planned for me.
I ask you, Jesus, to come into my heart and make the changes in me that no one else can.  
In Your Name, amen!

If you prayed that prayer for the first time, I'd love to welcome you into the Family of God! 
If you prayed that prayer and really felt the Lord speaking to you, I'd love to hear from you!

Have a blessed week!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Homemade Spa Treatments

Body Scrubs:
You don't have to spend a lot of money on fancy body scrubs.  It's easier than you think to create your own personalized body scrubs!  There are three essential things you need when formulating the scrub.

1) A carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
2) An exfoliant like sugar, fine sea salt or even coffee
3)  Essential oils like peppermint, tea tree oil, lavendar, lemon, etc.

One of my favorite sites to find recipes for homemade body scrubs is:

So what are YOUR tips for homemade spa treatments?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Do, Read, Learn, Be...Goals for Life!

I follow a wonderful blog called Biblical Homemaking.  In 2012, as part of her blog, Mandy challenged women to makes monthly goals to do something, read a book (or books!), learn how to do something and be something different for your family and friends that allows you to be Jesus to them.
Mandy's goals looked like this:

  • remodel kitchen- paint/refinish cabinets and walls - we went a different direction and worked on the family closet instead- we built new cabinets, which we completed! yay!
  • plant early garden veggies-  done for the most part- waiting on the garden to be tilled
  • work on adding more freezer meals as I can - did nothing here. Making extra meals just wasn't in the cards this month. That's okay!
  • finish crocheting scarf- I'm almost done with this, but I really messed it up and I don't even want to finish it. What to do now? :P Who really needs a winter scarf in Texas anyway, right? 
  • work on two big spring cleaning projects - I crossed off most of my living room spring cleaning projects, and I've been sorting through the children's clothing as well. Winter clothes are officially out. :P
  • finish up February’s books - done
  • read Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan- I listened to this one and loved it. Very true, and it gave me so much to think about. 
  • Memorize  1 Peter 2:1-12 - almost there! video soon! :DD
  • sweet- surprise the kids with an unexpected trip to the park - we had fun with this. Not only did we go to the park, we went to see the Lorax, and did special activities at home, and even made them special food as a surprise. I love seeing their precious faces when we do something for them they don't expect. :D success!             
After reading Mandy's list ( and feeling QUITE inadequate!), I feel compelled to create my own monthly "Do, Read, Learn, Be" list!  It is a work in progress, but I am praying about what the Lord would have me do in the next 30 days.   I hope to post my "DRLB" list by Friday and I will begin working on completing my goals then!
My challenge to you is to do the same!  Some of us may work full-time at home as moms, some of us work outside the home, and some of us work and work and work!  So the challenge isn't to outdo our friends or other women; this challenge is simply for YOU!  To better yourself and increase what you're doing for the Kingdom.  There is no right way to do the challenge; there is no wrong way to do it.  The challenge is only to make goals, work at them and complete them!
Prayers and blessings as you embark on a new journey for the next 30 days!!! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Breaking Away

Pushing Aside the Things That Steal Our Time With God

Recently, my husband and I set out to run our weekend errands.  By the time we got to the other side of town I realized I left my cell phone at home.  For me, this was a huge deal!  I do so much on my Smart Phone, and the thought of being without it caused me a bit of panic.  But I survived.  And I had a wonderful time running errands and not being distracted by my phone.  
I've talked about those things that steal our time and focus when it comes to our vision for the Kingdom.  But there are things that steal our time from God, too.  It's a familiar sight these days.  We set out in the morning with a plan.  A plan to spend 10 minutes in devotional time with the Lord.  For me, I get my mug out for coffee.  Then I realize that I probably should unload the dishwasher, and when I'm done I reload out of habit.  Next, I make my coffee and sit down on my bed for alone time with God.  I turn on some music because I like to hear praise and worship songs during my prayer time.  I can't find just hte right song, so I shuffle throug ha few songs.  Then I decide to let the dogs out, and feed them once they come back in.  The kids begin waking up at this point, so I make them breakfast.  The nI clean up the kitchen more completely, and before I know it, we are in the full swing of our day.  And I never got to spend time with the Lord.

My challenge for you this week is to set aside the cell phone.  Turn off the television.  Take a time out and spend quality time talking to God.  After all, that's what He really desires from is us is our fellowship with Him!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

What Freedoms We Are Blessed to Have in the United States!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."

As I meditate on the words of those who saw the great need for freedom, I am in awe of their simple and humble understanding of the things the Lord desired for us, even before our nation was founded as one nation under God. 
I have been thinking about parts of this declaration with interest.  

  • "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."  That means when the founding fathers drafted this country's independence, they believed it was obvious to each of them that God created them equal and gave them certain rights as mankind.
  • "...endowed by our Creator..."  Endowed means furnished; provided freely and naturally (  The founding fathers were convinced that the Lord had provided us life (Jeremiah 1:5; John 10:10), liberty (Joshua 24:15), and the pursuit of happiness (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

I am so blessed by the foresight of those great men who together took a stand to form a "more perfect union"!  This nation has pushed God so far out of it, that it will take another Great Awakening to bring her back.  But MY God can!!

Have a wonderful celebration of independence and freedom!  Pray for Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and pray for the United States!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Kitchen Edition (A Lost Treasure Has Been Found!)

*NOTE:  I thought this blog article had posted MONTHS ago!  It was only recently that I realized it hadn't posted AT ALL!  I hope you enjoy this final portion of the Spring Cleaning Series!!*

In this series about decluttering, I decided to visit the kitchen.  It's often a place we don't think of as needing Spring Cleaning, but what I show you will help you get organized not only in the kitchen but in your faith walk as well!

First, let's look at how our cupboards are organized.  Are like items placed near each other?  Is the pasta located near the pasta sauce or near the syrup?  I tend to put seasonings and spices in the same cupboard, put canned goods next to each other, and keep things like pudding mixes and baking mixes on a certain shelf because I consider them alike.  I also take a moment to look through items that might have gotten pushed back in the cupboard that I have forgotten about or didn't even know were in there!  So take inventory of the things you can still use and things that just need to be tossed out.

  • In our spiritual walk, what items are placed  near like items? 
  • Are our words placed in like manner to the words of the Lord?  
  • Or are they reflective of those we generally hang out with?  
  • Are we bringing light to others?  
  • Or shoving them aside in the back areas of our lives to be forgotten about until we see them again?
Next, consider your dishes.  I recently noticed that many of our family's dinner plates had cracks in them.  They don't look as pretty with chips out of them and cracks running through them.  Sometimes the cups leak and I have to through them away.  We end up with either a mismatched set of dishes or just a set that is missing some components that would make it more complete.  And I don't know about your plastic covered containers, but mine seem to always lose the lids!  Unfortunately, they don't work as well for storing food in the refrigerator without the proper lid, so I end up putting the containers in the recycle bin.
In our walk with the Lord, we can continuing using the cracked dishes and pretending that we're whole.  But at some point, we'll break.  Instead, allow the Potter to fix the cracks and remove those chips in us.

Moving on to the garbage, does yours overflow like mine in the picture?  It's a constant evaluation process:  Is the can getting too full?  Could more be shoved in?  Should the bag be changed?
It's not wise to put in more than what the container can hold or a mess will surely overcome the trash can and the floor.  It's similar to our own filters and holders of trash in our heart, spirit, and mind.  The more you try to stuff bad things in, the more it will overflow.  And when that happens, it changes who we are.  We begin to look more like the trash that went in that the light of the Lord shining out.

Finally, let's look at our kitchen floors.  Do they show wear and tear?  Or have you gone out of your way to care for them?  The floors are the foundation on which the whole kitchen is built!  Thinking just about that area of your home, it bears a lot of weight, doesn't it!  The lower cabinets sit on the floor; the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are supported by the strong floor; and the table and chairs rest waiting on the floor for someone to use them.  Our heart and spirit are like the floor, carrying much of the load of the things of life.  Take care to know what is placed there and to keep is a strong, solid foundation for your spiritual home.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Tip Tuesday--Getting Kids to Help With Chores

I would like to be able to tell you that my children always help with chores and go out of the way to volunteer to pick up, do dishes, and cook dinner every day.  The reality is, I sometimes have to ask several times before they even start to pick up.  I love the times when one of my children says, "Mom, can I clean out the fridge for you?"  What I want to focus on is how to keep them in a more regular lifestyle of servitude. So how do I do that?
  • Explain what that concept even means.  Kids need to know their role in keeping the house picked up.
  • Create chores lists.  This keeps kids on track.  It allows them to know what to do when.
  • Expectations of results should be clear and appropriate for the child's age.
  • Consequences should be relevant and fitting when chores haven't been completed.
  • Children should do chores because of their role in the family, not for money or rewards. (My personal opinion!  They should do it because they were asked and given a job).
What are your tips for getting kids to help with chores?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Your Calling

Finding the Passion God Planned for Your Life

Do you know that God has predestined you for something in this life?  When He formed you, He planned your purpose in this world!  Do you know what your purpose is?  Do you pursue it with a passion?

Last weekend, our pastor's wife relayed her experiences during a recent missions trip to Israel.  One thing that impressed her was the zeal and passion the Israelis have for their calling by God.  They live for that thing, that purpose that they know was placed on them for a reason.  She said it's in them; it's their life, what they live for everyday.  I want that same passion in my calling!  I believe that calling is to empower and encourage women in their walk with the Lord as mothers, wives, and daughters of the One True King.  

I fought for several years before I understood what my calling is.  If you're in that phase of your life, don't be discouraged.  Ask the Lord to reveal that to you today.  Here's are three steps to get your started:

  • Pray, and ask God to bring back to your memory those dreams from your youth.  They were given to you to practice and rehearse so that when the time was right you would be prepared to step into that purpose.
  • Think about what you like to do as a hobby, for fun, etc.  Likely those things are related to your calling!
  • If you still aren't sure, but have an idea, start moving in that direction.  Think your calling is writing?  Start writing!  Is your calling intercessor?  Begin by praying!  The Lord will show you which direction you should go, really, He will!