Friday, August 30, 2013

When God Reveals Your Calling

Getting Ready for Your Dreams

Earlier this week I talked about having an amazing life-changing transformation after accepting the Lord.  Stories like Nicky Cruz and his being led to salvation by Pastor David Wilkerson are , well, the stuff of which books and movies are made.  Sometimes our stories are less glamorous, sometimes they are quite profound.  In any case, when we make the choice for Jesus, God begins to reveal His call on our lives.    
This time of awakening of the purpose of your life can be a bit intimidating, but God has been preparing you for that thing your entire life.  It's not necessary to be fearful because it's God hand on your life.  If you look back over your life, that thing God is calling you to do now is probably similar to things you've done throughout your life up until you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
Terri Savelle Foy says that "when you're ready, get ready!"  Meaning when you're ready to accept the assignment God has put on your life, He's probably going to kick it up a notch and challenge you to move to the next level of trusting Him.  It might mean a career change from Information Technology to full-time artist.  Or from shipping clerk to truck driver.  These are examples of people I know, but our job is two-fold: be willing to do what God is calling us to; and not to get ahead of God's plans.  His timing is perfect!  His plans for you are for good and not evil; to prosper you and give you a hope, a future, and an expected end! 



Thursday, August 29, 2013


It May Just Be the Hardest ASK For!

Have you ever been in a situation where you are asked to forgive someone?  I have compassion on the person asking forgiveness in many cases.  But what about the times when I have to ask forgiveness?  Maybe I messed something up.  Maybe I dropped the ball on finishing a task.  Or maybe the Lord showed me that I had let offense creep into my heart and fester like a small wound that I simply grew complacent within me.  
That is just what happened to me!  The details aren't as important as the fact that I had become offended over something from several years ago and only realized it this past weekend.  When did I push it down so far that I didn't even see it any more?  I remembered one seemingly insignificant event, and I believe that was the moment that little offense took root and grew.  
Several years ago, I took over our church overhead team.  I came up with a great name (VIEW:  Visually Improving and Enhancing Worship.) and researched a few software options we could use.  In the end, we went with another program that someone else had experience with and still use it today.  It isn't that it is a bad piece of software.  I find it very easy to use.  I just allowed the moment when someone else decided this piece of a bigger picture to offend me.
So this weekend, I talked to our pastor's wife and told her of the whole occurrence.  She was very compassionate, but I felt awful because it wasn't my intention to be offended and I love my pastors.  But now that we have cleared the air, we can move past this and focus on the ministry of VIEW.
Is there something in your life that seems disconnected or broken?  There may be an offense there that has passed into your life unnoticed.  Ask the Lord to show you any area that you may need to ask forgiveness and to direct you in your words to anyone you might need to speak with.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dreams to Destiny

Discovering Your Purpose in the Kingdom

Did you dream of growing up and making a career out of your passion?  As a kid, probably not.  But as an adult you more than likely remember those dreams.  Those dreams were God's way of preparing you for your role in the Kingdom.  
We've talked a lot about vision boards, dreams and asking the Lord to remind us of those things He had planned for us when He created us.  Those dreams matter!  They are not insignificant or impossible or too big because God gave them to you to be fit into a particular place and time in His Kingdom.  You are valuable and so is the purpose God gave you in this world.  You were made to affect some part of the world, whether a few people, a city, a state or a nation!
Our pastor spoke in his message on Sunday of the story God is writing of your life.   I look at people who have had an incredible change come over them and the prompting of the Lord changing them overnight from a gang member like Nicky Cruz, and I can't help thinking, "I don't have a story that awesome."  But what I do have is a testimony of the Lord's hand in every aspect of my life, watching over me and protecting me throughout the years.  
I once heard someone say, "Don't worry about what others are doing.  Keep your focus on what you should be doing."  That is so true, especially in our world of instant gratification.  We want results right now, and sometimes it becomes easy for us to fall into the trap of being envious and jealous of those who seem to have what we want or who are where we want to be in life goals.  It is our opportunity at those moments to stop and consider the fact that God's timing is perfect!  He created us to do a specific thing at a specific time to be of the most benefit to the Kingdom of God.
Once you believe you have heard from the Lord concerning your calling, ask yourself, "What is one thing I can do today to start moving toward that purpose and calling?"  When you have an idea, just start moving toward that goal.  It is a step of faith and you must begin by moving.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Storage bags

If you're a new mom or ever breastfed and have some of those breast milk storage bags left, I've got some ideas for you!

  • Store chicken or beef broth in them.  They are made to hold liquid and won't leak like some zip type freezer storage bags.
  • If you're a THM (Trim Healthy Mama), and even if you're not, you can use them to carry liquid sweetener or the ingredients for Good Girl Moonshine so you can still make it while you're out!
  • Use them to hold shampoo and conditioner if you're going to the pool or beach.  That way you don't have to buy travel sizes of your fav products.
  • If you buy applesauce by the jar, you can store a serving in the milk storage bags without having them leak.
Have ideas for using these seemingly single purpose storage bags?  Share them here!

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's My Calling?

Ways to Find Direction & Get the Vision God Has for Your Life

We've talked about getting the vision God has for you, but you may be wondering how to start identifying what your purpose is.  Prayer is a great place to start!  Ask the Lord to show you what He made you to do for Him in this world and in this life.  And then take an active role in seeking to close in on that purpose.

Here are some ideas to get started:
  • Brainstorm things you enjoy doing.  Just write down anything and everything you like or think you would like to do.
  • Write down hobbies you used to enjoy.
  • Write down jobs that interest you.
  • Write down what you would do if money were no object.
  • Write down nations that come to mind.
  • Write down people groups that move your heart.

Those are all great ways to identify what the Lord has placed in you, in your DNA, to do with your life!

So get to jotting down those thoughts and ideas!  May the Lord reveal your purpose as you meditate on those dreams.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Motivation and Passion

What Drives You in Your Calling?

I've been watching a particular detective type show recently.  It's not new or anything, but I have watched as the characters take on "jobs" to help people in need.  So I got to thinking, "What motivates those types of people to just do things to help others?"  The answer is, it's their passion that motivates them.  Now, I know it is a television show, but there are people like that around in real life, too.  
I also started thinking about what motivates me in my calling.  My passion is writing and public speaking.  What motivates me in that is doing it!  I feel a flow of words often when I sit at the computer and read over my stories.  My passion for writing drives me to do more and more until the conclusion.  My love for public speaking is motivated by having a captivated audience.  That's one reason I teach Sunday School!  Well, that and I love the kids.  But the bottom line is that I feel motivated when I'm doing what God called me to do.  It's almost like an adrenaline rush when I begin speaking words encouraging and empowering others in their calling from the Lord.
Your passion motivates you, too!  What is the thing that God put in your heart to do?  That thing that lights you up and propels you?  Has your passion become like a long lost friend?  Ask the Lord to remind you of that thing He called you to do.  Your passion, your calling is in your DNA!  You were created to do the thing that God wove into your very being.  The thing you get most excited when talking about, that is your passion!  Take an inventory of your interests and ask God to reveal your passion to you.  He will answer you because no one can do the thing God called you to do except you!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Supplementing your homeschooling

How to Integrate Outside Resources This School Year

This year I began my 20th year of homeschooling.  It seems impressive, but there have been times where I have actually become bored with some of our non-consumable materials.  The solution was to add something different to the mix.  So that is just what we did this year.  
I added another book to our history curriculum.  It's called "Widow of Gettysburg" by Jocelyn Green.  Here's my review from So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler!!

I hope you enjoy this review whether you are a homeschooler or just like historical fiction books!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Changes in Seasons

Embracing the Changes Within Your Family

(C) GordonWD
You've probably heard it said that when a new change comes on your life you're just "going through a new season."  Even if you haven't heard that before, it can be comforting to know that the changes you and your family are experiencing are seasons in life.  
When my husband and I were first married, that was a season.  I think of it as Spring: everything was new and fresh, maybe not fully developed but still growing into what it would become.  As we began to have children, we moved into another season, challenging our patience with toddlers and each other, but still growing.  I think of that season more like summer.  Sometimes things got heated in arguments, but cool rain (and reign from the Lord) calmed the hot moments.  Soon we began homeschooling those children and we entered yet another season of life.  
In the past few years, those children that I schooled and cared for and have loved since before they were born have begun to venture into lives of their own.  Some of my older children are married and we have been so blessed to have a grandson added to our already big family!  And for the first time in years, I am only homeschooling four children!  The older four have already graduated high school and are either beginning or are in full swing of pursuing their dreams.
Along with this new season in schooling, grandparenting, and married adult children, my husband is changing jobs!  We are excited for this change and embrace it, knowing full well that the Lord has called him to something bigger and better than what we had ever thought!  So we hold tight to the One who is bringing about these changing seasons and trust Him to guide us through the path He predestined us for while we were being created. 
(C) 2012 Captured Memories 365
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven."--Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Teaching Moments

If you homeschool, like me, you probably have days when it seems it is all you can do to get your children to work on school!  Well, one trick I've learned with my kids is that they have moments in the day when they are most eager to learn and they pay attention and work best.  That is a great time to allow them to work when their minds are ready for learning.  

Some of my kids work best toward afternoon and do 2-3 lessons during that time.  Other children work best in the morning and are motivated to complete a week's worth of work in one day.  That's a great opportunity for you to capitalize on their peak learning times.  We aren't trying to be public school at home, so why try to fit learning into a typical public school time frame?!  

What are some of your schooling tips?

Monday, August 19, 2013

TIP TUESDAY is Changing!

 We are excited to announce that we are partnering with Organized Chaos Online!
Starting September 3rd, the gals at OCO will bring fun, unique and clever tips for all avenues of our busy lives!  In the mean time, visit Organized Chaos Online and have a look around at their infinite wisdom in getting organized in practical, fun ways!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Organizing kids

When my children were little, I used to try to figure out creative ways of keeping all their things organized.  At the time, we had three kids:  two sons and a daughter.  Organizing them was pretty straightforward!  Each child had a crate in a particular color (one boy had red, one boy had blue and our daughter had a pink crate!) and they each had coordinating hangers and drawers for their clothes.
(C) A Girl and Her
When our brood began to grow, organizing them became more difficult.  After all, there weren't that many different colored crates!  I ended up getting some three-drawer plastic drawers and labeled them with the children's names.  For school books, we found a set of 8 lockers for free!

What creative ways do you have to share for organizing your kids?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dependent on God

Learning to Trust God, Not Man

I was taking to several ladies from our women's group, and I asked them this question:  
"What is one thing you would have a difficult time giving up for a week?  A day?  A month?"

Most of us said it would be difficult to give up our cell phones, computers, necessities such as water, clothes and a car.  But one thing I didn't even think of when I was answering this question myself was if it would be difficult to give up my BIBLE!   
Now some of us might think, "But I have my Bible on my cell phone, so I didn't include that."  That was my excuse.  Although, the reality was, I hadn't even given thought to not having my Bible.  How did I become so dependent on so many other things in my life and not dependent on my Father God?!
I found several Scriptures to help on this journey of becoming more and more dependent on God, His provision for me and my family, my health, etc.

  • Micah 5:7   "The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many people like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man."
  • Jeremiah 17:7-8  "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its rots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
  • Psalm 20:7   "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
  • Joel 2:26   You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed."
  • Micah 7:18-19   Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."

These verses are meant to help build up your dependence on the Lord!  Read them; memorize them, if you'd like, but keep them in front of you.
I saw a post on social media once that said, "My job is to not get ahead of God and be obedient and follow the path HE created for my life (Diane Cunningham)."  I think that is what I tend to do all too often:  Take matters into my own hands!
I make up my mind to turn a situation over to the Lord, but then take it back and try to hash out a solution on my own.  Isn't that what Jonah did?  God told him to go to Ninevah and preach, but Jonah didn't want to.  So he made excuses, ran, tried to hide only to be tossed overboard in a storm and sat in the belly of a whale for three days contemplating his situation.  He certainly couldn't get himself out of that mess!   He had to finally depend on God for the answer.
Just like Jonah, I had to make a decision to be obedient to what the Lord was telling me to do in my calling.  We all have to make that choice.  We can't say, "I'm open to whatever God wants me to do." Being open also gives us the option of saying, "I don't think I want to do that."  We can't allow the word NO to be used when being willing to be used of God!
This week, replace the ideas of being dependent on daily things with being dependent on the Lord.  Replace "I'm open" with "I'm willing to do anything."


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Trials and Struggles: Deliverance is Coming

The Lord Redeemer

At our church, we have a One Church, One Book campaign that has been going on for two years now.  Each month we read a different book of the Bible.  Last month, we read the first half of the minor prophets, and this month we are reading from Micah to Malachi.  Today is was reading Micah 4 and came across this verse:
"Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs.  For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go.  There you shall be delivered; there the Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies" (Micah 4:10). 
I've noticed in my life that when things seem to get difficult and struggles begin to pile up on me, I am close to a breakthrough that only the Lord can offer.  
The things that are important to us take time and energy to accomplish.  A novel doesn't write itself; it takes time for the author to get ideas and concepts out and onto the written page.  A teacher doesn't teach all the information students need to know each year; he or she builds on the framework established the year before.  A garden doesn't merely spring up from the ground (although, some of my green thumb friends make it appear that way!); it takes time to cultivate and work the ground to grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers.
If you're going through something today that seems exceedingly difficult, like one more moment of this trial will break you, HOLD ON!  The Lord your Redeemer will deliver you from your enemies!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TIP TUESDAY: Getting into the Habit of...

Today, I want us to share ways of getting into the habit the house, making dinner, homeschooling, doing yard work, and whatever else you have ideas for.
I used to try to find ways of keeping my house more picked up.  The problem was I had eight children who would come through and place even one thing back in an area, and my cleaning and picking up was lost.  I tried the "a place for everything and everything in its place" concept.  But it seemed I was the only one who knew the places for everything to go!
I tried and actually enjoyed that most of all.  But I found myself trying to keep up with all the emails reminding what to do at certain points during the day, and I began to feel like I was failing.  I even resorted to checking things off in my journal just so I wouldn't feel like I was inadequate somehow.
I even tried Michelle Duggar's (19 Kids and Counting's SuperMommy!) idea of having the children take ownership of a certain area in the home that needs attending to.  Each child has taken a job from cleaning the family room to doing laundry to keeping the dining room/school table cleared.  And this works for us in many ways, but not to the extent it does for Mrs. Duggar.
The trouble with each of these plans is that they work for some families, but nothing works for all families.  We had to figure out what worked best for our own family and go from there.  I decided that I would personally commit to accomplishing three things on the FlyLady list:

  1. Make our bed every morning
  2. Get dressed to shoes (Crocs make this so very doable for me!)
  3. Cleaning the kitchen, including running the dishwasher (I got that part from A Slob Comes Clean!)
Is my house spotless? I still have 5 children at home so spotless doesn't happen for us very often.  We do get the house picked up and looking nice, but it is lived in, loved, and enjoyed by our family of right.  If I only get these three things done in a day, at least I have accomplished a major step in the process of making our home look nice.

What tips do you have for getting into the habit of...?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Our Adventures in Odyssey 90 Devotions for Kids giveaway winner is...

Danielle H.!


Vision Boards: A Family Event

Encouraging Kids to Seek the Lord in Their Lives

Today, I'm linking to an article I wrote at Choose NOW Ministries.  
We've been talking about vision boards for quite a while, so you understand my passion for them, especially with the release of my first book!  But did you know as parents, we can and should encourage our kids to seek the Lord's call on their young lives?
I'll be honest, this article doesn't have a step-by-step guide for getting the vision for our kids.  It does have some helpful ways of building them up in their walk with the Lord and to seek His will for their lives.
Without further rambling and the possibility of writing the post all over again, here is the link to "Barriers to Dreaming"!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


The Breakthrough:  Following Your Dreams  and Seeing Them Come True

It's FINALLY here!  My book, The Breakthrough, is available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon!  
We've been talking about vision boards and dreams over the past few months.  This is one of the goals on my personal vision board:  to publish two books in 2013.  Today, I am fulfilling part of that vision, and I do plan to publish another book by December.  
I want you to know that just as I've been sharing with you, it is almost crucial that you write your vision and dreams down.  Put them in a journal, a vision board, a prayer box, whatever works for you.  And then look at them regularly.  You are more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down, and you increase the likelihood of accomplishing those goals if you look at them on a regular basis.
Checking this one thing off of my vision board feels wonderful!  And I'm not a special case.  The Lord wants you to accomplish your visions and goals, too! 
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord;  'Plans for good and not evil; to prosper you, and give you a hope, a future, and an expected end.'"  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Here are the links to Amazon where you can purchase my book!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Flashback Friday: My First Blog Post

Writing From My Heart

In October 2011, I began writing blogs for Super Mom the Illusion.  As you can see from this post two years ago, the blog has changed a bit!  That first three months, I wrote 15 posts, 41 posts in 2012 and this year already I've written 120 blog posts following the vision and dream the Lord has given me!  
The purpose and mission of my blog has not changed, however.  My goal is to encourage, empower, engage and entertain other women and  moms with practical, real-life stories from my life of how I am not a Super Mom on my own--my strength and help comes from the Lord!  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: The Blessed Woman

The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris

I recently had the privilege of reviewing this book, or rather bible study.  It really is a great non-fiction piece that Debbie has intertwined into her own fictional versions of Bible stories.  This book bridges the gap of the wives in the Bible to our lives as busy wives and mothers now.  The stories relay how we can live grace-filled lives just as our Biblical peers did and how God desires for us to experience his tender loving kindness and the true meaning of being blessed women.
Each of the twelve chapters tells the struggles and joys of a woman of the Bible as well as Debbie's own life and creates a similarity that Christian women can easily relate to today.  Filled with wisdom, examples and humor, Debbie takes the reader on a journey of adopting these women as sisters in the Lord and role models for living a wholly blessed life.
What I like about this book is that it doesn't compare our hurried, busy daily lives to the typical Proverbs 31 woman whose life I don't think I could compare.  Debbie brings the good and bad of these women to the reader to show that the things we're going through right now were not unlike those of the women in the Bible stories we read.  Plain, simple and practical similarities between me and Eve, Mary, Naomi, Zipporah and Esther?!  Who would have thought?  But Debbie does a fantastic job of pulling us all together for the ultimate end result: to know God's tenderness and to be fully blessed!

Find The Blessed Woman at: