A Walk Through My Garden

Jun 30, 2010

Isn't God amazing?  I feel very privileged to be able to share in the beauty that he created for Himself.  

"For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."  Colossians 1:16


Family Day

Jun 29, 2010

The above photo describes our Family Day on Tuesday.

I was very excited that our whole family would be together for the day on Tuesday.  Why?  Being the mother of a near 20 year old, it is very hard to get on her calendar!!  She has friends, a job, a college summer course, a new rental house with friends in a different city.....you get the picture.  

So our day started on a beautiful summer morning, finally devoid of high humidity and rain, on our back patio.  It was even a little cool, as I had a blanket wrapped around my arms!  The blue canopy is not usually on the patio, but was drying out from our wet weekend at Relay for Life, but it provided some nice shade.
For the afternoon, we headed to the local pool, all 5 of us!!  This year marked the new opening of some very cool waterslides at the pool, so we all enjoyed several rides down the slides.  A few of us left a bit sunburned, after having forgotten the sunscreen! (and the camera card)

Then it was home for a cookout!  D and K both love cooking, so I didn't have to do a thing!  They worked together to bring us a scrumptous dinner.

Grilled potatoes & onions

Pineapple slices
It was all SO GOOD!!

After dinner we played some family games: Apples to Apples, Farkle and a Dice Game.
And of course, followed that up with some smores over a campfire!  Sorry my hands were full of sticky stuff so I didn't get any photos, but you know they were awesome, with peanut butter of course!!

It was an amazing day with my amazing family, and I laughed.....a lot.  There is always a missing part of my heart when D isn't around.  I miss her a ton now that she is more independent.  So today was especially sweet!

Thanks family, I love you all dearly!!


Hope for a Cure

Jun 27, 2010

Friday and Saturday were hot, but that didn't stop over 2500 people from participating in the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  Our county raised $581,000 this year and we are proud to be a part of that achievement.

It was really hot and humid Friday and Saturday, but our family walked our little feet off in memory of our Dads/Grandpas.

The luminary ceremony honoring those who have lost the battle with cancer is always very touching and emotional.
We came home very hot, tired, and ready for air conditioning and beds!!


A Daddy Remembered

Jun 25, 2010



Little girls are usually head over heals for their Daddy.  I am no exception.  As seen in this photo when I was only 2 years old, I always wanted to be by his side.  He was my hero, a devoted follower of Jesus, an avid bowler, a very serious fisherman, a comedian, a western-loving book toter, a friend to everyone he met, a coffee lover, a great whistler, a golfer, a hunter, and a smoker.

It's that last thing that killed him.  Lung Cancer.

He was only 47 years old.  Nothing could stop it.  Believe me, we tried everything: chemotherapy, radiation, and prayer; lots and lots of prayer.  But it seems that God was ready for this servant to be called home.  When Mom and Dad told my brother and I in the early fall of 1986 that the cancer had spread to his brain, I was only weeks away from  being married.  Dad was determined that he would walk me down the aisle.  And he did walk with me, but I was holding him up the whole way.

He did his best to enjoy that day with me, but it was just too much for him.  He was only able to stay at the reception for a few hours. The pain and discomfort was just too much for him.   My heart ached that night missing him, as it still aches today.

Cancer.  An unseen killer.  It must be stopped.

Would you join me in the pursuit of this killer?

I'll be walking in the Relay for Life this year in memory of my dad and my father-in-law.  I'll tell you more about his fight with cancer tomorrow.  The Relay for Life began in 1985, the year my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer.  The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

I would be so honored and thrilled if you would donate with me to this cause.  Any amount will help us continue to fight this ugly disease.


Hinderances to Effective Prayer

Jun 24, 2010

As my children and I have been discussing and practicing prayer, many questions have been asked.  I find myself challenged every day to be able to answer their questions effectively and correctly!  I am particularly amazed at the depth of their questions.

It is not just children that struggle to understand how and why God answers prayer.  I've tried to convey to my children that God answers all our prayers, it just may not be the "yes" they were seeking.  A hard truth to teach a 10 and 8 year old.  But I would be remiss in my teaching if I did not also share with them the fact that there may be hinderances that change God's response to our prayers.  He may be waiting for something to be corrected before he can answer our prayers.

These are some areas that we should examine:

Do I have unconfessed sin in my life?  1 John 1:19
Do I have a clear conscience in asking for this? I John 3:21
Am I listening to God? Proverbs 28:9
Am I praying in the Spirit?  Ephesians 6:18, Jude 20
Have I asked for help in my "weakness"? Romans 8:26
Am I praying in accordance with God's will?  I John 5:14-15
Am I praying with faith?  Matthew 21:22, Hebrews 11:6
Have I forgiven everyone who has sinned against me?  Matthew 6:12, 14, 15
Am I seeking the Lord's kingdom first?  Matthew 6:33; 7:7

Remember, examining this list of questions is not a one-time event.  It must be a constant examining of  your heart in order to wield successful prayer.  Feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling?  Keep this list handy in your prayer journal and keep the line of communication to God wide open!


Pursuing Faith in our Homes

Jun 23, 2010

Last night on Gather Inspirit TV, we talked about Fighting for our Families.  We enjoyed a great discussion on how we protect and teach our children about media and friendships.  We talked about establishing family times, bible study times and shared our resources.  It was a really great discussion and if you missed it you can go to Mingle Media TV to watch the playback.

I mentioned several resources during our show last night that are helping our family focus on keeping God the center of our home.  I thought I would share a couple of those with you today:

A Girl of Beauty-Building Character in Young Girls by Carol Fiddler

This is a wonderful little book that has devotions about building character.  A sampling of the chapters include Truthfulness, Sincerity, Careful Words, Service, Loyalty, Contentment, etc.  Each topic has a short devotion, followed by a review section.  The Further Study sections another bible story that coincides with the lesson for deeper study as well.

The lessons in this book are short enough to be able to do at bedtime, but remember to allow plenty of time for discussion and questions afterward!

The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best by Katrina Cassel

I really like this book because it is very interactive for the kids to do things on their own or with you.  The focus is giving God your best and the topics include:  Use your Talents, Set Priorities, Walk with God, Cherish your Family, Guard your Tongue, etc.

Each section has a story to go along with the subject matter, then a Life Quiz, an activity, a memory verse, and a game!  This book is written directly to your young lady's heart.  I think you will really enjoy this one.

Don't forget to go here to enter your chance to win the SecretKeeper Girl Friendship Kit!  The entries will remain open until Friday.  This is another great resource for Mom and Daughter!!

I'm linking up today over at Seeds of Faith for iFellowship.  Come on over to meet some great Christian bloggers!


My links are to Affiliate partners as I seek to add a few pennies to our single income household!  If you choose to participate, Thank you.


Celebrating Marriage

Jun 21, 2010

I was 30 and a single mother of a 5 year old. 
He was 24 and didn't know what hit him!

And 13 years later we are even more in love than the day we were married.  Why do people say that?  Do they really mean it?  I certainly do.  Why?  Because it is easy to fall in love in the beginning of a relationship when everything is new and exciting.  It is harder to keep that spark alive through 13 years of marriage.  Have there been times when we didn't like each other very much?  Absolutely!   But the key is we didn't allow ourselves to stay in that place very long.  

The one that has been a constant for us:  

Yes, we took our vows very seriously, and commitment comes within that package.  But this has been something above and beyond our vows.  

We don't take this blessing for granted.
We put each other first above all else.
Our family takes first place.
We don't allow hurts to fester.
We talk things out until it is finished.
We respect each other as individual people.
We spend a lot of time together.
We watch our words carefully.
We celebrate each other.
We laugh with each other.
We praise God for the family he has created here.

No it hasn't always been easy.  We had some real rough patches early in our marriage as we fumbled through figuring out how to survive being a blended family.  I won't lie, it was brutal sometimes.  But our COMMITMENT to each other and to D, our little one, got us through.

In the photo above, Scott wasn't reciting vows to me, he was reciting vows to D.  I've never met a man who exemplifies commitment like he does.  He promised amazing things to D that day; to love her as his own, to discipline her as his own, to care for her, provide for her, play with her and encourage her,  and to love her mom.  He has kept every one of those promises.  He loves that now 19 year old young woman without conditions or boundaries.

In 2000 and 2001 we added two more girls to our family.  Our children are the love of our lives, as we absolutely adore each and every one of them.

Our COMMITMENT continues as we work and play together as a family.  Our prayer is that our children learn to live out the word COMMITMENT in everything they do, but especially when it comes to their own marriages and family someday.

Lord, thank you for the amazing family that you have bestowed upon me.  I praise you for the man you led to be my husband.  I adore the children you have entrusted to my care.  Thank you Jesus, for your unending blessings.



Faith in Parenting

Jun 17, 2010

If you are visiting from Gather Inspirit today, WELCOME!!

Since we may have first time visitors here today, I thought it would be a great day for a  giveaway!!  SecretKeeperGirl.com has graciously provided their 8 Great Dates for You and Your Daughter Friendship Kit!  Inside this cute little folder is a SecretKeeper Girl Diary for your daughter, a CD full of information to go along with each date, and a guide for Mom.  This kit is FULL of great information about building and maintaining Godly friendships.  Each date is all set up for you, including activities to do together, study questions, and fun quizzes and devotions.  I don't know about you, but no one ever taught me about friendships, and sometimes that can lead to heartache!  This information is crucial in teaching our daughters about the value and treasure of True Friendship as God intended.

To be entered to win:
1.  Follow my blog-Tell me if you are a new follower
2.  Comment about this post
3.  Go tweet about the great fellowship you find at Gather Inspirit!!
4.  Visit SecretKeeperGirl.com !
5. Entries will remain open until Friday, June 25th.

This giveaway is now closed.
The winner is Stacey at 29LincolnAvenue!!

My daughters (ages 8 and 10) and I have implemented a new Summer Bible School this week, and we are having a blast!  They are so inquisitive and eager to learn about the Bible.  They are taking diligent notes and asking lots of questions and I am having a so much fun teaching them.  Isn't it funny that you don't think about how much you know until you have to explain it to someone else?  Well, that has happened a lot in the last few weeks.  Moms, it is never too early to teach them about God's Word.  I have been floored at the depth of the questions they have asked!  It is so exciting to watch God work through their minds as they fully grasp our discussions.  You don't want to miss out on this ladies!!

I already told you that this week we have been using my posts from last week about the Lord's Prayer as a place to start, and we are covering a little each day that we meet.  Right now I am allowing them to dictate how often we "go to school", as I want them to stay excited about it.  So if they want to meet everyday, that is what we will do! 

The girls also came up with a fun way to motivate them to memorize scripture this summer.  We agreed that sometimes I will choose the verse and sometimes they will choose their own verse.  Then they must repeat it to me once during the week when they are ready.  Then I get to ask them to repeat it again on another random occasion.  If they are successful at both times, they will earn 3 Bible Bucks.  At the end of the summer, they will trade their Bible Bucks for prizes.  

Of course, they wanted Webkinz in the prize box, but it might be more practical items like bible bookmarks, posters, or highlighters.  (haven't gotten that far yet!)  I have also decided that I will be awarding Bible Bucks for good behavior, especially when I see them acting on scripture that we have studied.  For instance, this week their first verse to memorize is Phillippians 2:14, "Do everything without grumbling or complaining....."  and boy would I love to see the fruits of this verse!!

If you'd like to use the Bible Bucks with your kids, please feel free to download them!  Thanks for stopping in today.  I hope you'll take a minute and look around.

Be sure to stop over at Gather Inspirit today to find more bloggers who are raising their children in faith!


You Must Visit Scripture Dig!

Jun 16, 2010

My beautiful friend Teri Lynne has started a new website with several other awesome women to teach digging deeper into the Bible.

Let me just say, it is amazing.  I've been a Christian for a long time, but I am still learning some great stuff!  This site is for new believers and seasoned Christians.

My 10 year old has been reading posts daily with me and it has provided some great discussions! The posts have been concise, to the point and easy to understand.

So what are you waiting for?  Grab your gear, and go digging!


I'm linking up today with iFellowship over at Seeds of Faith.  If you haven't visited them, you really should.  It is a great place to meet other Christian bloggers!



Summer Bible School Begins!

Jun 14, 2010

K's notes on our first day of Bible school!

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know I am on a mission to teach my girls biblical values and insight this summer.  I have compiled some great resources, which I will be sure to share with you soon, but I also realized I have a lot to share with them from my own heart.

Today we began our Bible School!  The girls were excited that we were going to use our "toy" room as our school room.  There is already a whiteboard on the wall and both girls have desks in there, so we were ready to get started.  We made a special trip to the store just to get new notebooks for our summer study!

I decided to start with prayer.  We had a discussion several days ago about how hard it is to pray, so I knew the girls needed some guidance and prayer starters.  Last week I did three posts about digging deeper into the Lord's Prayer, so I decided that was a good place to start.  We spent about an hour in school today and only got through the first four words of the prayer!!  We got off on some tangents, but when you are discussing God's Word, all tangents are good!

Yes, some of the subject matter might have been a little too deep for my 8 and 10 year old, but I firmly believe that those seeds planted will one day flourish!  We had agreed that we will take notes on our study with the hopes that these notes will be something we can keep for a very long time that will continue to help us learn God's word.  So even though they were a little confused at times, the notes are down in black and white for them to review at a later age.

We also talked about the A.C.T.S. way of praying.  Even this can be confusing for little ones, so we broke it down to be even easier to understand:

Adoration.........God you are ________. (insert his attributes)
Confession........Please forgive me for _____________.
Thanksgiving.....Thank you for________________.
Supplication......Lord, please __________(pray for others and self)

We then put this into practice by gathering as a family at bedtime and praying this in a round.  We went around the circle two times so each person could offer prayers in each category twice.  This seemed to really help the girls grasp the rhythm of this prayer and it gives them some examples of how we as their parents pray as well.  After all, we are their greatest example of learning how to pray!

We had some great discussions and I am so proud of them for all that they learned.  We had a great time and they can't wait to see what we will learn tomorrow!


Summer Sewing Camp

Summertime is a perfect time to try new things.  My best girlfriend, Jennifer and I decided we would get our girls together and have a sewing class.  Our 10 year old girls were born only 3 weeks apart and have been best buds ever since!  We bought simple patterns for only 99 cents at a Hobby Lobby sale--yes you must wait until they go on sale.  Do people really pay that ridiculous price of $15.95??  Then we bought some outrageously cute fabric and we were ready for our adventure.

With only one working machine, it took awhile, but the girls took turns--while one was sewing, the other was gathering, or giggling as the case may have been!!  They had a great time, learned a new skill, giggled like crazy, spent time with their moms, and ended up with total cuteness for a skirt!  Our next sewing class will be skirts for the moms!!

We're linking up these totally awesome skirts to The Girl Creative today.

The Girl Creative


Unpacking the Lord's Prayer-Part 3

Jun 10, 2010

How did you do with yesterday's homework?  We were reading I Chronicals 29:10-19 and listing all the things that belong to God.  Here is my list:

greatness  power  glory  majesty  splendor  wealth  honor  strength

And now we have come to one of the hardest and challenging parts of the Lord's Prayer.  Forgiveness.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

This requirement as outlined by Jesus is a foundational truth of Christianity. If we accept God's forgiveness, we need to be able to extend forgiveness ourselves. It is not a condition of our salvation, but a requirement of obedience.
  1. Because we are forgiven - Matthew 18:21-35
  2. Just as we are forgiven - Ephesians 4:32
  3. That we might be forgiven  - Psalm 66:18
Forgiveness isn't easy.  It can take years to reach this stage.  One will go through stages of hurt, hating, and finally healing.  I'm sure you have heard it said that the person who harbors unforgiveness in his heart is only hurting himself.

Lead us not into temptation

Let's be clear that God does not lead us into temptation, but he can certainly deliver us from it.  Trials test our faith and can make us stronger in the end.

There are four reason that you may be under temptation:
  1. To reveal what is in our heart.  Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac.  God needed to be sure of Abraham's allegiance to him.
  2. To replay significant life issues.  Think of this as an area where you can make yourself strong by continuing to deny these temptations. 
  3. To reinforce our will.  Strong faith requires excercise. 
  4. To remind others of His grace and goodness. How we handle temptations and trials is surely watched by those around us, including family and friends who may not know the Lord.  Your response and actions against temptation is a strong witness for Christ.
Jeremiah talks about four steps out of temptation:
  1. Fight:  Don't allow Satan to win.  James 4:7
  2. Follow:  The Bible is full of stories that teach us how to respond.  James 4:7
  3. Flee:  Run!  Get out of the way of temptation.  Don't stay around so that it may overtake you. I Corinthians 10:14
  4. Feed:  Constant reading of God's word keeps us on top of our game. Stay rooted in the Word of God for strength and discipline.  Psalm 119:11
And if all else fails, we are repeatedly told to pray for wisdom.  This should be on our regular prayer list.

And deliver us from evil
The Old Testament is a complete story of constant deliverance by God.  He continually shows His people Israel His love for them time and time again.  This was a powerful chapter in Jeremiah's book.  He advises we pray for deliverance from:
  1. persecution - Psalm 7:1-2
  2. peril - Psalm 35:17
  3. adversaries - Psalm 25:19-21
  4. poverty - Psalm 38:18-19
  5. fear - Psalm 34:4, 17-19
  6. evil - Psalm 39:8 and 40:11-13
And finally we once again offer praise to our God:
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
We end our pray as we began, praising God for His person.
Yours is the kingdom = Sovereignty
and the power =  He is the definition of power
and the glory = Majesty
forever and ever = eternity
The Lord's Prayer
1) Beginning praise
2)  Priorities
3)  Provision
4)  Protection
5)  Ending praise
I hope you have enjoyed this fresh new look at the hidden treasure within the Lord's Prayer.  I have thoroughly enjoyed learning deeper layers of the only recorded instance of Jesus teaching a prayer.  


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My notes were compiled from the study guide Prayer the Great Adventure by David Jeremiah.  I was almost done with the book before I realized it was the study guide!  It is jam packed with great information.


Unpacking the Lord's Prayer-Part 2

Jun 9, 2010

Did you do your homework?  Remember you were to read I Chronicles 16:7-36 and see how many descriptive words of God you could find.  I found 21:

thanks  sing  praise  covenant  salvation  splendor  joy  jubilant  glory  rejoice  strength  oath  anointed  majesty  worship  seek  wonders  miracles  decree  deeds   resound

I love finding a passage of scripture like this that shows us what true worship looks like!  I have bookmarked that one and will be going back to it during some praise time.

Alright, let's dig in to where we left off yesterday:

Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be Done on earth as it is in heaven

And this is where it gets hard!  Did you see it says THY kingdom, not MY kingdom?  This is certainly an area where I get caught praying for my own wish list, instead of praying for where God wants to lead me.  In three places we are directed to seek FIRST His Kingdom:
  1. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33
  2. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy  Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men."  Romans 14:17
  3. "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."  Galatians 1:10
But that is not all.  Jesus wants us to realize that the Kingdom of God is everywhere.  It is within us when we accept Jesus to be our Savior.  It is around us as we join in unity with other believers.  It is also before us, in the second coming of Christ when he will once again rule this earth.
    Give us this day our Daily Bread

    We don't often have to pray for our daily provisions like the Israelites in the dessert who depended on manna from heaven each day to feed them.  But we do need to pause and realize that everything we have is a gift of God.  If He were to close his hand of blessing, we would wither and die.

    Asking God for our Daily Bread helps us depend on him, eliminate worry and enlarge our duty to pray.  Did you notice that again it says OUR daily bread, not MY daily bread.  There are many people in the world who truly do not know where their next meal will come from and they pray each day for God's provision.

    "The key to praying with right motives is to keep our prayers in the context of worship and God's kingdom.  With those as the context of what we ask for, we will run far less risk of praying with impure motives."  David Jeremiah

    As we wrap up our portion for today, go back to I Chronicles in chapter 29:10-19.  List all that belongs to God, noting in verse 17 how God determines our attitudes toward material things.

    I'll see you back here tomorrow for our final day in the Lord's Prayer.

    My notes were compiled from the study guide Prayer the Great Adventure by David Jeremiah.  I was almost done with the book before I realized it was the study guide!  It is jam packed with great information


    Unpacking the Lord's Prayer

    Jun 8, 2010

    I have to be honest, the Lord's Prayer has always baffled me.  It just seemed too short, too simple.  Surely there must be more to how Jesus wants us to pray!  Like many things in Christianity, sometimes we just make it too hard!  I've learned some GREAT things about the Lord's Prayer over the last couple weeks and I would love to share them with you.

    Our Father who art in heaven

    We first address God as Our Father to show the relationship between God and ourselves.  The actual word "Father" was used fewer than 14 times in the entire Old Testament.  It was a sacred word reserved for God alone.  Even when the Old Testament writers would record the word, they would then throw away the pen!  In contrast, once the curtain was torn away in the New Testament(Matthew 27:51), we had new, immediate access to God.  Jesus uses the word "Father" 70 times in the four Gospels.  In the Lord's Prayer we are opening the prayer with acknowledgment of who He is.

    Secondly, we are acknowledging the place that Our Father resides; in Heaven.  The location reminds us of His majesty, might and stature.

    Together these are set in place to:
    • teach us of our new relationship with God through the Holy  Spirit 
    • show us our new reward as the heirs of the Kingdom
    • introduce us to our new resource in the Holy Spirit
    • to acknowledge our responsibility as part of the family of God.
    Hallowed by Thy Name

    The word "hallowed" means to revere or consecrate.  His name is to be sanctified or set apart to be praised and adored.  If we hallow His name, we are:
    • rehearsing who He is
    • respecting his greatness
    • relinquishing control of our lives to His sovereignty and our obedience
    • recognizing His presence in our lives
    • changing our lives through worship
    I love to worship.  It is an experience like no other when I am communicating with  God through songs of praise and thanksgiving, acknowledging his power, mercy and forgiveness.  Worship has so many rewards:
    • enhances our appreciation for our love for God
    • expands our vision beyond ourselves
    • eclipses our fears
    • energizes our work
    • encourages our spirit
    • exhausts the enemy
    As I wrap up this first portion of Unpacking the Lord's Prayer, grab your bible and read I Chronicles 16:7-36.  For your homework, write down how many descriptive words of God you can list.  My list was 21.  I'll share them with you tomorrow!!

    My notes were compiled from the study guide Prayer the Great Adventure by David Jeremiah.  I was almost done with the book before I realized it was the study guide!  It is jam packed with great information.

    affiliate link

    I am linking up today with iFellowship over at Seeds of Faith!



    Tools to Defend Your Faith

    Author Josh McDowell has an incredible testimony of how he found his faith in Jesus Christ.  He had been issued a challenge in college to examine intellectually the claim that Jesus Christ is God's Son.  He traveled for months throughout the United States and Europe in the hopes of gathering evidence against Christianity's claims.  The exact opposite happened.  He had gathered so much evidence that supported the claims of Jesus Christ, that he accepted him as his personal Savior.  Out of his research came the world renowned book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict.  It is not the type of book that you sit down and read like a story.  The entire book is arranged as his outlines for college lectures.  Some parts are difficult to get through as a layperson, but others are full of very cool information about the evidence he has gathered over many years to support the Christian faith and the validity of the Bible.  If you are a person who trying to witness to someone, this has fantastic information, as you will most certainly get the argument about the Bible being historical fiction!

    Why do I bring your attention to this book?  It is really a set up to introduce you to another book by Josh McDowell that we have recently ordered called Children Demand a Verdict.  Our 10 year old, K is a very intellectual child.  She has lots of questions and is not about following blindly.  After having had a recent conversation with her about God, which got very deep for her age, she replied, "It is going to be a

    long time before I am sure I believe in this stuff!"  And this opened the door for the need for "evidence" that we can study together.  This book is written directly to the audience of children, so is much easier to comprehend.

    As parents, we felt the need to provide this solid foundation of indisputable evidence of history and fact so that as we are raising them to be Godly Women, they will have no doubts as to the validity of God's Word as their authority. 

    I have seen so many teenagers fall away from their faith because they never claimed it as their own.  While they lived at home, they lived under the umbrella of their parent's faith, and at the time, that was enough for them.  As they go off to college or get married, their faith seems to be left behind in their parents home.  We are hoping to instill their personal faith at very early ages so that it becomes part of who they are.  The hardest part of their lives will be when they leave home and have to defend their faith to non-believers.  Laying this foundation is crucial in their success in standing firm in their faith.  For my 8 and 10 year olds, I only have 8 more years to help them establish an unshakable faith.  I'd better get started!!

    Links are affiliate links and I receive a small compensation, should you choose to participate.


    Complete Him Challenge

    Jun 7, 2010

    You may have seen in some of my other blog posts that I am passionate about keeping my marriage alive and fresh.  Courtney over at Women Living Well is running a summer challenge just for marriages!  Each week we will be issued a new challenge for the week aimed at blessing our husbands.  By the end of the challenge, he won't know what hit him!!

    Go on over to Courtney's blog to sign up and hop on the McLinky to get started.


    Life is Sweet

    Jun 3, 2010

    the strawberries have been plentiful in the garden
    school is out for summer
    Husband is home for the summer
    oldest daughter is home from college 
    middle daughter made me chocolate covered strawberries
    youngest daughter has discovered a love of reading
    flowers are beginning to bloom in the garden
    barefoot weather is here
    Jesus died for my sins
    new blog friends are blessing my life everyday
    I love my paint-peeling house
    library book sales make me happy
    God's word is alive and active
    my husband and our marriage is amazing
    my church ROCKS
    my God saves



    Two New Blogs

    Jun 2, 2010

    You may have noticed in my sidebar that I now have two more blogs to my name.  I know, crazy huh!?  They are not intended to be something that I post on every day, like I try to do here.  Let me introduce you:

    Heart & Soul Design Studio

    I started this blog after having had so many requests from my bloggy friends to do design work for them.  I love playing with Photoshop, Illustrator, and my photography, so it was a natural fit!  I have been having a blast designing blog buttons, graphics and blog headers.  Stop on over and check it out.  I have many samples of my work posted there, along with my price guide.  I'd love to design something for you!

    Capturing Beautiful

    I began this site just recently because I wanted a place to post my photography without it becoming the focus of this blog.  I have many more photos to post, but my organizational skills are some what challenged, and I have to go find them in files on three different computers!  I hope you enjoy fewer words and more photos as I attempt to capture the beautiful world around us.

    Of course, all of these parts of my personality collide quite often, so you may see some cross-over posts on these three blogs of mine.

    Thank you so much for visiting and for all of your support in my many endeavors!


    Absolute Truth?

    "Among youth, 
    that there is no such thing 
    as absolute truth; 
    two people could define "truth" in 
    conflicting ways and both be correct."
    Barna, Third Millenium Teens, (Ventura, CA.: Barna Research Group, 1999), 44.

    That could be the entirety of my post, just that one sentence.  Did it make you shudder? Gasp? Shake in fear?

    Relativism has taken over our society and everyone feels free to choose what is right and wrong on their own with no regard to an absolute truth for their moral compass.  That means out of your children's 10 friends, 7 of them will make their own decisions based on what feels good to them, whatever they deem appropriate for themselves.

    Now are you alarmed? 

    Homeschool or public school, our children will be under constant attack to act on what feels right to them at the time.  Without a biblical basis in absolute truth, our nation and our children will be in constant moral chaos.

    • "[God's] word is truth." (John 17:17)
    • "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness." (Romans 1:18)
    • "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." (1 Corinthians 13:6)
    • "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place." (Ephesians 6:14)

    In order to STAND in our world, we need the ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF GOD's WORD hidden in our hearts to guide and direct our actions and words.  It is not enough to witness to our children by example only.  Intentional training through the inspired word of God is the only way to teach that His ways are the ONLY ways.

    I invite you to read more on this subject at Focus on the Family.   Or Check out Josh McDowell's book Right from Wrong.  According to Josh McDowell, our children are being raised in a society that has largely rejected the concepts of truth and morality. In Right From Wrong, McDowell offers hope and provides families and the church with a sound, thorough, biblical and workable method to clearly understand and defend the truth.

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    Are you ready to prepare your family for battle?

    I'd like to invite you to check out a new site, Scripture Dig. Some awesome Godly women have come together to teach how to study your bible and go deeper into the word.  It promises to be a fantastic site!!

    Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

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