Showing newest 15 of 20 posts from October 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 15 of 20 posts from October 2010. Show older posts

The Relevant Experience #4

Oct 29, 2010

Although I didn't intend to reflect the entire week on Relevant, that is the direction my heart has been so I just stuck with it.

I do want to add some caution to all of my fellow Relevant attendees:  God was doing a huge work in all of us, as is evident by the many outstanding posts about our experiences.  But remember, Satan is prowling around like a lion, looking for someone to devour.   Don't let it be you.

We have learned much and been inspired beyond our wildest dreams to affect this earthly kingdom for our King.  Satan is not happy.  Be aware of his tactics to bring you down off your high of the conference and throw many obstacles in your path.  When your heart grows faint and problems arise go back and read through your notes to remind yourself of all that God has placed on your heart.  Don't allow Satan's voice to be louder than God's.

I don't write this only as a reminder to you, but as a reminder to me as well.

God bless!


The Relevant Experience #3

Oct 27, 2010

Of course The Relevant Conference would have meant very little without the meeting of so many amazing women.....women who I have had online friendships with for months!  I was absolutely thrilled to meet so many of them:
Michelle of Some Girls Website doesn't know it yet, but I went WAY outside my comfort zone and started up a conversation with her at lunch.  I was rewarded with an amazing woman who has a heart full of joy.  She just bubbles over!  We had several great conversations over the course of the days and she spoke wisdom into my life.  I am looking forward to getting to know her even better during the coming months.

These two beautiful women are my Good Morning Girls.  We contact each other every morning through Facebook to discuss our quiet times, what God is speaking to us, and share prayer requests.

Myra blogs at My Blessed Life.  Our family was blessed to have spent some time with Myra and her family earlier this summer.  It was so good to see her again.
TeriLynne blogs at Pleasing to You and I just couldn't wait to meet her face to face!  She is so much fun!

This outstanding group of women are who I have the honor of blogging with over at Gather Inspirit.  Check the website to see their bios.  They are all amazing!

 This absolutely amazing woman is Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience.  If you have never read her blog, you MUST.  I have never seen such beautiful writing that captures the most pure and beautiful parts of life through Ann's eyes.  It was a thrill to meet her face to face after reading her blog for months.  I can't wait to get my hands on her new book!

 This beautiful woman is the face of The Relevant Conference, Sarah Mae, from Like A Warm Cup of Coffee.  I have followed her for months, and it was so nice to meet her.  We didn't get to spend any quality time together, but I will make sure that happens next year!

Stef is a bundle of joy!  Appropriately her blog is called Layton Family Joy!  Her smile lights up the room. If I ever get to Florida for Disney, we'll be staying at Stef's house!

This wonderful young woman is Rachel, from A Steady Rain.  She has been a great encourager to me, as so many times I wondered if anyone was reading my blog, and then there would be sweet words from Rachel.  I got to share a few meals with her, and she is a sweetheart.  I was disappointed I didn't get to hear her sing.

Daniele is a new friend I just met at the conference.  We were lucky enough to share breakfast together.  I would love to hang out with her.  She just oozes with peacefulness and a quick smile.  She has 5 children---I admire her!!  Her blog is beautiful over at Domestic Serenity.

This is my new friend Traci.  We got off to a very funny start, as within the first hour of getting to the hotel, I ran into Traci no less than 5 times.  It got to be so funny!  I wish we had time to get into a deep conversation, but we just ran out of time.  She is just a ton of fun and has a fantastic personality!  I can't wait to get to know her better.  Check out her blog at I'll Take Tea.

There were so many others that I wish I had the time to meet and visit, but the hours just flew by so fast!  go visit these women, I promise you will not be disappointed!  I am honored to call them each Sisters in Christ.


The Relevant Experience

I don't think we realize when we become wives and mothers the responsibilities we are taking to ourselves.  We don't recognize that we must pour all of ourselves into our families.  But that means we must empty ourselves first.  Selfish desires must be laid aside.  Hobbies and interests must be shelved for a time while our families are young.

The Lord whispered to me this weekend; He ever so gently reminded me of the gifts he has given, and that my focus needs to be on them AT ALL TIMES.  I must be a servant to my family first, before all else.  I've really struggled with this.  I can always justify why the dishes aren't done, laundry isn't folded, living room not picked up.  There are always other things that call my name, but when I pursue them, I am not being faithful to my calling of wife, mother, and keeper of my home.  Jesus wants my energies to be in my home before anything else.  To serve my family with eagerness, joy, and willingness, not begrudgingly like is usually my attitude.

When I spread myself too thin on other tasks, I'm not pouring myself out intentionally, but leaking everywhere with little impact.  I must depend on my Savior to fill me from above, pouring His love and direction into me, that I may pour more into my family.

Lord, may you fill me today that I may pour myself out onto my family with joy and a servants heart.  Amen.


The Relevant Experience

Oct 26, 2010

When I first learned about The Relevant Conference, I was excited to be able to attend a conference that would teach me more about blogging.  But what I received was a conference that taught me more about myself. I hope you don't mind if I spend a few days reflecting on all the Lord has whispered in my ear.

I have struggled for many years with our bedtime routine with our two youngest girls.  It seems when this time of the day hits I am totally spent, but the girls are ready for my quality time.  As you can imagine, these two ideas collide and it hasn't been pretty.  I've always tried to write it off as their way of delaying bedtime, but I now realize that this way of thinking was out of my selfish desire to return to the couch, my computer, or a television show before the commercial ends.  Seeing it in print awakens the guilt even stronger.

This is what made Relevant so different.  We went expecting information about blogging, but the speaker's focus was about taking care of our family first, honoring our God and yielding to his lead. 

My conviction came through speaker and author Sally Clarkson, who reminded me that ONLY I can be wife to my husband and mom to my three girls.  No one on earth was chosen by God for these two purposes.  My first responsibility is to them.  

My 10 year old has the love language of quality time.  I have neglected her in this area.  She always wants to spend time with me before bed, and the ugly truth is that many times, more than I want to count, I have shut her down.  I have raced out of her room to return to whatever I was doing before bedtime.  I have failed her.  I have missed out on countless opportunities to connect with her in the quiet of answer her questions, to be available to listen, to pray more intently with her.  Lord please forgive me.

My 8 year old has the love language of physical touch.  She is a snuggler.  When she was a toddler we spent hours on the couch in a pile watching her favorite Blues Clues or Dora.  She still craves that time on my lap, snuggled under a blanket, pressed in tight against me.  If we haven't had the time all day, she wants it at bedtime.  She begs me to crawl into bed with her for snuggle time.  I have failed her.  I have raced through hugs, kisses and prayers to return to my to-do list.  I've missed out on moments that can never be recaptured.  Lord please forgive me.

My 20 year old is in college, but thankfully only an hour away.  She accepted Christ and was baptized at about 10 years old,  and I am so very thankful.  But right now, she is not walking with the Lord.  The pain in this mother's heart is deep, along with the guilt.  My walk with Christ was not nearly as strong when she was in grade school.  We went to church and participated, but I was not modeling a daily walk for her that I should have been.  I did not spend intentional time with her to teach and to cultivate her relationship with Jesus.  Now she feels He is distant, quiet and unreachable.  I pray for her constantly to find Him once again, to make him her Lord, to relinquish all the world is trying to tell her.  I grieve for how I have failed her.  Lord please forgive me.

Many who asked about my journey to this conference were skeptical, confused, and humored.  But I knew, He knew, that much would be accomplished there.  He had heart work to do, among new friends, admired friends, and sisters in Christ.  I am so forever grateful for His voice that penetrates my soul.  I pray I will continue to listen, and obey.


There is No Place Like Home

Oct 25, 2010

I've just returned home for the fantastic Relevant Conference and my heart and mind are full.  I'll be sharing much more once I process all I learned and experienced, but today I am resting and praising my God for the blessings He has bestowed on me.

I felt like a Rock Star getting off the plane to find my two lovelies holding these signs as they waited for me.  I didn't take a photo at the airport because I simply couldn't get my hands on them or my Husband fast enough!

God is so good to me!


Birthday Wishes for my Youngest

Oct 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet A!

My youngest daughter turns 9 today.  It is a bit traumatic for both of us because for the first time ever, I am not home on her birthday.  We'll talk by phone, but it just isn't the same.

She is my baby....

ever sweet

always talkative


soft hearted




I love and miss you A....I'll be home soon for snuggles!!


Good Morning Girls

Oct 21, 2010

I am trying something new this fall, and I am LOVING it!   Good Morning Girls is a website where you can sign up with a group of women that keep each other accountable to our morning prayer and devotion time.  Your group can be as many or as few as you like.  Each morning after doing quiet time, you email, text, or Facebook your group about what you studied or heard from God.  I had learned about this site during the summer, but groups had already been formed.  So I waited until the next time sign-ups rolled around and asked two dear online friends to join me.

Each morning we send a Facebook message to each other describing our devotion time or a verse that God has spoken to us through. We often add a prayer request as well.  I have really enjoyed the different perspectives of my two Good Morning Girls.  They are fantastic women of the Word, and I find such encouragement in how they read and listen to God's word.

I am very excited that I get to HUG both of these women this weekend at The Relevant Conference in Pennsylvania!  I can't wait to spend some quality time with them!

Do you have anyone that you stay accountable with?


Word Filled Wednesday

Oct 20, 2010

The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.  Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.  The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.  Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-- the LORD on high is mighty.  Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD. 



Modeling for The Rusted Chain

Oct 19, 2010

Look what I received in the mail from the lovely Beki over at The Rusted Chain!

She contacted me last week and wanted to know if I would model one of her pieces at the Relevant Conference.  So of course I said yes!  I actually couldn't say it fast enough!  She even let me decide what to engrave on the disc.  I was so excited when it arrived in the mail.  Isn't it cool?

And guess what?  She also gave me several business cards with a 25% off code to hand out at the conference!  So if you have been wanting a piece of her jewelry, be sure to find me at the conference!!!


Family and Friend Traditions

Oct 18, 2010

Many of us have traditions that we keep with our families for holidays and special events, but do you have any traditions you have started with friends?

My friend Jennifer loves tradition.  I've known her for over 10 years, and she keeps on me to keep tradition alive both between us personally and with our families.  Jennifer and I both got married in December of 2006, and we both now have three children.  Our husband are great friends as well.  We really enjoy spending time together.

For several years we have gathered together sometime during the fall to find a fun place locally that has fall family activities; a pumpkin farm, an orchard, etc.  This year we visited a new place and had a great time with our families.

 This is my ever so handsome husband, who is still just a boy at heart!
So much fun.  I was most happy when I got my Kettle Korn!  What kind of friend traditions do you have?


Excitement Beyond Words

Oct 15, 2010

The excitement has been building for months.  It is so high that I am not even sure I can put words to it.  The Relevant Conference that I will be attending is next weekend.  The only conference I have been to was for moms.  This conference will have moms, but also so much more!  Women from every walk of life will be sharing their hearts for this crazy thing we call blogging.  But it isn't just any kind of blogging.  It is blogging to reach others for Christ.  It is writing to encourage others in their faith walk.  It is a community the likes of which I have never been a part.

I am crazy excited to be able to learn more about social media from those who really know what they are doing.  I am looking forward to be surrounded by awesome Christian women who inspire me.  But most of all, I am SUPER EXCITED to finally be able to meet some ladies who I have only been fortunate enough to know through cyberspace.  These are amazing women who allow others to see into their lives and witness truth:  in friendship, marriage, homemaking, sorrow, serving, struggles, parenting, crafting, and loving Jesus.

Teri Lynne
Sarah Mae  She is the creator of Relevant!!

And most importantly, God will be there, because He has been invited!  I am counting the days!!!



A Walk Around The Block

Oct 14, 2010

As I took the dog for a walk yesterday, I knew it was the time of  year that I didn't want to be without my camera.  Beauty surrounds me everywhere I go with the creativity of God's handiwork in the fall colors.

The trees are ablaze with the most amazing color; color that just can't seem to be captured, even by my fancy camera.  They glow and change color depending on the time of day and the sun's changing angle.

Every year at this time I am painfully aware of the beauty that occurs during death.  We marvel and celebrate the color of the fall leaves and changing colors around us, sometimes forgetting that the beauty we see is beauty in dying.  They are experiencing an incredible metamorphosis that leads to death of all the leaves and hibernation for the tree.

"For God so loved the world
that he gave his only son, 
that whoever believes in him will not perish, 
but have eternal life."

Who could have ever imagined the unbelievable fruit of eternal life given through death?

How could the ugliness of death result in such a glorious, undeserved gift?

And yet His blood shed for me created a blameless and righteous soul.

God the Creator is everywhere, if only we have eyes to see the glorious lessons He has displayed for us right in our own neighborhoods, around the block.


Good Girls Don't have to Dress Bad, with Shari Braendel

Oct 13, 2010

 Today we are talking about Shari Braendel's new book Good Girls don't have to Dress Bad.  You absolutely must get this book!  Shari has done a ton of research to help you find your body type, your best fashion colors, where to buy jeans that fit, make-up, hair styles, how to shop for a bra and swimsuit---I mean you name it and she helps you out!

I wanted to spend a little  time here talking about the Color Analysis.  You MUST go here and take about 3 minutes to find your Dominant Color Category.  There are six, and you will fit into one.  From there, you are shown a  color selection of what works best with your personal coloring.  This means your skin tone/color, hair color, and eye color are all taken into account to determine what colors look best on you.

For instance,when Shari analyzed my color, she determined I was a Clear.  I couldn't believe the colors that were on my swatch!  Surely it couldn't be right!  But I had witnesses who encouraged me how great I looked in some of these colors!  Here are the colors that look best on me:

These fabric swatches can be purchased from Shari's website, which I HIGHLY recommend.  I take these with me shopping so I know exactly what shades to look for, especially anything that is going to be near my face.  The color strip on the far right shows my neutral colors, which means they shouldn't be worn alone, but can be paired with any of the other colors.

Now along with the color of clothing we should be wearing, I just wanted to touch on a couple of other things that I learned from Shari.  First, drastically changing the color of your hair throws off the entire package of your skin tone and eyes.  She really recommends staying pretty close to your natural color.  After fighting with her about this for several minutes, I finally relented.  Gulp, and she was right.  I got rid of the lighter brown hair and highlights and I look much more natural.  Second, I have always wondered about eye shadow colors.  Ladies, you should NOT match your eye shadow with your clothing.  They should be neutral colors that fit in with your dominant color.  No more pink and blue eye shadow!!!

I could go on and on because I have learned so much both from Shari and from her new book.  You can read more about Shari over at her website and she posts Mondays and Wednesdays on her personal blog.

Are you getting ready to go to a conference?  Head on over to Gather Inspirit, where we'll learn tips from Shari on packing!! Later this afternoon you should also hop over to The Tuckers Take Tennessee to read an interview with Shari about everything fashion!

My huge thanks again to Shari for sharing so much insight with us about looking and feeling our best to the glory of God!



Homemade French Fry Yumminess!

Oct 8, 2010

I had completely forgotten that I had picked up a small deep fryer this summer at a garage sale.  I remember now being very excited to find it, and dirt cheap too!  K decided she wanted to try fresh french fries in the deep fryer.  What mother would say no to that?!

So she set out peeling the potatoes and slicing them into thin fries.  This is super easy and you should really try it for a special treat for the family.  Let them sit in a bowl of very cold water to remove some of the starch and so they stay crispy in the fryer.  Be sure to pat them dry so that the water doesn't make the oil splatter.

We set the fryer for 350 degrees and tried the first batch at about 10 minutes.  YUM-O!

They turned out perfectly.  We noticed on the second and third batch that the oil was remaining hot, so the cook time decreased just a bit.  Of course, if you cut your potatoes thicker, they will take longer to cook.  Then once they were done, we simply dumped them out on a paper towel and salted them.

I always save the grease in the refrigerator to use on other things like fried chicken.  You can also do this just in a saucepan and a slotted spoon, it doesn't have to be in a fryer.

Give it a try, the kids will love it!


How My Faith Affects My Personality

Oct 7, 2010

Over years worth of self-observation I have learned that when my consistency in my faith suffers, so does my personality.  I become a loner, a wall flower, a grump-a-lump!

In all seriousness, my personality is directly affected by my faith.  My personality IS my faith.  Do you think that statement is too strong?  But I was made by my God who created me to be in direct fellowship with Him ALL.THE.TIME.  And when that doesn't happen, the person I was created to be suffers and becomes something else.  I become part of this dark world instead of a light within it.

SO many verses are recorded throughout the bible that use the word "light" to describe God's place in our lives:

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  John 8:12

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

"Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart".  Psalm 97:11

"Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."  Luke 11:36

Remember that the opposite of light is darkness.  Without the light of Christ, we are all cast into darkness.  And that is where my personality goes without the constant grace and mercy of my Savior.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."  
Matthew 5:16

I'm jamming with the Faith Barista today.  Come on over and join us!

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