November 30, 2010

Marked with a Seal

"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession, to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:13

"He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."  II Corinthians 1:22

What would my life look like if this seal were tatooed on my forehead or on the palm of my hand?  Would I act differently?  talk differently?

God has claimed us as His based on the verses mentioned above.  But have I claimed who I am in Him?

I have the peace of God that passes all understanding. Philippians 4:7

I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

I can do all things through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:13

I am a new creature in Christ.  II Corinthians 5:17

I am the light of the world.  Matthew 5:14

It is not I who live, but Christ Jesus who lives in me.  Galatians 2:20

Am I living up to my namesake?  Are you?  Claim who you are in Christ Jesus.  There is no better time than right now at the start of the Christmas season!

November 26, 2010

Dayspring HUGE Sale!

For those of you who have admired all of the beautiful items at Dayspring, they have just announced a fantastic sale through November 30 only, so go quickly to pick up some fantastic deals!

November 23, 2010



Psalm 100. For giving thanks.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 
2 Worship the LORD with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs.  
3 Know that the LORD is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
and his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and praise his name.  
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through all generations. 
I'm taking the rest of the week off to enjoy extra time with my family.  May your Thanksgiving holiday be blessed!

I love paper crafting!

I try to deny it, honestly I do, but I absolutely love paper and all paper crafts!  I have a stash of paper a mile high that is constantly calling my name, but recently I just haven't had any time to play.

I know isn't it wonderful?  Well I thought maybe I should be thinking of a gift I could make for the piano teacher, because this year I am really convicted to spend less on Christmas Gifts.  I came across this tutorial  at The Cutting Files for making paper roses.  LOVE!

Well could you believe in that beautiful stack of paper I couldn't find what I wanted?  A gift for a piano teacher must be music notes right?  So where can you find really cheap sheet music?  In an old hymnal I bought at a book sale for just such an occasion!  (Yes I really rip the pages out and use them in crafts!)

I simply used Mod Podge on the paper to cover a plain glass vase I bought at the Thrift Store.  I hope it will make a very pretty candle holder.  What kinds of gifts are you making for Christmas?

November 22, 2010

Dayspring Christmas Photo Card Winner

Congratulations Elissa!  You have won the Dayspring Giveaway!  Send me your email please!!

Introducing Pixosphere

Today I wanted to share with you an amazing new site for photo sharing, Pixosphere!  They are a family friend website, which means that all of their photos are rated for family viewing!  The company was started by a great couple, Scott and Lisa, and they are dedicated to bring quality family friendly photos to the blogosphere to share and to sell.  Just look at several photos I found there this weekend.  They are all quality shots, ready to be used.... FREE....on your blog!

Forest by brotherscott, on Pix-O-Sphere

Flowergirl by smile74, on Pix-O-Sphere

horse by marsha, on Pix-O-Sphere

After the Sunset by tooblessedtobestressed, on Pix-O-Sphere

Shasta Daisy Closeup by cherie, on Pix-O-Sphere

This last photo is mine and is posted over at Pixosphere for sale.  You can sell photos with an advanced membership, which has a yearly fee.  I was lucky enough to win my Advanced Membership at a twitter party!  Beginning December 3rd you can hop on over to Home With The Boys to put in your entry to win a membership as well!

I am excited to say that this week I became a Community Volunteer with Pixosphere!  I am very excited to be a part of this growing site.  Big plans are in motion for 2011, and I can't wait to share them with you later.  What I can share is that you can find all kinds of cool information over at the Pixosphere site, the Pixosphere blog, and the Facebook page.  In the coming months they'll have some fun memes to be a part of as well, so watch for those to be announced.

You all know how much I love photography, and sharing it with you as I have in the past through the tab here for free photos.  Pixosphere promises to take that sharing and photography community to a whole new level.  I hope you will come be a part of the fun!

November 19, 2010

Let Go and Let God-an update

Chele had an appointment Thursday morning for a second opinion, and this doctor believes they can remove the thyroid and it may not turn out to be cancerous.  After talking with Chele, I am sure God is directing each and every step of this journey she is on.  I hope you will continue to pray for her, as her surgery has been rescheduled for November 30th.

Thank you so much to all her friends who have stopped in here to leave encouraging comments and prayers!  God is moving!

 (from Tuesday)
Friday my dear online, in real life, and blogging friend Chele from A Bona Fide Life and Gather Inspirit is heading into surgery for thyroid cancer.

Chele is a mother of four wonderful blessings and  wife to Chasen.  I cannot imagine the fear that has tried so hard to grip and terrify this family while they reconcile this illness.

God is mysterious in his ways, and he clearly tells us in scripture that His ways are not our ways.  Because if that were true, there certainly would not be a life-altering illness like cancer.

The hardest thing we can do is open our hands to the Father and place our cares and loved ones into His hands.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."  Hebrews 10:23

So I place Chele into the hands that made her.  I uplift her family as they watch and wait for her healing.  I pray for those who are witnessing Chele's faith, that they may turn to her God and know him as their Savior.

Would you be praying with me?  Can we start a prayer chain all around the world for Chele?  If you are willing to pray for Chele and her family over the next two weeks, would you link up here and offer Chele your encouragement?  Just let us know you are praying!

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
James 5:16

"Each prayer sets something powerful in motion."
Stormie Omartian

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November 18, 2010

Blessing My Family

In our fast paced world of beating the clock and the schedule, it can be hard to really concentrate on simply things.  Sometimes the simply things can make huge impacts, but they are easy to overlook when the schedule is tight.

As a blogger, it is very easy to spend too much time online.  As a Mom, there are countless ways we try to invest in our families.   Some of us must work outside the home to make ends meet.

Over the last several months I have really felt conviction over blessing my family in some way each and every day.  Sometimes that feels hard, because some of our efforts may go unnoticed.  Actually, many of them will go unnoticed.  But I have a feeling that even though they are not consciously noticed at the time, as a mom, I am planting a deep seed of caring and extra effort into their hearts that someday they will recall with a happy heart.

So I looked around my house to find a few ways I could bless them this week.  Trust me, I didn't have to look very hard!

A has a hard time getting her clothes put away.  So frequently in her room you can find 2-3 laundry baskets full of clean laundry.  This begins to clog up her floor space and makes her very grumpy in the morning when she says she has nothing to wear!  It is a difficult balance of always doing for them, blessing them, or teaching them responsibility.  I may need to find a balance with this chore, but this week I decided to bless her and put them away for her.

I love my bed.  I hardly ever get it made.  It wasn't a requirement for me growing up, so it just doesn't really bother me.  My husband says it doesn't bother him either.  But doesn't it just look nicer and more cared for when it is made?

Nothing is more of a blessing than fresh baked goodies!  But for some reason I just don't do it very often.  So this week I whipped up a batch of Cinnamon Streusel Muffins while I was preparing other things for dinner.  It didn't take much time at all, and the family loves them!

I'm going to continue to find small ways to bless my family in the hopes that it becomes a bigger, more consistent habit.  How about you?  How do you unexpectedly bless your family?  Can you share with us?

November 17, 2010

God is Bigger than our Wildest Dreams

Do you ever gaze at the sky looking for God? 
Do you ever wonder just how big He is? 

The Whirlpool Galaxy, 31 million light years away from earth, contains 300 billion stars. 

"When I consider your heavens, 
the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
which you have set in place 
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?" 
Psalm 8:3,4

God is bigger than we could ever possibly imagine.  His creation AND creativity is more than we can fathom.  And yet He hears my every thought, my every prayer, my every word....and He cares for me, for you.

The Hubble telescope captured the black hole in the center of the Whirlpool Galaxy.    What do you see?

I think it looks something like this..................



"He who appoints the sun to shine by day, 
who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, 
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- 
the LORD Almighty is his name."
Jeremiah 31:35

"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.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Colossians 1:16-17

His creation is not haphazard nor accidental.  Scripture shows His power through just His breath and thought.

"By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, 
their starry host by the breath of his mouth."
Psalm 33:6

Does this power not just blow your mind?  He spoke EVERYTHING into existence, created from NOTHING...except one and I.  Genesis 2:7 states "God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."   and verse 21, "he took one of the man's ribs and close up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."

Beloved, you were created by the very hand of God, touched by His hand.  The same God who made the universe as pictured above made you.  He is HUGE, yet he knows everything about you.  He is BEYOND our imagination, yet He longs to have a relationship with each of us!

The next time you admire the moon, the stars or a constellation, join them in praising your God in heaven.
"Praise him, 
sun and moon, 
praise him, 
all you shining stars". 
Psalm 148:3


November 16, 2010

Christmas Photo Cards by Dayspring and a Giveaway!

For the first time EVER, I  placed my order for  photo Christmas Cards and they are sitting on my kitchen table ready to be addressed!  Studio Dayspring has the cutest templates ever, and what I love is that you can start with a template and still make changes or additions to the template!  It was so easy!

I know I just ruined it for those of you who actually get a real card from us each year, but I felt it was worth the risk just to let you in on my great find this year!

While you are at the Studio Dayspring  site, could you also create and send a card to an un-sponsored Compassion child in Ecuador?  Show your love this Christmas all the way around the world!!

Dayspring has very generously offered my readers a 20% off coupon code for your order!!  Just enter HEARTANDSOUL20 at checkout!

AND one lucky reader will win 50 flat or 25 folded designs!! Want to win????

Go over to Dayspring and choose which card you would order and come back and let me know in the comments!  Receive an extra entry if you become a new follower and let me know in the comments. Entries remain open until Friday, November 19th,  at midnight.

Many thanks to the Dayspring team for the complimentary photo cards!

November 15, 2010

The Gift of Words

The Husband, a brand new title that he was wearing well, carefully packed a lunch for his "new" 5 year old daughter.  Knowing that the precious opportunities to create a forever bond with her would pass quickly, he secretly began tucking notes into her lunch box.  The smiling, toothless 5 year old melted his heart when she shared with him the love and fun of the notes she found everyday.

In the coming years, wife would suffer through some dark times.  Husband saw an opportunity to encourage her, so the notes began each day for her as well.  Simple lines, a sentence or two, of love and encouragement, oft times penciled on napkins or scrap paper.  Wife was blessed and her heart grew bigger for the Husband through this small gift of himself left behind each day to keep her company.

Year 14 of this marriage will soon come to a close, and the notes continue to find their way to the kitchen counter every day.  No longer are they found on disposable objects, but now grace the pages of a notebook, a new page to turn daily, for wife to remember always, for generations to witness the great love between this wife and husband.

The 5 year old has turned 20, but still the notes sporadically make their way to her college dorm, the bonding continues, as does the love.

Words, simple, true and life encouraging.  Who can you share your words with today?

November 12, 2010

International Day of Prayer - November 14, 2010

Sometimes there is a social disconnect between my laptop and the rest of the world. Today as I checked my email, reality hit me square in the face with a post from Open Doors USA. 

The persecution of Christians worldwide is ongoing and very real.  Would you commit to pray this weekend for those in the line of fire?  I cannot imagine the courage it takes to stand up for your faith, to face jail time, or even death for my beliefs.

I pray God moves with each and every prayer that assaults heaven this weekend!

November 11, 2010

How God is Setting Me Free

Being who God made me to be has been a lifelong journey.  In the summer of 2007 I had another deep struggle with depression. For anyone who has been through that before, you know of the darkness found there. As I looked deep within myself to determine what had taken me to that dark place once again, I discovered that I was allowing the world to shape me, not God. I was seeing myself through the world's eyes and not as God sees me. It was a huge revelation to me, as I saw that I worried and tarried over what others thought of me. So much so, that it guided my conversations, and I talked with people based on what I thought they wanted to hear. It is very difficult to explain, but I was not in a good place.

But this time my depression was different. I knew this time He was doing an incredible work in me, purging my heart, and shaping me into something, someone different.  Now three years later, that lesson remains fresh in my mind.  I continue to grow in this area and sometimes catch myself as I realize just how very different I have become since that summer.  God continues to set me free from this people pleasing obsession.  I feel far more comfortable just being myself and not worrying about how others perceive me.  It had once been almost debilitating for me.

So who is God making me to be? I don't know yet. But as Joyce Meyer says, "You will never sense fulfillment in life unless you reach the goal of being yourself." I've been working on that the last couple of years.  Through it all, I remind myself quite often that no matter what happens in my life, I am living only for an Audience of One, My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  That is true freedom.

November 10, 2010

Solitude and Quietness

"We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today." AW Tozer

conviction: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth.
I don't like New Year's resolutions. Mostly because I have no self-discipline, and therefore they don't work for me....I fail every time, so why bother. But how could anyone read the quote above and not feel convicted? Who among us spends enough time in solitude and quietness before God? What is quietness anyway when you have a family of five? Tozer is right, it is all but impossible to find.
So I'm thinking.....maybe that is why the treasurers will be great if we simplify. Because it isn't easy and God will reward the extra effort it takes to find solitude with Him.
As I have pondered how I am going to make this lifestyle change, I decided to look up the definition of resolution, just out of curiosity. I am shocked. Look what I found:
resolution: the act of reducing to simpler form; the act of determining; firmness of resolve.
But I have DETERMINED that my life will run much smoother with more time set aside for solitude and quietness before God. And I have every confidence that He will meet me there and our time together will be awesome.

(Sharing from the archives today.)

November 9, 2010

The Ever Grateful Collection from Dayspring is my FAVE!

I am totally in love with Dayspring right now!  They have the most gorgeous place settings I have ever seen!  This new collection is called Ever Grateful that is so very timely for our Thanksgiving season.  Just look at these pieces I recently received from them:

The inside of the bowl and around the yellow plate  is inscribed with the words "grateful for simple blessings".

I love that the color of this collection can go with any kitchen decor and the styling is timeless!  I have searched high and low for place settings that I true can fall in love with, and this is it!

In this month of Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for companies like Dayspring who are helping us finding ways to grace our homes with scripture and reminders of God's eternal blessings!

November 8, 2010

Another Monday Morning

Another Monday morning has arrived.  In our lives, that means our house is usually destroyed!  Can you relate?

 Remnants of last night's family movie, Toy Story 3, remain all over the couch and floor, including popcorn!

A cardboard fort was built, complete with team flags and escape hatches, gracing one entire side of the living room.  It is the first thing you see when you walk in our front door.

Some of you might be cringing at the site of this mess.  But it leaves a smile on my face this morning.  We've created awesome memories through the destruction of our living room.  We all ate pizza and popcorn in front of the TV watching the movie and laughing together at our favorite parts.  We snuggled in our nest of 20 blankets and 10 pillows and enjoyed each other's company.

The cardboard fort was love in the making.  All the planning, taping and remodeling spent together as a family creates hours of creative play with friends and family alike.  It will remain in our living room for at least a week, of that I am sure.

Yes today I will tidy the living room as best I can around our fort.  I'll even vacuum up the popcorn.  But I know as soon as my girls return home from school, along with their Poppa, the mess will start all over again.  Although this is not a house of clutter free pristine cleanliness, it is a house of fun and love.  And I like it that way.

November 5, 2010

Unexpected Accidents

We had a very unexpected accident happen this week with my youngest.  She tends to be a little clumsy sometimes, and I got a call from school Tuesday afternoon saying she had fallen out of her chair at school and chipped a tooth.

So when she came home, I wasn't expecting to see this.  Can you see it?  TWO teeth severally chipped off!  The top tooth had severed the bottom two teeth!

I was frantic!  These are her permanent teeth!  I have been stressed all week about how in the world these would be repaired.  We saw the dentist right away, and this is how she repaired them:

Can you believe it?  They look exactly like real teeth!  Now we have no idea how long they will last, since these are teeth that do a lot of work, but I thought our dentist did an outstanding job of free hand shaping these replacements!

She will need braces at some point, so we will have to revisit this issue throughout her life.  That is what had me stressed out the most. 

Was A stressed out???

What do you think?

November 4, 2010



it is a direct connection with God
no waiting
always available
to the rich
and to the poor
it never goes out of season
and never expires
it is available to the rich
and to the poor
it sets something powerful in motion
it is free to all
with no discrimination
it is a call to Heaven
where God waits
for your voice

November 3, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Matthew 5:8


November 2, 2010

Open to Receive

"You heavens above, 
rain down righteousness; 
let the clouds shower it down. 
Let the earth open wide, 
let salvation spring up, 
let righteousness grow with it; 
I, the LORD, have created it." 
Isaiah 45:8

Beautiful Christmas Decor from Dayspring

Look what landed on my porch yesterday!

I received this platter as a gift at the Relevant Conference and Dayspring even mailed it to me!  This season they have created the Jesus is the Gift collection of the most beautiful Christmas plates and serving pieces. 

I can't decide if I like it better in my living room on my Grandma's table or in the kitchen on Grandma's china hutch!

 Here are more items from the collection  You really must go visit them and plan ahead to have some gorgeous dinnerware for the holidays! If you love what you see, I'd sure appreciate you shopping through my Affiliate link located in the left sidebar.  I know you won't be disappointed when it arrives on your doorstep!! 
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