Thursday, April 17, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
I am in a women's Bible study group that has been such a blessing for me over this year. It is a mixed group with everything from college students and grandmas. I love that I get to dive into the Word with ladies of all different walks of life. We studied Philippians last semester and are finishing up 2 Timothy this semester. What has been so neat about this study is the depth of study we go into as we look at Scripture. 2 Timothy has just 4 chapters, yet we spend the entire semester talking over every nuance of every word, we look to other Scriptures for clarification, and we are given analytical tools that help us as we study. This has been a practice of studying the Bible that has grown me immensely.
On Sunday, as I sat at the kitchen table with coffee in one hand and my Bible in the other, I was making notes and writing questions as I went. As I got to one verse, I know I had read it many times but never spent any time thinking about it. Honestly, it is one of the verses I usually just skip right over. Man, am I glad I didn't:
Friday, April 11, 2014
As I drove home from teaching my cycle class last night, I was stopped in my tracks by the words of a song on the radio. "Blessed be Your Name" was one of those songs I had grown up singing in the church youth group, but the words did not hold full meaning until recently.
As I listened to the words, I was reminded of the goodness of our God even in the midst of our trials. When hard times hit, we can sing "blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering". He is the Sustainer in the midst of the trials, even when "there's pain in the offering". It brings such peace to know He is always there, He is both the one who gives and takes away, yet pours out His blessings through it all. As I took comfort in the song, I was reminded of the promises of God in His Word.
"I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
3 O Lord, You have brought up my soul from [a]Sheol;
You have kept me alive, [b]that I would not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy [c]name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning."
"who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us"
2 Corinthians 1:10
"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."
"through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance,proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Friends, I pray that we can truly turn every blessing back to praise. While it is so easy to see God's blessings when happiness flows abundantly, I pray that we trust and praise Him in times when those blessings are hard, if not impossible, to see!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Yesterday I shared 5 common beauty products I try to avoid, but there was a major one left off the list. This was mainly because the truth behind this daily routine rocked my world! Since about 5th grade, deodorant has been a daily and necessary item to include in our morning routine if we wanted any friends at all.
For years, I loved Secret's Cocoa Butter Kiss but that all changed when I took the time to read the ingredients. Check out what is in something as simple as deodorant:
My favorite is Soapwalla deodorant cream. Have you found any you like?
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Howdy! Yes, the blog still does exist even though the posts are few and far between! I am so thankful for the rest I have found through taking a break from the blog. God has grown me so much over the past few months through the whirlwind of life lately. I can honestly say I never expected it to have gone the way it has been going lately, but I am praising God that He has declared "the end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46:10).
On a different note, I have been enjoying our journey of cleaning up our house and getting rid of chemicals and processed foods. We have both been feeling so great! As we change the types of food we put into our body, I have become increasingly aware of the other aspects of my house we need to clean up.
Did you know some of our everyday household items have some of the highest amounts of chemicals in them? The average woman puts 200 chemicals on her face every single day (source). Wow! A switch is definitely needed! Here are 5 of the items we have switched (be watching for another post on items we make ourselves):
1. Tampons. There is very little talk about our sanitary products, but these items contain high level of toxic ingredients (aha-as we have Toxic Shock Syndrome). These monthly products have caused hormonal issues, abnormal cell growth, and infertility. I have made the switch to organic, cotton tampons that are just $.02 more/item on Amazon Subscribe & Save.
2. Hand sanitizer. I'll admit-I was the addicted to this stuff for years! I had it on my keychain, in my car, in my work bag, and rubbed it all over my hands every chance I got. Recently I learned everything in a bottle of hand sanitizer and I haven't used it since! The biggest deterrent was learning that the chemicals it contained have been linked to developmental and hormonal imbalances (such as infertility and underage puberty). There is something nice about having sanitizer handy for those moments when you need it, so I was glad to find an organic brand that had 3 simple ingredients!
3. Toothpaste. My favorite about the Trader Joe's brand is the price and the fact it contains no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate! With a dentist brother, I don't want to get into the fluoride debate. For the record, I do believe fluoride is an excellent way to prevent cavities and decays, but may have negative effects. I switched, not because of fluoride, but due to the sodium lauryl sulfates, toxic tin, triclosan, artificial sweeteners, and dyes. YUCK!
4. Hand lotion. I love massages, especially ones that use lotions! Avery was being a sweet husband recently and giving me a massage, when he flipped over the bottle and began reading off all the ingredients the one bottle contained. I was stunned! Here we are avoiding junk in our foods, and he was rubbing it into my skin. The pictured lotion is not the brand I use, but mine was bought from a local farm near me. It contains 5 ingredients and essential oils rather than perfumes. The best part-my eczema is GONE!
Check out this great guide to less toxic products
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Good morning! I know you might have totally forgotten this blog exists, or at least think I have fallen off the face of the planet. While the reasons why will remain a mystery, I needed to take a break from the blog for a while. I am still praying over if I will return, my heart was ready for a post! It's pretty safe to say you have all stopped reading this a long time ago, so this is probably a post just for me (and that's OK)...
Every Sunday Avery and I ask each other how we can pray over one another's weeks. This week I told Avery to pray for rest. Life has risen up around me and I have gotten very tired! Everything in me cries out for a break (Spring Break...are you here yet?), but I know time off is not truly what will bring relief. Weariness, caused by the stress and trials of life, needs something so much more than simply just a nap. This type of exhaustion is one that will only find relief from the Lord.
I don't know about you, but when I get tired I like to turn immediately to Isaiah 40:31. Rising up on wings like eagles. Gaining new strength. Running and not getting tired. Walking and not growing weary. This is the strength I want in times when my body and soul are tired!
Somehow, my eyes gloss right over the waiting part. I choose to focus on the finish line, and miss the race it takes to get there. Those who WAIT will gain strength.
Waiting simply takes faith. Faith sees the unseeable (Hebrews 11:1) and sees God (Hebrews 11:27). "Faith is the convinced, convicted heart reaching out to the Almighty" (Precept Austin). Faith trusts His promises are true and He remains the same. Faith recognizes Him as Lord and allows His hand to work in our lives. Faith clings to Him when the turmoil rises up around us.
When we wait, we are truly standing on tiptoe with great expectation! Waiting is so much more than just patiently sitting back, but truly pushing forward in belief! It is there that the strength overwhelms us. As we move forward in faith, we begin to stand upon His promises and cling to Him. Because we know that the time will come when He will fulfill His promises (Psalm 37:9), we can truly run without getting tired! Oh blessed day!
I have a sweet friend who is adopting a little girl from Africa. As I have watched her story unfold, I have been so encouraged by her anticipation and hope throughout the process. She knows that the day when she will hold her baby girl will come. While there has been piles of paperwork and incredibly long periods of waiting, she grows stronger each day. Her eyes are firmly fixed on the few simple pictures she has of this little girl, and she uses that to get her through each challenge she faces.
What is it that you are waiting on? Are you growing tired in the waiting, or are you truly rising up in the wait and growing in hope? Whether it is a wait for a spouse, a child, a house, a promotion, or simply a break from the busyness of life, we can wait with hope that His love will surround us in the situation and be the great Provider (Disclaimer: I am not preaching prosperity gospel, but that is another post for another day!). In the midst of your waiting, fix your eyes on your Redeemer. He won't let you fall!
|Source: Wallpapers 4 God|
Thursday, January 16, 2014
|April @100lb. Countdown|
|Suzanne @Baltimore Mom|
|Rea @Home For 4 Sweet Home|
NOW.....on to the hop.
1. Follow your hostess and co-hostesses.