Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Worship Song

Since I missed the Sunday Worship Song, I decided that I would post a Monday Worship Song, instead. I love this song by Citizen Way and the reminder of the high price that Jesus paid for us. It should have been us, but thank God that He sent His Son to take our place. I know that I for one am very thankful for the should've been. Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yoga Pants and Racerback Tanks...

These are a few of my favorite things! My sweet hubby bought me a super cute gift set from Victoria's Secret for Christmas and I just love it. See for yourself...

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I loved it so much that I decided to go out yesterday and get another set...

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Take my word on it- these sets are worth the money and are super comfy.

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I also got these shirts so that I could have multiple outfits. Who knew I loved yoga pants, tanks, and tees so much? Yay, for new clothes! :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ben Howard, I'm in Love with Your Music!

Because I love his music so much, I've decided to dedicate an entire blog post to him. His voice, his lyrics, and his guitar skills are insane! I just so happened to come across him on i Tunes back in early spring, and have been hooked on his music since. Here are some of my favorite songs so far. Enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!! I hope you have a blessed day!

The Heart of Christmas

As I have been preparing to host our annual Christmas dinner for our family, I have to admit that at times I get a little overwhelmed. For the most part, things are right on schedule. But then I remember that there are still gifts to be wrapped, tables to be set, and in between all of that I somehow have to get ready myself. I think to myself, "Will my list ever end?" Then I stop and remember the true reason for the season. It's not the dinner, it's not the gifts, it's not whether or not we'll have a white Christmas.'s Him. The one who made angels sing, shepherds bow down in reverence, and wise men follow the star. He was the long awaited Messiah, and He is the reason for it all. In the words of Max Lucado, Jesus humbled Himself. He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw. From holding stars to clutching Mary's finger. The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier. Why? Because that's what love does. The heart of Christmas does have a name, friends.. it's Jesus. May I suggest that we all be very intentional about keeping our focus on Him during these last moments of the Christmas season, and not miss the point? It would be a shame. So, with all that being said, I've decided that there's where I'm going back to... the heart of Christmas, where we read the Christmas story, hold our loved one's a little tighter, laugh a little harder, and love with all that we have. Jesus is the heart of Christmas- don't miss Him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I can't find the Words...

I have been going over in my head what I could say about the terrible events that unfolded in Connecticut on Friday, but, the truth is, I don't know what to say. What happened was brutal, and I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. In all honesty I don't want to believe what happened, or even begin to believe that someone would be capable to commit such a horrendous crime. I read this article by Bob Russell today and wanted to share it with you. He has a way of putting things into a Christian perspective and I was very touched by his words. I couldn't agree with him more when he said, "I am convinced we are in the final stages of history and are witnessing the unraveling of a society that has rejected God. The increase of violence and mass shootings is just one of a number of signals that the Lord’s return is eminent. Just as salmon instinctively swim upstream, God’s people should be looking up, sensing their redemption is drawing near." Please continue to pray for the families of the victims that they may be comforted and be given a peace that only God himself can give.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

I  have been lovng this upbeat Christmas song by Montell Jordan and hope you enjoy it, too! Only 9 more days till Christmas!!!! Happy Sunday, everyone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I've been Nominated...

I am so excited to announce that Ana from The Lost Apron has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. This award is granted to those whom have 200 followers or less and was created as a way to recognize and appreciate other fellow bloggers. The word liebster comes from Germany and is translated as, "dearest." I am so honored that anyone would take time out to read my posts and this award truly means so much to me. Now for the rules...

1.) Post 11 random things about yourself.
2.) Answer the questions that the nominator posted for you.
3.) Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
4.) Choose 11 blogs that you love (with 200 followers or less) and link them to your post.
5.) No tag back. (However, please leave me a comment so that I know you are aware that you have been chosen.)

11 Random Things About Myself:

1.) I have been married to my wonderful husband, Jeff, for five years. He is my best friend and there is no one else I'd rather be on this journey with.
2.) I looovvveee Christmastime! The music, the lights, the smells....everything. My mom always made Christmas a very special time for our family so I guess it just stuck with me. Not to mention, I come from a long line of aunts and great aunts that are also Christmas crazy!
3.) I love coffee. I can drink it anytime of the day and seem to consume much more in the cold winter months. I am especially fond of the seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha, and gingerbread.
4.) I have one older brother whom I love deeply. He is four years older than me and has always been there for me in thick and thin. We have created memories together that will last a lifetime.
5.) I love music! I once saw a quote that said, "Music is what feeling sounds like." I would have to say that I fully agree. Christian is by far my favorite type of music, but I also enjoy alternative such as Coldplay and Ben Howard.
6.) I have one dog named Starbuck. He is a 4 year old boxer and Jeff and I both love him dearly and have so much fun with him.
7.) I love crafting and baking. I am actually getting ready to attempt making a burlap tree skirt. Just in time for Christmas!
8.) My family and I take a trip to Gatlinburg, TN each year. Talk about quality family time and making memories...we have a blast!
9.) I have a heart for adoption and hope to one day adopt a child of our own.
10.) My Dad and I share the same birthday.
11.) I love candles! My favorite are Slatkin and Co.

Nominator Questions:

1.)What is your favorite holiday tradition that your family does?
Oh my goodness... we have so many! It's really hard to pick one. Something we have done for as long as I can remember is our annual cookie day. My Great-Grandma was from Germany and she passed this cookie recipe down to her daughters, which was then given to their daughters, etc. They are called Lep cookies and they are oh so yummy. Usually my Great-Aunt Norma bakes the cookies and my mom, my aunts, my cousins, and I decorate them. We make a day out of it, starting at around 9am, and ending at 5-6pm. By the end of the day, we probably have a total of 300-400 cookies! Here are a couple of pics from last years event...

2.)What is your favorite type of exercise?
Running! I love to run and ran track in school for 5 years.

3.) Where are you longing to travel to?
My first instinct would be to say Turks and Caicos. I love the beach and would love to travel there someday. However, I do have to say that if someone offered me a trip to anywhere in the world, I would have to choose The Holy Land. I can only imagine how incredible it must be to know that you are standing exactly where Christ was.

4.) What is your pet peeve?
Okay, this may sound really strange or random to some people, but my pet peeve is when people are eating and they pick food out their teeth, look at the food on their finger, and then EAT it!!! This grosses me out SO BAD!

5.) Why did you decide to blog?
Besides the obvious fact that I simply love to write, I began this blog as a way to share my testimony, my love for God, my heart for marriage, craft ideas, recipes, and more. God has done immeasurably more for me than I could have ever imagined and I am forever grateful to Him for all of the many blessings that He has given me. I hope and pray that visitors of this blog would be challenged in their relationship with our sweet Savior, encouraged, and most of all, shown the beautiful love and heartbeat that God has for us all.

6.) What is a special skill that you have?
This is the part where I wish I could say that I have some kind of musical talent...but that's not the case! I have always been a little more on the athletic/outdoors side and believe it or not I really enjoy target practicing. My husband also says I'm a pretty good shot!

7.) What is your favorite pastime?
I love going to the coffee shop with my husband. We have some really great talks over coffee and I simply love the quality time that comes from it.

8.) What is the one thing you do differently than your mom?
I make my own laundry detergent. Not that I think my mom is opposed to making homemade detergent- it's just something that she doesn't do.

9.)  What is one of your time wasters?
This one's easy...Pinterest!

10.) What was your favorite comment on your blog about?
My favorite comment came from one of my Sunday Worship Song posts. It was one of those times when I felt God confirmed what He was doing through this blog and that maybe, just maybe, with His help, I was making a difference. She writes, "So glad I found this blog.... I recently had to file disability retirement from my first grade teaching position.... my immune system has become very weak due to the Infusion Treatments that I have taken over the years and am currently on for severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have not been able to go to church and have been watching sermons on tv with my husband, this is a great avenue for worship with women ... thank you for following God's prompting in your life and creating such a blog. God bless and be with you and yours."

11.) What have you made (created) that you are most proud of?
Our Chicken Coop!This was definitely a team project with my husband (he did 90% of the work), and considering we didn't really have a plan or layout from the beginning, I think it turned out quite nicely. We only worked on it during weekends, so it took us about a month to complete. Isn't it cute?! We put our blood (literally..I stepped on a nail in the process), sweat, and tears into this project and were so pleased with the outcome.

Whew! That was a lot of information! If you made it through all of that, thank you :)

Questions for the Nominees:

1.) What is your favorite Bible verse?
2.) Besides Jesus, what Bible character would you love to meet?
3.) Why did you decide to start a blog?
4.) Where is your dream vacation?
5.) Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?
6.) What would you consider to be a hobby of yours?
7.) Do you have any pets?
8.) What is your favorite genre of music?
9.) What book are you currently reading?
10.) What is your favorite Christmas song/tradition?
11.) Have you ever been on a missions trip?

Now for the Nominees...

Rich Faith Rising (I know she has more than 200 followers, but her blog is great and I think she deserves the award!)

Adventures of D and V (She also has more than 200 followers...but again, she has a really great blog!)

Thank you all for participating! I look forward to getting to know you better!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

I am loving this new Christmas song by Jason Gray and I would have to say that at this time, it's my favorite. Today while helping my mom get ready for a Christmas dinner, this song came on and we blasted it. (Sorry to my hubby who was trying to nap on the couch...Whoops!) Anyways, I love the part that says something like, "be taken by the wonder that took the whole world by surprise." That is exacly what I would encourage during this Christmas season- that we would all be completely awestruck and taken in by the birth of Christ and the way He came into this world. He could have left us as orphans, but yet He choose to come and dwell among us, and ultimately save us from our sins. Praise the Lord for His goodness and love! Have a wonderful Sunday and a great week ahead.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

     Welcome back to another WILW segment! Here are a few things I've been  quite fond of lately....

1.) My Jeremy Camp Christmas CD. I snagged this up for only $5.00 at Lifeway last Friday and love the upbeat and beautiful songs. Here are a couple of my favorites...

2.) Slatkin and Co. candles! I am in love with these candles and the way you can smell them in every room. My fav's are Winter and Twisted Peppermint- a Christmas staple in our home!
Winter 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body WorksTwisted Peppermint 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

3.) Christmas movies! I love curling up on the couch with a nice cup of coffee (peppermint mocha creamer of course :) or hot chocolate and watching a good movie. One of my absolute favorites is called Silent Night. I had never seen it until a couple of years ago, but it quickly became one of those, "must see yearly," Christmas movies. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it and guarantee that even your husband will be a fan!

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Okay...okay...don't judge the movie by the cover. It kinda looks like a psycho Christmas movie-but I promise, it's not. The overall theme is actually very heartwarming.

That's all for this week! Happy Wednesday!

Winter 14.5 oz. 3-Wick Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mary: The Faithful Servant


     As I put myself in Mary's shoes, I wonder what my response would have been when Gabriel announced that I would give birth, knowing full well that I was a virgin. What a disgrace she would now be considered to her family and community. What a slap in the face to Joseph, her finance, who also knew full well that there was no way the child in Mary's womb was his. What great faith Mary had when she said to the angel, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to me as you have said." I would like to think that I would have given the same response as Mary, but how could I ever say for sure that I would have been so willing to do so. After all, when Mary accepted this task she ran the risk of being stoned to death, losing Joseph, and, as I said before, disgracing her family. What a mature and selfless young woman Mary had to be to set all these things aside and simply trust her God. How I pray to have that kind of faith; strong...courageous... unwavering.

      Not only did she have faith when the angel told her she would be with with child, but think about the journey along the way. As my pastor also pointed out, there could not have been a worse time for a census to be issued when Mary was so close to giving birth. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 80 miles. I have not yet experienced what it's like to be pregnant, but I have a lot of friends who have, and I would guess that they would definitely pass on traveling 80 miles-on a donkey- while being 9 months pregnant! Not only that, but then going into labor and giving birth in a stable. If I were Mary I'm sure I would have thought to myself, "This is the Messiah, the Son of God, and he is going to be born in a stable?"

      However, the thing I love most about God is that He can redeem anything and make it beautiful, and how beautiful it is to think our Savior entered the world in such a state of humility. He deserved so much more than a stable and a manger, but as the Bible tells us He, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!" (Phil 2:6-8)

      What a sweet, sweet Savior that we serve. Jesus did not deserve the cross, but yet He knew it was the only way to save us, so that we may have the hope of eternity. I am so thankful that Jesus did not stay a baby. He choose to live and die on the cross, and after resurrecting, is now sitting on the throne at the right hand of God, waiting for the day when He can come and rescue us. I am looking so forward to that glorious day, friends, and I pray that you are too. Over the next few weeks let's meditate on the humble way that Jesus came to earth during His first coming, and gladly rejoice in the hope of His second coming where He will forever reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Until then, I pray that my heart would be made a dwelling place for Him, and that I may have such an immoveable faith as Mary.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Now that it is officially Christmastime, the Sunday Worship Song for the next four weeks will be Christmas songs. I love this time of year and what it represents- our Savior, coming here to earth to dwell among us. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- I am completely fascinated by the birth of Christ and the events leading up to this divine miracle. Jesus left His throne in Heaven with all of it's glory, to come here to this imperfect and broken world to save us. How amazing is that, friends? He loves us so much and my prayer is that we would all be filled with this same unconditional love during this Christmas season. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!! I hope you have a blessed one :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Everything Give Thanks...


With Thanksgiving being only two days away, I thought I'd take a moment to list a few things I'm grateful for...

1.) To say I'm thankful for my salvation in Christ Jesus is an understatement. It means more to me than life itself. Without this incredible gift from Him, we'd be living in a world with no hope. But, thanks be to God that He has not left us hopeless. He gave us His Son so that we may have life, and have it to the full.

2.) My husband. This guy lights up my life and fills me with joy overflowing. God richly blessed me as a wife and I am forever grateful. Jeff is my best friend and I love how he just "gets" me. At times, he knows me better than I know myself, and there's no one else I'd rather be on this journey with. I came across this quote the other day and it reminded me of him...

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3.) My family. Boy, oh, boy do I have a great one! I am so blessed to have a family that is deeply rooted in Christ and I come from such a long line of Proverbs 31 women. My mom and dad are the best, my brother...Awesome, my sister-in-laws are great, and I have hands down one of the best mother-in-laws in the world. And, not to mention my wonderful nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I also have a best friend who is like a sister to me, so I consider her part of my family, too:) They are all so special to me and I love them so, so much.

4.) Music. I absolutely love music. Christian is hands down my favorite. I can't really explain it, but something happens in my inmost being when I am worshipping the Lord. I have always said that music has a way of saying to God what my soul wants to, but what my mind doesn't know how to. Hope that makes sense to someone else other than me. Some of my favorite artists are Bethany Dillon, Brandon Heath, Kari Jobe, Nicole Nordeman, Shane and Shane, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Third Day. I am also a really big fan of alternative music such as Ben Howard, Coldplay, and The Lumineers.

5.) Lastly, I am grateful for my home, my job, my car, my clothes, and a pantry and refrigerator full of food. It is so easy to take these things for granted, but we are truly blessed to have them.

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! I would encourage you to take it all in- the sights, the smells, the sounds, the family and friends you are surrounded by...soak it in, friends, for these are the things that are truly meaningful in life.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overwhelmed and Undone...

     That's where I've been in my relationship with the Lord lately. I have felt such a strong presence of His love, grace, and mercy, and I am completely undone. Have you ever been that way before, when you are so overcome and overwhelmed by his love that all you can do is fall down in worship to Him? It is a sweet, sweet place to be, my friends. I feel that at times my relationship with the Lord can become very mundane. It's kind of like a husband and wife thing-He's always been there, so at times it's easy to just "get used" to Him being a part of my daily life. Oh, how I can be so quick to forget that this is the Almighty God that is with me- and more than that, He is in me! Thank goodness we serve a God who longs to be in a relationship with us and relentlessly pursues us until He has our hearts completely. And let me tell you..He has been pursuing me in such a sweet way that I am left completely speechless at the goodness of His glory. I cannot even begin to comprehend why He loves me so much or why He chose to save a sinner such as me. But, of this one thing I am for sure...God is good and God is gracious. He loves us so much and I believe that when we truly grasp how deep, and how wide, and long His love is for us, it will change everything. Praise be to God that He is jealous for us and loves us with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3) Be blessed this weekend, friends.

Here are a few worship songs that I've been listening to lately. I love the lyrics and truth that each song proclaims and hope you enjoy them as well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I love this powerful worship song by Kristian Stanfill and the truth that it proclaims. God's love will NEVER fail. He will never give up on us, and most definitely will never run out on us. He loves us with an unconditional, sacrificial, unending, and amazing love. Nothing can separate us from Him. Nothing! As Romans 8:38-39 tells us (and this is Paul speaking), "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Take heart today and know that you are held tight in His grip. And that, my friends, is one truth that will ALWAYS remain.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

     After a week long blogging break, I'm back! I did not intend to not blog at all last week but that's how it turned out. So, to catch up I thought I'd share a few things I'm loving at the moment...

1.) My husband. Besides God, he is my rock and my safe place to land. He is so supportive and I love him so, so much!

2.) I'm loving the fact that as of Nov. 1st, it has been a winter wonderland at our home. I love, love, love Christmastime and all of the festivities that come with this beautiful season. I absolutely cannot wait for some yummy Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner and the fun quality time that is spent with family.

3.) Speaking of Christmas, I also love to decorate and fill my home with holiday cheer. There's just something about the warm glow from the Christmas tree, candles in the window, and the scent of freshly baked cookies that melts my heart this time of year. I guess it really puts things into perspective for me. I remember why we celebrate this beautiful season and it's all because of a lowly, humble baby that came to the earth. This was no ordinary baby. was Jesus in flesh. God with us; Emmanuel. Here are some of my favorite Christ centered decorations that I found on Pinterest...

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I love this idea of getting 25 ornaments for the 25 days of Christmas and writing a different name for Christ on each one. (Ex. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, The Bright and Morning Star, Alpha and Omega, etc.)

It's all about Him, friends!

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4.) Christmas Music! I have been blasting mine since last Thursday (and maybe even a few days before that ;) Here are a couple of my new fav's from Francesca Battistelli and For King and Country...

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 4

     Thanks so much for joining me for the fourth and final week of this series. I have had so much fun sharing my thoughts and tips with you all and hope you have enjoyed it as well. Since we are getting ready to enter the Christmas season, which is a time for peace, I thought I'd end with just that...peace in the home.

     We all long for peace in our homes, dont' we? However at times the demands of life get so overwhelming that conflict and miscommunication are inevitable. But, take heart friends...we can set an atmosphere of peace in our homes. I love the idea that Courtney from Women Living Well had of lighting a big candle in your home and praying for peace each time you walked by and saw the warm, serene glow of the flame. I love, love, love candles so this is a technique I've adopted for our home. Each time I walk by and notice the flickering, I instantly pray that our home and marriage would be one of peace, love, and joy. I also then take a minute to pray for the safety of my husband, and thank God for all of the blessings he has so graciously given me. I am so undeserving but bask in the goodness of his glory and loving-kindness.

     Another way to add peace is by playing positive music. It's not unusual for Jeff to come home to me cooking in the kitchen while listening to our local Christian radio station or some other Christian album. Some of my fav's are Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, and Bethany Dillon. All elements affect the atmosphere of peace in the home, including sounds, so why not fill you home with joyful noises unto the Lord.

     Lastly, (and I know I've touched on this before) pray for peace in the home and ask God to give you the wisdom to discern anything that is threatening the peace of your home. Some examples of this may include constant arguing, watching inappropriate movies/shows, listening to distasteful music, etc. Our home should be our haven and a safe place to land after a long day. We should want to come home and enjoy being there!

     As the holiday's are upon us, I pray that we will look to the Prince of Peace and strive to be Proverbs 31 women who look to the needs of our family and home before ourselves. Happy Homemaking everyone! Thanks again so much for joining me on this journey. You all are the best!

Remember that Steven Curtis Chapman album I mentioned earlier? This is by far one the best songs that he has ever written and is such a peaceful worship song. Sometimes I turn this on and just sit quietly with my eyes closed worshiping our wonderful Heavenly Father.  Not to mention the crazy, powerful lyrics....

Come rest your head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still


This one gets me every time. I imagine myself just crawling up in God's lap, laying my head on his broad chest and listening to His heart. With every beat I can hear Him say, "Be still my child. I've got you; you're safe. I created you for my pleasure. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love you more than anything in the world." God is so good, isn't He? Be blessed this week, friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I love this powerful worship song by Kari Jobe. The Bible tells us that when we seek God with all of our hearts, He will be found. (Jer. 29:13) Sometimes face down before God, is the best place we can find Him and receive His peace, love, and joy. I have been belting this song all afternoon and love the truth that it speaks. Even when our hearts are broken or our fear consumes us, God is still God and He is a faithful Father who can be trusted by His children. Fall on your knees today, friends...I promise you'll find Him there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 3

     Hey everyone! So glad you're joining me for week three of this series. Can you all believe that it's been three weeks since we've started? It's crazy how fast time flies. Tonight I wanted to discuss having a home that is filled with joy. With all of the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis, it can be easy to bring that same negative attitude into the home. However, we can have homes that are filled with complete, crazy joy.

     One way I like to create joy in my home is by filling it with lovely scents. I love to bake and for me it is a huge stress relief. Not to mention the way it makes my home smell. Besides, who doesn't like to walk into a home that is filled with the smell of fresh baked cookies or bread? Just the other night I made my first pumpkin roll, and while it didn't turn out to be the prettiest thing I've ever made, it tasted great and the appearance had Jeff and I rolling in laughter. Take a look for yourself...

See what I mean? It fell apart and stuck to the towel. But hey, it was a learning experience and I learned that next time I need to pour less of the batter onto the cookie sheet. I'll be making another around Thanksgiving and hopefully the presentation will be much better. I'll let you know. I would highly suggest making this if you are a pumpkin fan, plus it was super easy. Click here for the recipe.

     As homemakers our goal should not be perfection. At times, we are going to bake pumpkin rolls that fall apart, have windows that are streaked, and craft projects that are a total flop. The key is learning to laugh at ourselves and learning to extend grace to ourselves. After all, what better way to spread joy in the home than filling it with laughter. Which brings me to my second point...

     Laugh. together. often. Bring back family game night. Watch a funny movie. Have a pillow fight. Whatever it may be for your family, just enjoy the quality time together and laugh until you cry.

     Lastly, I was thinking about the song we used to sing in Sunday school that went a little something like this...J.O.Y., J.O.Y., this is what it means..Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between. I began to think about the truth in this song in terms of keeping Jesus at the forefront, and putting others needs before your own. Again, just as we talked about last week, serving can be a source of joy. After all, Jesus, the Son of God, did not come to be served but to serve. (Mark 10:45) Let's look to His example of showing unconditional love to the members of our family, and see if our homes are not filled with joy overflowing in the process.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Photo Fun

     Jeff and I have been married for a little over five years now, and I thought it would really nice to have some couples pictures made. So, that is exactly what we did yesterday. I want to say a HUGE thank you to my mom who so graciously took time out of her day to take pictures of us. Love you, Mom :) Here are some of my fav's...

Here are a few that didn't quite make the cut...
We like to call this one The Zombie! Haha!
     As you can see, we had a really great time together and I feel so blessed to call this man my husband. I love him more than words could say and look forward to many, many more years together. 
*We will resume Week 3 of the As For Me and My House homemaking series tomorrow. I was too anxious to share these pictures today :) 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Hello friends! Sorry this is so late, but Jeff and I have been taking couples pictures at a local state park and just got home not too long ago. It was such a beautiful day and the scenery was beautiful. You can't help but feel God's goodness and love all around when you are surrounded by His beautiful creation. I thought of this song many times today, and wanted to share it with you as well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our dream in a Song

     I just heard this new song by Brandon Heath. A-mazing! Our dream is to move out to the country one day where there is nothing but hills, daffodils, and lots and lots of love. We would really love to have a small farm with a horse, chickens, donkey, and who knows- maybe even a cow. Haha! Anyways, this song sums it up perfectly, and we just may have had a little slow dance to it. ;)  Hope you all enjoy it, too! Have a great night.

Monday, October 15, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 2

     Welcome back, friends! So glad you're joining me for week 2 of this series. Today I wanted to discuss what it looks like to have a home filled with love. Love should be our number one priority, and our driving motivation. The Bible tells us that if we give all we possess to the poor, and have faith that can move a mountain, but don't love... we have nothing. Love was most certainly the language that Jesus spoke, and we should therefore speak that same kind of love into our families and homes.
     We can fill our homes with love in many ways. One way would be to speak words of encouragement to the members of our home. Build them up when they are in the home, because when they are outside of it, there are so many voices that will try to tear them down. We need to be purposeful to speak words of life to them, and not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph. 4:29)

     Another way to show love in the home is by serving your family. Acts of service speak volumes when it comes to loving our families with all we have. Think about all the tasks we do as the women of the home. We make meals, we wash dishes, we wash clothes, we sweep, we mop...the list goes on. I personally have come to thoroughly enjoy cooking and cleaning, because for me, I see it as a way to show love to my husband. After working all day, I know he appreciates coming home to a warm meal and clean house. Some women would think I'm crazy for the statement I'm about to make, but I can honestly say that I love serving my husband. Yes, let me repeat that... I love to serve my husband!

     When we first married I was not a good housekeeper. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but it's the truth. We were newly married, I began a new career which required me to take college courses one night a week, I was involved in Bible study one night a week, and I did childcare at church one night a week. By the weekends, I just wanted to relax. I now realize that this was not only lazy, but very selfish of me as well. When I stopped looking at cleaning house as more and more for me to do, and started looking at it as a way to serve and show love to Jeff, it changed my whole mindset. It was no longer about me, but him.

     I have now found that it is so much easier to maintain a clean home. Obvious, I know... but sometimes my stubbornness causes me to be a slow learner ;) My typical cleaning schedule consists of dishes daily, laundry and vacuuming every other day, and a deep clean once a week. My deep clean consists of mopping the floors, scrubbing the toilet and sanitizing the bathroom, wiping down countertops, stovetop, etc., and vacuuming again. (I'm a little OCD when it comes to vacuuming my carpet. I just love to always see the lines, that's all :)

     By following this schedule during the week, it gives me the weekends to focus on other things that would otherwise be overlooked or forgotten. For example, two weekends ago my goal was to get all the baseboards wiped down, as well as the vents, and windows. Then, this past weekend I was able to oil the hardwood floors, cabinets, coffee tables, and bedroom furniture. This weekend, I plan on tackling our utility room...again. Is it just me, or is this one of the most difficult areas to keep clean?

     Lastly, a way to show love in your home is by simply showing affection. Don't be afraid to shower your family with hugs and kisses. I love getting a hug from my husband at the end of a long day and it fills me with so much peace to know that no matter what happens during the day, I get to come home to him. Besides, who doesn't appreciate a good hug? :)

     My challenge for you this week is to fill your home with love by using encouraging words and affectionate touch. These two are the most important. Then, if time allows, I would encourage you to pick one area of your home that could use a little TLC and tackle it. If cleaning is not a way in which you choose to serve your family, find something that will allow you to serve them. Perhaps for you it could be making a delicious meal.Whatever it may be, serve them well! Happy Homemaking, friends!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I have been loving this happy and upbeat song by Mosteller, and can relate to it so much. I never knew the true meaning of life until I saw His love with my eyes, and it. changed. everything. Had God not intervened when He did, I am convinced that my life would be a complete wreck. I praise Him for lifting me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2) For this reason, my heart overflows with thankfulness and all I can say is, "Thank you Lord. Thank you. Only by your grace, love, and mercy have I been saved. You are so good to us, precious Jesus." My prayer is that today you would see His love with your own eyes, and overflow with gratitude to the only One who is worthy. Be blessed, friends!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies


     As if I wasn't ready for Christmas enough, making these tonight definitely added to the anticipation. As I was baking them I felt like I was at my aunt's house for our annual cookie day. Anyways, in preparation for an FCA event that my brother is helping to host tomorrow night, I made 6 dozen of these delicious little cookies. I got the recipe from the Hershey's Classic Recipe book, and was pleased with the results. Here's how to make em'...


1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups (12 oz. package) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Heat oven to 375. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

As for Me and My House- Week 1

     Yay! I am so excited to begin my first ever homemaking series. I'll admit, at first I thought to myself, "Am I even qualified to begin such a series? After all, I have not always been the best at keeping house and goodness knows I still have so much to learn." Then I thought if I felt this way, there must be others who feel the same I thought we could just learn and grow together :) I am so glad you are joining me here, and look forward to the next three weeks of discussing all things home.
     To me, home is a place where you love, grow, laugh, cry, and learn together. It is a place that you want to be and know that when you are are safe. Home is more than just beautiful, expensive decorations and a place to "show off" to other people. It's about the love, trust, and faith that is built fully upon God. Which brings me to my first topic of this series...building your home on the strong foundation of Christ.
     As a Christian, and a striving Proverbs 31 woman, this is of utmost importance to me. So, how can you build a home that is full of faith and Christ's love? One of the easiest and most effective ways is to pray together. There is power in prayer, y'all. Not only can prayer strengthen your home, but it will most definitely strengthen your family. Prayer allows us to see the heart of others, and what is worrying them, or filling them with complete joy.  A few years ago, my Bible study group would do what we called, High-Low. The goal was that everyone would say one high (good) thing, and one low (not so good) thing that happened that day. After everyone shared we would all thank God for the highs in our life and pray that He would help us with the low points in our life. A good time for your family to pray together may be at the dinner table. For others it may be bedtime, or first thing in the morning. It really doesn't matter when you pray together just as long as you do pray together.
      Another way to have a faith filled home is to do daily devotions together. For those of you who are running low on time, there are some really great one minute devotional books out there, such as Jesus Calling, Jesus Today, and Jesus Lives. (All by Sarah Young) There is no better place to be than in His Word together as a family. The bond that this can build is unexplainable. I can't explain it from a human perspective, but I can say from experience that when Jeff and I are in God's Word together on a regular basis, our love is stronger, the laughter harder, and the peace undeniable.
      Lastly, a way to build a faithful home is to literally fill your home with Christian decor. This is a great way to display your faith and a way to witness when guests are over. Here are a few pieces of decor that we have received and purchased over the years...

(Please excuse the glare. I took like 10 pictures and this was the best one.) This is the picture that overlooks our living room, and one of the first items we received when we moved in. (Thanks Mom and Dad :) In case you can't tell, this verse is from Rev. 1:8.
This is a small collage of pictures that adorns our dining room wall.
 An adorable canvas print that describes a Christian marriage. (Once again, thanks Mom and Dad!)
A cute plate holder as you walk into our living room. In case you can't tell, the plates read, Kneel in Faith, Stand in Courage, Walk in God's Love.
     My challenge for this week is to take time to pray together as a family, (don't forget those Highs and Lows :) spend time in His Word, and add at least one piece of Christian decor to your home. Let's strive to be homemakers who fully rely on God and seek out His strength daily. Our job as the woman in the home is not easy, and if we are not looking to Jesus for wisdom and strength, then we will fall. We daily need His perfect and gentle guidance to be able to guide and love our own families well. Without Him we will be like the man who built his home on sand, instead of the true Firm Foundation. Seek after Him this week, friends, as we all strive to create spiritually healthy homes. 
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15