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My Freshly Brewed Life: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Follow

Friday Follow

I am participating for the very first time in Friday Follow.  As a fairly new blogger, I always enjoy meeting new people and finding awesome blogs to add to my Google Reader.  What better way than participating here.

For those who don't already know me, I have been blogging for about nine months.  I am a wife, a mother to four children (ages 19, 16, 9 and 6), I work full time and am actively involved in ministry at my church.  My desire is to encourage woman from all walks of life through what the Lord puts on my heart to share.  My blog can be random at times, but always encouraging. I hope you will take some time to read some of my past posts. And of course, I would love if you followed me!

If you would like to link up your blog and meet some new bloggers, visit One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families or MIdday Escapades for more information.  

Happy blog hopping!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Captivating Bible Study - Week Six (Romanced)

In our last Captivating Bible Study, we discussed the subject of romance.  What woman does not love to be romanced, to be pursued and swept off her feet by the man she loves?  For those of us who have been married for a while, we discussed how easy the romance came early on in our relationships.  There were flowers, candy, opening of car doors, holding hands, phone calls just because, cards written, dinners made, etc.  As time has gone on, and especially once the kids came along, it hasn't always been easy to keep the romance alive. And there is the single woman, the one who has not yet found the man of her dreams and experienced romance as she desires, or the woman who has suffered a severed relationship and any thought of romance brings her back to hurt and pain. What about her desire for romance?  Will it ever be fulfilled?

No matter where you are in your relationships, God wants to romance you!  He is the only one who can fill the void in your heart.  No matter how much we want our significant others to fill those voids, most often, they will fall short.

Do you know that you have stolen God's heart?
Do you know that He longs to be with you?
Do you know that you were made for love --
to be loved by God and to love God?

Please take a moment to watch this video of beautiful images and hear this song by Brian Johnson called, "You have ravished my heart".

I pray this blessed you today!  Let Him romance you. He's calling to you, wooing you into His chambers. He wants to be with you, to share his secrets with you.

You have ravished His heart
with once glance of your eye!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Every Morning!

The faithful LOVE of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning.

In my brokenness, He restores me.
Through my tears, He brings Hope.
In my barrenness, He gives life.
He turns my sorrow into dancing.
He makes all things new.

His LOVE for me is great, and His mercies never ending!

*Photo Credit: Laura The Artist


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

He Loves Me!

 (Photo Credit:  Heart & Soul Reflections)

I have not been able to steer away from this theme of God's love. I am receiving so much new revelation from my Heavenly Father concerning His heart for me. I hope you are all being blessed, as well as reminded of how much He loves you!

When I was a little girl I remember picking daisy's and reciting the famous, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" song (or whatever it was) as I picked off the petals:
He loves me,
He loves me not,
He loves me,
He loves me not,
He loves me, he loves me not.

It just so happened that my petals often ran out on the "he loves me not" part.  For many different reasons, I grew up thinking that I was not worthy of being loved. For most of my adult life, I have had a skewed perception of my Heavenly Father's love for me. I would often ask myself why the Creator of the Universe would love someone like me?  I somehow found myself trying to separate His created being -- one worthy of love -- from this person who I felt I had made myself into.  And because I thought I was the way I was due to the gravity of my sin, therefore God did not have to love me.  After all, I was not His original design.  I was some made up version of the me He originally created. What a lie I've believed!  Is this not what My Jesus died for?  But God is beginning to bring greater revelation of His love for me.  I believe He is positioning me in a place where I can now fully begin to grasp the depth of His love!
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
I've been ruined by love. I've heard His voice loud and clear. There is nothing that will ever separate me from this truth.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He loves me,
He loves me not,
He loves me,
He loves me not,


Monday, April 26, 2010

And This Is How He Loves Us! - Team Hoyt

Yesterday I posted about being ruined by love.  If you didn't visit my blog yesterday, you can read about that here. Today I've been reflecting on the Father's love, and what that looks like.  I cannot think of a greater display of the Father's love than what is displayed by Team Hoyt.  Here is a little bit about this amazing Father/Son team: 

Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. As a result of oxygen deprivation to Rick's brain at the time of his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a "normal" life. This was just the beginning of Dick and Judy's quest for Rick's inclusion in community, sports, education and one day, the workplace.
*    *    *
In 1975, at the age of 13, Rick was finally admitted into public school. After high school, Rick attended Boston University, and he graduated with a degree in Special Education in 1993. Dick retired in 1995 as a Lt. Colonel from the Air National Guard, after serving his country for 37 years.In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."
This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman competitions). Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days. 
*   *   *
Rick was once asked, if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, "The thing I'd most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once."
The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt's 1000th race. Rick always says if it comes down to doing one race a year he would like it to be the Boston Marathon: his favorite race. Dick Hoyt hopes that he is able to push Rick in the Boston Marathon when he is 70 years old (2011)! Neither Dick or Rick are ready to retire yet.
Please take a few moments and watch this compelling video.  It will change your life and give you a deeper understanding of the heart of the Father towards you.

When I watch this video, I see a correlation of God's relationship with me.  He carries me, He pulls me along, He pushes me when I don't have the strength to continue.
  • When I can't, He can.
  • When I am weak, He is strong.
  • When I feel disabled, He is able.
    Allow His love to pour over you today!


    Sunday, April 25, 2010

    Ruined By Love

    Today during our worship service I was ruined.  I was ruined by love.  It all started with a picture God showed me as I was praying with the Worship Team before the service.  In the picture, I saw the Mountain of the Lord, and flowing from it was a very large waterfall.  What made the waterfall so unique was that it was very colorful, not just clear water, there were many, many colors.  The water flowed into a green. lush valley where people were waiting near the river bank.  Some of them held very large buckets, others large vases, others smaller containers, but they all went to the river and filled their containers with the water, the Living Water of God.  As I looked at the water, in it were all different kinds of jewels.  They were very colorful, all varying in size and shape.  I believe these jewels represented what God wanted to impart to His children this morning -- love, grace, joy, healing, peace, etc.  As those who had come filled up their containers and went on their way, I noticed there were others who were literally laying down near the bank of the river.  They looked tired, worn out, beaten down, out of strength. It was all they could do to muster up enough strength to put their cupped hands in the river and grab some water to drink. It was then the Lord began to speak to me that there are those who do not feel like they have the strength to partake of everything the Lord has for them, but He wants them to know that, similar to the woman who reached out to touch the hem of His garment and was healed, if we will simply lay down near the bank of the river and reach down into His Living Water, even the amount we grab with our cupped hands will be all that we need for our moment of weakness.  Sometimes all we need is a taste of His goodness to realize the magnitude of it.  To even drink a little is better than not drinking at all.
    Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. (Psalm 34:8-Message)
    I shared this revelation with the Worship Team and went out to sing.  Near the end of the set, our worship leader went into a prophetic song and began to sing over the congregation God's heart of love towards us.  It was at that moment that I was ruined by love.  You see, I haven't been able to hear the voice of the Lord concerning His heart towards me for some time.  I know He is always speaking, but due to lies that I have believed and false agreements I've entered into about myself, I wasn't hearing.  Or maybe I was hearing but simply couldn't believe that all of those thoughts towards me were actually mine to receive.  Today I heard clearly.  He spoke. I was ruined by love.  He said:
    • You are lovely
    • You are beautiful
    • You captivate my heart
    • I died just for you
    • I chose you
    • I will never leave you
    Oh, He said so much more!  But I was ruined, lost in His love, and could do nothing more than weep.

    Our Pastor preached on how God was a personal God and wanted to meet us today in a very personal way.  He is so faithful to meet us exactly where we need Him to. I've been longing for a deeper revelation of His love towards me.  My soul has been crying out for love, and love met me today.


    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Planting Chums Wk. 3 - Family Photos (Memories)

    4 - Four Fridays of CONNECTIONS (forging friendships)

    This week's Planting Chums topic is family photos that bring memories. Make sure you visit Hannah's blog to link up.  She is giving away some AMAZING prizes!  If there's one thing I've learned this week it's that I am NOT a photographer.  I do not have nearly as many pictures of my children or family that a mother of four should have.  I think it's time to dust off my camera. 

    I am not a snow person. I do not like the cold weather at all. My idea of snow is to sit in a nice warm cabin, sipping coffee, sitting next to a fire, while my children play in the snow. My husband's parents life in Arnold, CA and although we do not get up there when it is snowing often, when we do, my kids always have a great time.  Here are some photos of my youngest two childen: 

    Aaron was overjoyed to be in the snow!

    I love how he is trying to catch the snow on his finger tips here!
    And Kaylie is perfectly posed for the camera.

    I cannot believe Kaylie was running on the wet deck with boots on!
    (Catch me if you can!)

    I think they had a fun day!

    Stop on over to Hannah's blog and link up.  You just might win a fabulous prize!


    Friday, April 23, 2010

    How Does God See You?

    My dear friend Laura recently wrote this amazing story on her blog about a new revelation she received from the Lord about how He sees her.  I thought it was so amazing that I asked her permission to repost it here.  So my friends, this is for you.  May you realize that you ARE a treasure, a perfectly crafted and polished gem, handpicked by your Creator to display the beauty and glory of the Lord!

    Reposted from Laura The Artist:

    Recently I was asked to ask and ponder on How God sees me...I asked, "How do you see me God?" He answered that to Him I am a gem. At first I was disappointed because that is something that I hear frequently from others that God says about them. Then God went on to elaborate more to me. A beautiful gem stone cannot shine unless there is light flowing through it to bring out the fire and sparkle...God says that He is that light. A beautiful gem stone cannot even sparkle unless it has been cut and faceted...God says that He is the designer and maker. A beautiful gem stone cannot be properly displayed unless it is in a setting, a setting designed by the maker for it's specific use and purpose...God says that the Body of Christ is that setting - the community of believers, the culture of the supernatural. A beautiful gem stone must also be cleaned up, shined, and polished on occasion as the everyday atmosphere can dull it's luster and beauty...God says that "Jesus makes all things new" and that I am clean and pure. This revelation impacted me and gives me so much more understanding of how God sees me. Every gem stone is unique in shape, color, environment it comes from, and hardness. I am a treasure that was taken from a dark place, cut and shaped, faceted in pain and glory and put into a setting perfect for the Maker's use. I sparkle and shine, I delight and awe, and am worn in a place that God can see everyday. To the glory of God the Father.

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    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Sunshine Award!

    Bethany over at Confessions of a Chosen One has awarded my blog the Sunshine Award.  This award is given to blogs that inspire others, and show positivity and creativity.  I am so honored to accept this award.

    Some suggestions for the award:
    1) Put the logo within your blog or on your post
    2) Pass the award onto 10 fellow bloggers
    3) Link the nominees within your post
    4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
    5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

    I would like to Pay It Forward by passing this award onto 5 of my favorite blogs.  These women consistently inspire, encourage and strengthen me, let alone give me a good laugh now and then.  

    • Rachel @ A Steady Rain - I have to admit, it was her gorgeous blog design that drew me.  Rachel is always encouraging and uplifting.  She's a Pastor's wife and very involved in her church, as am I (well, not a Pastor's wife, but very involved).
    • Dionna @  Beauty In The Storm - Dionna is just plain honest.  She writes from her heart and her words always cause me to quiet my heart and ponder.
    • Julie @ Come Have A Peace - Julie's desire is that through her blog we will pause, be still and know His peace.  Every time I read her posts, He comes with His peace.
    • Carrie @ Confessions Of A Former Messie - I just recently began following Carrie's blog.  What drew me to her is that she's just real and not afraid to admit that she's not perfect.
    • Leanne @ My Home And My Hips Are Both Double Wide - If you are looking for joy and laughter for your day, this is the blog for you.  Nonstop laughter right here.

    Please take some time to visit these these amazing friends of mine.


    Feeling Overwhelmed

    I've been feeling a little overwhelmed over the last few days.  I tend to juggle life pretty good on most days, so when I do feel like the weight of the world is crashing down on me, I stop and take a personal inventory. Here are just a few of the things that I am asking the Lord to intervene and come to my rescue in:
    • My 16 year old son started on line school last semester. We are nearing the end of the year and so far I do not see a real change. I know that traditional school will not work for him.  So I am praying through what we will do next year.  He really is not a self-motivated person, but I am not sure I can thrust him back into a full-time school atmosphere either.  I Need God's Wisdom.

    If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5)
    • My house is a complete disaster.  I have only been able to manage to do what absolutely has to be done over the last couple of months (yes, I said months). That includes things like meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, homework, baths, playing with my kids, time in the Word and in prayer, work and ministry. I just don't seem to have the energy to keep up with the day-to-day tasks to keep my home in order.

    • I received some less than desirable tests results from the doctor yesterday.  In a nut shell, I must begin immediately to make healthier choices concerning my diet and exercise habits. Otherwise, I may be walking down a road God never intended for me to walk down. This is overwhelming to me. I am not a good dieter.  And yes, I know it is a lifestyle change, but I simply do not have the motivation to begin again.  I am afraid I won't be able to get myself to the place where I need to me. I Need God's Strength.

    Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor.12:9-10)
    For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13)
    • We are still waiting word from our mortgage company as to whether they will modify our loan so that we can keep our home.  We have been working on this for months.  They let our file expire so we had to start again. It's been extremely frustrating.  I Need God's Peace.  

    You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)
    • My husband is still sort of unemployed.  He has a temporary position which he works off and on, but it is still not a regular trusty source of income.  We really need that in order to be able to make our mortgage payments.

    • Our main freezer is broken.  Thankfully we have a smaller one in the garage, but it does not allow me to shop ahead and freeze things. I am not sure we can afford to fix it.  I need God's provision.

    And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
    • I feel like I am not spending "quality" time with my children.  Yes I work full time and only have so many hours left in the day, but I feel so rushed where they are concerned.  I am praying for creative ways to spend more quality time with them, and am asking the Lord to slow me down so that I am not so rushed. I Need God's Rest.

    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt. 11:28-30)

    • I have a bone spur at the bottom of my foot that causes intense pain on most days.  I am told there is nothing they could do for it, other than stretching and good supportive shoes.  What?  I am a Flip-Flip type of gal!  I Need God's Healing.

    But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
    Despite everything, I am trusting.  I know that He can lift this feeling from me. I do not want to rely on my emotions.  I trust in my loving Heavenly Father who knows I am not perfect and is the One who has everything I need.  He cares for me.

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    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Random Dozen Time!

    I'm linking up with my good friend Lid over at 2nd Cup of Coffee for the Random Dozen.  Here are some more random facts about me and my life!

    1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?"  No, but I think I've tried to act like the Library policy on more than one occasion.

    2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts? I am guilty of purchasing gift wrap items as I go along.  I can't seem to come to a place to spend the money on those things ahead of time.  I am proud to say that I do have a nice tidy place to keep it all organized.

    3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?  Yes!  I was working in downtown San Francisco during the Loma Prieta 1989 earthquake.  I was on the 5th floor of a high rise building and it was very scary.  We had to climb down the dark stair way to get out of the building. I remember wandering around SF for hours, as glass continue to fall out of building windows.  I was starving and all of the restaurants were closed. The only thing open were the bars.  Go figure!  BART was shut down so we had to wait to charter a bus to take us across the Golden Gate and my boss drove me home from there.  I finally made it home about 2:30 in the morning.  I was in quite a bit of shock in the 3-4 days following after watching the news coverage.

    4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?  OMG, I was a huge Barry Manilow geek.  I loved all of his songs, but I would have to say "I Can't Smile Without You" is the song I had the most fun singing back in the day.

    5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?  I can't for the life of me remember anything that I would have worn worthy of discussion!

    6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?  The dictionary.

    7. What's your favorite breakfast food?  Hashbrowns!

    8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?  No, but I've been known to splurge while watching QVC at times.

    9. Have you ever crawled through a window?  Well, since I can't remember, I guess not.  Or maybe I did and it just wasn't that eventful.

    10. Do you believe in love at first sight?  Yes, I do.  My husband and I met and were engaged 10 weeks later.  I knew by our second date that he was the one God brought for me to marry.  We will celebrate our 22nd anniversary in August.

    11. How man pairs of jeans do you own?  2 Capris and 2 full size.  I am not going to buy any more until I lose weight!

    12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes."  I am not much of a cake person, but it would be made of intense chocolate, and be all about coffee, be very elegantly decorated and be very delish!

    Stop on over to Lid's place and join in the fun!


    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    My Place Of Safety

    I've been meditating on Psalm 91 over the last couple of days.  This is one of my favorite portions of scripture.  It is full of the promise of God's protection and deliverance to those who abide in His presence and trust Him:
    1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
    The prerequisite to receiving this protection and deliverance from God is one of dwelling -- a continual abiding in the very Presence of the Lord:
     9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone; 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
    My desire is to continually abide in the Presence of the Lord.  Sometimes this may come at a cost, or a sacrifice.  Sometimes it may mean laying aside my list of urgent or important To Do's; it may mean saying no to a date with a friend; or it may even mean saying no to a new ministry desire, or allowing God to remove a responsibility that I already have, if even for a season.

    I am after the One Thing:
    One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
    Somedays I feel like I am so far from that place, but there are other days where I feel like I am right there.  I don't believe God would have us to wait until we get to Heaven to dwell in that place of safety, and gaze upon His beauty.  I believe that place is right now.  But it might take allowing God to rearrange our commitments and schedules as we allow Him to gently lead us there.  But once I get there, nothing can harm me.   God promises to protect me 
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)
    God says that because I know and love Him, He will deliver and protect me. How do we get to know God and love Him more?  By continually abiding in His presence, in the secret place.  For me, it's easy to go there in worship.  I get lost and caught up in my love for God and His love for me.  And through His Word.  It is my lifeline. Through it I am strengthened and refreshed. The next time I find myself looking into the face of the enemy through fear, doubt, unbelief, insecurity, or any other humanly emotion, I want the enemy to be reminded of Who I am and Whose I am! Because I love Him. Because I know His Name.
    Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  (Psalm 91:14) 

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    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Planting Chums - Week 2 - Fun Games

    4 - Four Fridays of CONNECTIONS (forging friendships)
    Today I am joining in Planting Chums - Four Weeks of Fab Favorites (complete with some awesome giveaways) over at Hannah's blog.  This week's topic is fun games. I hate to admit I am not much into games these days.  I do enjoy a competitive game of Candy Land and Tic Tac Toe with my 6 year old though.  As a child I did enjoy Monopoly, Life and Operation (is that a board game).  But some of my most memorable games were these:
    I Loved playing Jacks.  I tried to get my kids interested, but it didn't work!

    We would have chalk marks all over the street playing Hopscotch.  
    Very simple, but fun.

    My all time favorite though was a game of:

    Here is some great info I found about Kick the Can:

    While many childhood games have fallen out of favor for more politically correct modern versions where everyone's a winner, kick the can deserves to be placed in the game hall of fame. It deserves a comeback, not only among children, but adults as well.
    The secret to classic games lies in the simplicity of rules. Kick the can is no different and the rules are easy, a hybrid combination of tag and hide-and-go-seek.
    First, take a can and place it in an open area. This is "home base." Put rocks or marbles in it to make a nice hollow peal when someone kicks it. Second, select a person to be "it." "It" counts to 50, or some other predetermined number, and everyone else goes and hides. When time is up, "it" seeks those in hiding. When "it" finds somebody, he or she calls their name and races back to the can. If "it" reaches the can before the hidden person does then the person goes into "prison."
    Here's where it gets tricky. Once somebody is in prison, any uncaptured player can make an attempt to kick the can. If they make it, then anyone in prison gets to escape and hide again. "It" must retrieve the can and put it back in it's original location before they can go hunting again. If "it" reaches the can before the uncaptured player does, they can call out their name and they become captured.
    Once everybody is in jail, the first person to be put in jail becomes "it."
    We would literally be outside for hours on a summer night with the entire neighborhood of children playing this game.  I do have to admit though, I hardly won.  The boys could just run faster! Okay, the secret is out.  If you didn't already know about how old I was, you do now!

    Be sure to stop over to Hannah's blog to join in the fun of Planting Chums!


    Ultimate Blog Party 2010 - The After Party!

    Ultimate Blog Party 2010

    Well, I participated in my very first Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom!  I have never done so much blog hopping since I started my blog a little over a year ago.  I not only found a few, well several, actually many more blogs to add to my Google Reader; but most importantly, I gained many more wonderful blog followers.  Yep, it's all about the followers!  No, but really, I write for YOU in the hope that you will be encouraged and strengthened in your walk with the Lord by what I have to share. I can't encourage anyone if nobody is reading!

    If you visited me during the UBP2010, I hope you will visit often, or better yet, follow me!  Come on, don't be shy.  You know you want to!  I am so grateful to 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting the best Party I've been to in a long time.  I was telling some of my blogger friends that I was suffering from a "Blog Hangover".  Yep, it's true! But it's been so worth it.  I am looking forward to continue to visit the more than 2,300 blogs that linked up!

    Even though I found many wonderful blogs to follow, I can only list a few of them here.  It doesn't mean that if I don't list your blog here that I don't love you, so don't even go there!  Whether you are a regular reader, or simply visiting, click on over to these fabulous ladies and get to know them:

    Haley @ 
    Love, Life, Family and Then Some!
    When I visited Haley's blog, the first thing I read was her bio...."I'm not a supermom and I'm not perfect. I'm just me."  I think too often we try and strive for perfection as moms, wives, bloggers.  I knew Haley was going to be someone I could relate to!

    I have to say that Juliannah's Party post had me LOL!  She has come up with some fabulous cover names for everyone in her family.  I instantly knew she was going to be someone that could bring some humor to my life!

    I would follow any lady who leaves me a fresh cup of coffee in a pretty blue mug on their coffee table! I love the fact that she's random, admits that she's disorganized and has mountains of laundry waiting.  All things that I can relate to.

    This blogger features fabulous, safe consumer products for mothers, families, children and the home. I am alway looking for safe products for my family and since I rely largely on word of mouth, I thought Safe Mom would be worth hooking up with.

    I hope you have fun at the After Party!  Now, please go and visit these blogs that I've mentioned.


    So, What Do You Think?

    So, for those of you who visited today and thought you were someplace else, nope, you are in the right place.  I just had my blog redesigned.  Do you love it?  I know that I do.  Some would ask, "Why, since you only just went through a redesign in January?"  I did love my prior blog design, don't get me wrong.  But as a fairly new blogger, I think I am on a journey to find myself and truly figure out what this blog is all about.  I feel like I am transforming into something new, like when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

    So I have followed Hannah's blog for a while (found her through Abigail, who is Lynnette's daughter, who I also follow).  I know that every time I visited Hannah's blog, I loved how clean and simple it looked.  So I prayed about it and felt that it was time once again for a makeover.  Hannah was such a pleasure to work with.  She truly did an amazing job!  If you are in need of a new blog design, I am sure Hannah would be happy to assist!  You can find her here:
    I hope you will love visiting me in my new place!


    Captivating Bible Study - Week Five (Spiritual Warfare)

    This week we took inventory.  I wanted to find out where the ladies felt they were in the process of their healing.  I was encouraged by a couple of the testimonies that were shared.
    One of the ladies shared about how she experiences alot of anxiety when a certain family member comes to visit.  Last week this person came for a visit and she caught herself feeling anxious.  But she did not let it take over.  She stopped, asked the Lord why she was feeling anxious and moved through steps to calm her anxious heart.
    Another woman shared about how she had agreed with the lie that love was "stupid" -- loving others was stupid, to allow herself to be loved was stupid, because she always got hurt.  In her quiet time with the Lord, He gently spoke to her about this and wanted her to understand that love was one of the greatest emotions and that she was worthy of loving and being loved.
    We then moved onto discussing spiritual warfare.  Although I wanted to make sure that we did not focus our attention solely on what we believed the enemy was doing in our life, the fact of the matter is, satan prowls around like a hungry lion looking to devour us.  So, we need to be watchful, always on our guard.  Below are some scriptures that we referred to in our discussion:
    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
    I reminded the ladies that the enemy's soul purpose is to steal, kill and destroy the life and purpose that God has planned for us.  However, Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT LIFE!  We need to be aware and recognize the enemy's attack, and we also must begin to pursue our abundant life by taking steps to freedom!
    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
    If we remain humble before the Lord, submitting ourselves to His Lordship, mind, body and spirit; AND if we RESIST the devil -- taking every thought captive and not giving ear or thought to the lies or temptations that he brings with him, then he will have no choice but to flee! 
    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)
    The whole point in battling spiritual warfare is not to focus on the devil but to free us to love Jesus. We need to be aware of the enemy's schemes against us and all of those we love.  It is vital that we put on the full armor of God every day and stand firm in the truth, resisting the devil.  I like to look at it this way:

    • The "Belt of Truth" - this holds it all together and this is the place where we store our arsenal of weapons
    • The "Breastplate of Righteousness" - this covers our hearts.  It keeps us pure and full of love.
    • The "Shield of Faith" - this keeps the fiery darts of the enemy from coming in and therefore keeps us girded up in our faith and strong.
    • The "Helmet of Salvation" - protects our minds from the onslaught of the enemy's lies; it helps to remind us of who we are in Christ
    • The "Sword of the Spirit" - the Word of God.  His truth.  Without which we cannot stand.

    And always remember, you are stronger than anything that may try and come against you in this world.
    You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
    Rise up ladies! Rise up and be the beautiful, captivating woman that God intended for you to be.  You were called to shine and to reflect HIS glory!
    Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)