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My Freshly Brewed Life: May 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
So thankful to be hooking up with the Miscellany Monday today sponsored by Carissa at lowercase letters.  I've had quite a day and there is no time to think otherwise.  It's late and to think I almost missed it.
  • I'ts amazing how disconnected and just down right sad I feel when I have no internet.  I mean really, what did people do before the world wide web?  My internet was down for the last two days due to a broken modem. You should have seen me roaming around here like a lost puppy dog.  I was full of despair.
  • Well, it's 4:00 PM and I just ate lunch and have no plans as to what is for dinner.  Just threw some pizza bagels in the oven for the kiddos.  Where has this day gone?
  • I took tomorrow off as a mental health day.  I really need to begin the process of de-cluttering and packing up the house for our move.
  • I think I am going to treat myself to one of these tomorrow:
  • I really need to learn how to save more money clipping coupons.  I know others who save a fortune.  I would appreciate any tips or website referrals where I can learn this process.
Visit Carissa at lowercase letters for more Miscellany Monday hook ups!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

His Masterpiece

A fellow blogger posted this on her site today and I was so moved by this that I just had to share it with all of you!  Your Heavenly Father intimately and lovingly creates you!  YOU are His masterpiece!  The song is called "Paint Your Picture" by Julie Meyer.  May you be blessed today.


Friday, May 28, 2010

A Dwelling Place

(Photo Credit:  Heart and Soul Reflections)

Tonight in the Prayer Room we meditated on Psalm 84.  As I was meditating on this today in preparation for the set, I kept going back to verse one:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty.
We just received the final word (for the THIRD time) from our mortgage lender and they will not allow us to modify our loan due to our lack of income.  After going back and forth through different loan modification processes over the last year, and even losing money to a scam, I finally believe I have peace to move forward into this "new season" which God is preparing for us.  Yes, I still have times where, in my human weakness, I get a little worried and fearful, but I know that God has been with us on this journey and He is not going to leave us.  He will walk with us through this hard season, and JOY will come in the morning!

The Lord reminded me that I am His dwelling place.  He dwells inside of me.  WOW, I cannot even wrap my brain around the fact that the God of Heaven, the creator of the universe, has taken up permanent residence inside of me.  But what this means is that no matter where I go, no matter where I live, He will go with me.  I am the dwelling place of the Most High!

We have a lot to do over the next 30-60 days and I would so appreciate your prayers.
  1. We have to begin the overwhelming task of packing up 6 people and 16 years of stuff.  I would like to purge as I go, so please pray that I will have the strength and motivation to tackle this.  Thank goodness I am not a pack rat of any sorts.  There is not much that I am emotionally attached to.
  2. We need to find a place to live, in our current city, near good schools, within our budget (which we don't have at the moment).  There is a chance the new owner could ask us to rent back and that would be a miracle.
  3. My husband is still not working full time (was laid off from his construction job last June), so we really need prayer for a full-time position for him so that we can make our rent payments timely.
I know that God is good and that He will take care of us.  I appreciate all of you who have commented or emailed me with words of encouragement.  I love my blog community!  Your kindness has kept me going!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Blog Has A Song!

I am so excited!  A couple of weeks ago my friend Lynnette at Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground gave away a personalized blog theme song, to be created by her fabulously gifted son, Jared.  I won it!  If you haven't had a chance to visit Jared over at Symphonizeme, you have got to check out what this is all about.  I love music and I loved the fact that Jared would take a few bits of information and put together a personalized theme song that fits the personality of my blog.  So, what do you think?  Do you love it?  I totally do!  And if for some reason you don't , you won't hurt my feelings if you press pause on the player up in the top right corner of my blog so you can read in silence.

In other news, the lovely Tree of Mother Of Pearl It Is has awarded me the "Sweet Blog" award.  I am very honored to accept this award.  I hope my blog will always give out the sweetness of the Lord whenever someone visits me!  Thank you Tree!

Have a lovely day friends!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I had an amazing time in God's presence while sitting in our House of Prayer today.  It was nice to just sit before Him, without an agenda.  I didn't even open my computer, because if I had, I would have been distracted and missed the sweetness of the moment. I was reflecting on how God and God alone is the one who satisfies my every need.  I am not sure what the young man leading the devotional was singing, but I remember there were tears streaming down my face.  Then the Lord gave me a picture:
I was sitting in a very large garden.  All around me were flowers of every type imaginable.  I remember getting up and running from flower to flower to smell of it's fragrance.  After I smelled each one, I would turn and smile (as if looking right into the eyes of Jesus), but something always moved me onto the next flower.  Even though the fragrance of each one was sweet and pleasing to my nostrils, still it did not satisfy me.  I wanted more!
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the maidens love you!
(Song of Solomon 1:3)
In the next picture the Lord gave me, I was sitting in a very large room and there were many large tables filled with food.  I ran in and immediately began to taste all of the food.  After each bite I took, I would turn (again, is if looking right into the eyes of Jesus) and smile.  But I never seemed to be satisfied.  I was franticaly tasting of the food to find the one thing that would fulfill my desire.  I was full, but never satisfied!
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry 
with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
In the final picture I was taken to yet another room.  I remember being handed money (I am not sure by whom).  I again smiled and turned to Jesus.  I was so excited to receive the money, but as soon as I touched it it slipped through fingers.  And even though it would be nice to have a little extra money these days, I know that not even money can buy true satisfaction.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

(Isaiah 55:2)

It was at that moment that I was faced with my own barrenness.  The Lord in his gentle and loving way reminded me that He alone is the one who satisfies.  Why then do I sometimes chase after momentary satisfaction in things that will not last?  He spoke to me about my barren heart and that there are places that at times are not fully yielded or surrendered to Him.  When I am lacking in the ONE THING that will truly satisfy, I tend to run and look for momentary satisfaction elsewhere -- in food, to fill a void that only He an fill; in money, if we only had this much more money than we could........; even in the smell of a beautiful fragrant flower.  But that is only a simple reminder of a much bigger and more lasting beauty, one that will never fade away.
I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I'll contemplate his beauty; I'll study at his feet.  (Psalm 27:4)
I am in pursuit of the ONE THING that will satisfy me.  I long for it.  I yearn for it.  My heart breaks with the revelation that my actions may not always show what is in my heart.  Yet I know my heart is soft. Otherwise, I could not have cried tears over the state of my barrenness.  I long to be in His presence, to sit at His feet, to behold Him in His beauty.  I am thirsty, Lord, and I am hungry.  You alone can satisfy!
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)
Are you looking for satisfaction today?  Look to Jesus. He comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I am joining in with the lovely Carissa today for Miscellany Monday!  If you're like me and have a hard time jump starting your brain cells on Monday mornings, this is a perfect time to just let out whatever is on your mind!  Hop on over to lowercase letters and join in the fun!
  1. I am thinking I need to run to Costco today for some random stuff (toilet paper - so much better than that Angel Soft stuff!), tuna, Capri Suns, lotion, marinated Salmon in a box - so good), fruit, maybe grab a hot dog on my way out!
  2. I have been reading a lot about Bloggers who schedule their posts.  I have a hard enough time scheduling my life.  I wonder if I am the only one who blogs on the spur of the moment?  Some day I would like to be ahead of the game.
  3. I recently found Tweetdeck and it seems so much fun.  How in the world do you keep up with people on Twitter anyways?  I feel so far behind like I am missing so much of your lives! Someone please give me some Twitter tips!
  4. Looking forward to my upcoming trip to the Kansas City International House of Prayer in about 3 weeks!  I cannot wait to sit before the Lord in an atmosphere of worship and prayer without children pulling on me all the time!
  5. I recently started posting some of my art pieces at my new art blog, Expressions of His Beauty, created by the very talented Hannah at Vivid Design Studio.  I am in no way a skilled artist, but I love to get before the Lord and hear his heart and try and transpose that on canvass.
Happy Monday everyone!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Running The Race With Joy

This was delivered to my in box this morning and I just had to share it with you.  Sometimes in this journey of life we get weary or just plain tired.  I know that I do.  We have been dealing with our house situation for over a year now and just this week I found myself saying, "I'm done.  I don't want to even try anymore".  But God has told me, "Don't give up yet".  And I ask, "Where will I find the strength to go on?"  And He says, "My JOY will be your strength"!
"The joy of the LORD is your strength."
(Nehemiah 8:10)
When we find ourselves tiring along the path of life, we need to stop for a JOY refreshment.  It's all about drinking from the water of life and eating of His word.  When I am rooted and grounded in Him, His joy will overflow in my life and then my problems aren't so big anymore.  It is only by spending time in His presence where I will find true joy and as a result, the faith to continue to run.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy
in his dwelling place. (1 Chronicles 16:27)
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
So I run.  I continue on in this season of my life where there are moments of despair and worry.  Yet I trust.  I hope.  I continue to fix my eyes on the One who holds me in the palm of His hand and then I know everything will be okay.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Deeply Rooted

After spending nearly the entire day at home, in my jammies and not doing much of anything due to a head cold and just feeling blah, I managed to get out for a little bit tonight to have dinner with a new friend and grab some coffee (which I so desparately needed).  While at Starbucks, I noticed this picture hanging on the wall.  Although each branch had various statements written on them, my eye was drawn to the main statement of the picture:

The Deeper the ROOTS, the Higher the Reach!

Wow, there is so much wisdom in this picture.  It is so important that we let our roots go down deep, that we are rooted and grounded in HIM.  Roots are amazing things.  They know where to go to get the water.  The deeper the roots go down into the soil, the greater chance that the plant or tree above the soil will flourish and grow into it's fullness.  I believe the purest water flows underground.  It flows in the hidden and deep, dark places where it's just me and the Lord.  It is there in that place where He washes me with the water of His word.  It is in that place where I am nourished and cared for.  And because I allow my roots to go down deep, I am refreshed.  I grow stronger in faith and more secure in His love.  
  • I am now able to reach up higher.  Because I've spent time cultivating my relationship with the Lord in the secret, hidden and sometimes dark places, I have greater faith to access the never-ending resources of Heaven for my life. 
  • I am able to reach out farther.  Because I am deeply rooted and secure in His love, I am more capable of giving that love away to those around me.
I never thought I would say this, but I want to be like Job. 
For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew. (Job 29:19)
I want my roots to go down so deep that they reach the pure water.  I want to be refreshed, renewed and strengthened in His Word so that I can reach up high to touch the heart of God, and reach out far to touch others with His marvelous love!

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Custom Blog Design Winner!

Thank you to all of you who entered for a chance to win the custom blog design by Vivid Design Studio.  I've enjoyed visiting those of you who I didn't know before.  I am excited to announce that the winner is:

 Beth said:
Beth please contact me via email (located in my Blogger profile) within 24 hours to accept your prize! I am so happy for you!  I can't wait to see your new blog design!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Hannah for allowing me to host this amazing giveaway!  You are truly amazing!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog Design Giveaway Ends Tomorrow At Midnight!

Blog Design Giveaway - My Freshly Brewed Life

Hello friends!  This is just a reminder that the Custom Blog Design Giveaway by Hannah of Vivid Design Studio ends TOMORROW (Wednesday, May 19th) at midnight, Pacific Time.  If you haven't entered yet and would love a chance to win a custom blog design valued at $65 you can enter here.  Don't tell yourself you aren't going to enter because you won't win.  You just might!  Matter of fact, just today Lynnette gave away a personalized two-minute blog theme song, to be composed by her very talented son Jared of SYMPHONiZE, and guess who won? 

(Still jumping up and down, screaming and explaining myself to my family!)

So go ahead and enter.  You know you want to and you just might win!


Win A Personalized Theme Song For Your Blog!

Have you ever thought about what your blog would sound like in music form?  Would you like to have a personalized theme song written for your blog, something that is original, unique to only you, and carries the unique flavor of your blog? If so, head on over to my friend Lynnette Kraft's blog for a chance to win a one-minute personalized theme song for your blog composed by her son, Jared Kraft.  Don't miss this amazing opportunity!


And Suddenly...

 (Photo Credit:  Laura DeLeon)

Today God has been reminding me that He is a God of suddenlies.  There are many instances in the Bible where God suddenly appeared:
But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. (Numbers 16:42)
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
(2 Kings 2:11)
Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.
(Daniel 5:5)
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
(Acts 2:2)
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
(Acts 12:7)
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.
(Acts 16:26)
It has been like this for me over the last couple of days:
  • I find myself out of strength, barely able to move at times, and suddenly, He is here providing the strength I need for the next step.
  • I find myself getting fearful because I cannot see the road ahead, and suddenly, He is here assuring me that He is my front and rear guard.
  • I find myself unable to rest, and suddenly, He is here reminding me that He is the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Although we have a long road ahead to financial freedom, I know that My God is more than able to suddenly show up in our circumstances. And He is not just able...He is willing.  He delights in me and in my family.  He loves us so much that He will not allow any of the wrong choices which we may have made in our past to ruin the future He has planned for us. 
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

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Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Another Miscellany Monday!


I am learning to love the Miscellany Monday meme hosted by Carissa at lowercase letters.  Monday's are slow days for my brain, thus makes for an easy post!  And besides, don't you all get a kick out of my miscellaneous randomness?  Hop on over to Carissa's place and join in the fun!
  1. I've been thinking about how much energy it must take for someone to put a new roll of toilet paper on the thingy in the bathroom.  I mean seriously, does it really take that much?  I find this way too often in my home:

    Maybe I should invest in one of these?
    (Of course, in my home, the lid would be kept closed!)

  2. I would like to hire a professional laundry folder to come over and tackle my laundry.  I can wash and dry, no problem, but when it comes to folding, well, not so good.  My poor family is having to "fluff" their clothes before they put them on.

  3. It's 8:00am.  I have to leave in 15 minutes to take my kids to school.  Why am I sitting at the computer?  Oh, thank you hubby for taking the kids.  Now I can finish my post!

  4. I am thinking I really need to buy that coffee maker.  I have yet to have my coffee this morning and the grumpy's are rearing their ugly head.   Would anyone like to bring me some coffee?

  5. I love watching adoption stories on TV.  It makes my heart feel happy!
Have a blessed day friends!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Choosing Joy In the Midst of Fear

Today has been a hard day as I've sat and pondered the thoughts racing through my head.  To make a very long story short, we were notified today that our loan company will NOT be modifying our loan.  Apparently, we do not meet the "income requirements", especially since my husband got laid off last year.  I was so full of faith that we would qualify, due to our reduced income, but God has another plan for our family.  Fear has been the feeling that has been looming over me today.  I don't want to give in to it, but sometimes in my human state, I find myself there. This has been one of those days.  Yet, in every moment where I sense fear coming against me, I take a deep breath and tell myself to choose joy.  Joy is attainable, even in the midst of what can be a very fearful situation.  But it's a choice.  One that is not easy to make at times, but still, I have the choice.  Will I choose today to give in to fear and allow the enemy to torment me with lies that God is not good, that He will not provide for our family, that He will leave us alone to fight this battle?  Or will I choose joy -- the joy that tells me that God IS good, ALL the time; that He IS our provider, and will continue to provide for our family; and that God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.

Today, I am choosing JOY!
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:18)
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. (Psalm 5:11)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Follow

Friday Follow

I am linking up today with One2Try and Midday Escapes for the Friday Follow.  I have participated over the last couple of weeks and have found some incredible friends!  Won't you join in the fun this week?  Here's how you can participate:
  • * Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops. 
  • * Grab the Friday Follow button and include on your Friday Follow blog post.
  • * Follow the Friday Follow hostesses: One 2 Try and Midday Escapades
  • * Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like
  • * Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow
  • * Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow
 While you are here, check out my Blog Design Giveaway here!
Blog Design Giveaway - My Freshly Brewed Life


Captivating - Week 8 (Beauty To Unveil)

"Show me your face, let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet and your face is lovely."

(Song of Solomon 2:14) women, we desire it, we long for it, we yearn for it.  Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth.  Beauty speaks.  Beauty invites.  Beauty nourishes.  Beauty comforts.  Beauty inspires.  Beauty is transcendent.  Beauty draws us to God.  The essence of a woman is beauty.  She is meant to be the incarnation of a captivating God...a God who invites us.   A woman who is unveiling her beauty is inviting us to life!  

But what are the messages that we have been told about beauty that have distorted our image of it?  This was the topic of discussion this week in our Captivating Bible Study.  As the facilitator of the group, I wanted so desperately to be the one who could respond with the undeniable "yes", when it came around to my turn to answer the question of the night:  "Do you think you are beautiful".  Although I believe that God is beautiful and that His creation bears His image, I still struggle with accepting what God says about me...that I AM BEAUTIFUL and that I have something to offer to this world.  And it grieves my heart.  Because I know that it grieves God's heart.  If I was made in the very image of God but cannot accept myself as beautiful, then am I not telling God that I, whom He created, am not good enough?

Why do I get stuck here?  I am tired of going around this same mountain.  I have believed the lies of the enemy that others told me that:
  • I am undesireable; 
  • I am not worth keeping; 
  • I am not pretty;
  • I do not matter
  • I have nothing to offer; 
  • I am not good enough. 
How many times will I lay this hurt and pain at His feet, only to pick it up again and again?  My heart is still in need of Jesus' healing. One woman on the DVD shared this quote which I've been reflecting on over the last couple of days:
"I know God loves me, and if He can delight in me, then there's something there."
God loves me!  He delights in me.  And because of that truth, I can rest in knowing that I am beautiful.  I have His attention!  In His eyes, I am the essence of beauty!
The King is enthralled by your beauty.  (Psalm 45:11a)
Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me." (Song of Solomon 2:13b)
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil.  (Song of Solomon 4:1a)
You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
Do you have trouble seeing yourself through God's eyes?  Look up!  The more we gaze on the beauty of the Lord, the more we will be able to see ourselves in the light His beauty.  Take some time this week to ask the Lord to show you the truth of what He says about you.  Allow Him to unveil your beauty!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Award Love!

Libby at Latte Mama has awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. I don't really know what a versatile blogger is, but the dictionary describes versatile as "being able to adapt to many different functions or activities".  I think this rings true of my blogging style, very versatile and adaptable, subject to change at a moment's notice. I am so honored that people actually read my blog and are blessed.  The Lord never ceases to amaze me! So, without further adieu,

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.  (Thank you Libby!  I commented on your blog!)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself (see below).
  3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.  (I am not sure I will get to 15, so I may bend the rules a little here.)
  4. Contact the bloggers you've picked at let them know about the award.  (Yes, will do!)
Okay, here are 7 random things about me:
  1. I have 3 laundry baskets full of clothes that need to be folded staring me in the face.
  2. Why is my head spinning?  Oh yea, I had way too much coffee today. I am addicted to caffeine.
  3. I love grilled cheese sandwiches.
  4. I bite my nails.
  5. I am resisting getting bifocals.  Yep, I wall wait this one out as long as I can!
  6. There are 193 blogs in my Google Reader.  How many will this thing hold anyways?
  7. I am trying to grow my hair out and it's at the "frustrating" point.
How's that for random?  Okay, here are 5 (sorry, 15 is such a big number) blogs I would love to give some bloggy love to!

Kate is a new blogger and I remember what it's like to be brand new.  
I love her realness and have loved getting to know her through her blog.

Jill @ Jill Boyd's Place.  
Jill never ceases to make me laugh.  
She is a Pastor's wife, has lived in Africa as a missionary, 
and is an accomplished writer!

I just recently started following Holly's blog.  
I don't know her all that well, but her blog is very inviting and makes me 
feel right at home.  I am looking forward to getting to know her better.

Traci Michele @ Ordinary Inspirations.  
Traci is an amazing communicator of the truth of God's word!  
Her posts really stir my heart to go deeper and she is always encouraging.

Adoption Mama @ The Puebla Ponderosa.  
I love this woman!  She is full of wisdom, love and encouragement 
and has a great outlook on life!

I hope you will visit these ladies and pass on some comment love!


Blog Design Giveaway - Vivid Design Studio!

Blog Design Giveaway - My Freshly Brewed Life

I am so incredibly excited about this giveaway. Hannah at Vivid Design Studio has so graciously offered to give away a custom blog design, valued at $65, to one amazingly lucky one of you! I met Hannah through Abigail Kraft's blog. One day I was reading Abigail's blog and say a button for Hannah's Aspire blog. So like most of you (come on now admit it), I click buttons in other people's blogs hoping to find more great blogs to add to my already overflowing Google Reader.  As soon as I opened Aspire, I was so impressed by what I saw.  Her site was so clean, fresh and inviting.  I had been feeling for a while that I wanted to have my blog redesigned and as soon as I saw Hannah's I knew what I wanted.  Hannah is an amazingly talented young lady who loves the Lord with every ounce of her being.  She was a joy to work with.  I was privileged to have her not only design this blog, but also my "work in progress" art blog, Expressions of His Beauty.  I am so excited to have her design one of your blogs!

So, here is how to enter this fabulous giveaway.  The mandatory entry is, well mandatory.  Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry that you do, and make sure to comment on this post. 
  1. Mandatory Entry:  Follow My Freshly Brewed Life and
    leave me a comment letting me know that you do. (1 entry)
  2. Follow Vivid Design Studio.  Leave Hannah a comment on her blog,
    and come back here and let me know that you've done so! (1 entry)
  3. Put the giveaway button on your sidebar. (1 entry)
  4. Post about this giveaway on your blog (1 entry)
  5. Follow me on Twitter - Barbie2365 (1 entry)
  6. Follow Hannah on Twitter - livingvivid (1 entry)
  7. Tweet about this giveaway. (1 entry)
  8. Post about this giveaway on Facebook.  (1 entry)
The winner will be selected using the Random Number Generator.  This giveaway will close at midnight (Pacific time) on Wednesday, May 19th.  The winner will be announced on my blog on Thursday morning, May 20th.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's A Social Parade - Google Friend Connect Link Up

I happened upon The Social Parade from Ashley's Blog.  It is hosted by Smart, Trendy Moms.  As a fairly new (less than a year) blogger, I love to find fabulous blogs to read, and LOVE my followers.  If you are visiting for the first time, I hope you will enjoy what you see and read.

To participate in the Social Parade,
  • Follow the blog in the first spot via Google Friend Connect.  All blogs participating must post about Social Parade and link to that on the linky:)
  • Link-up your blog post for "It's a Social Parade" that you made on your blog.
  • Follow as many as you like commenting on their POST as you do so they can follow back! 
Now isn't that simple?  So what are you waiting for?  Join the parade and follow along!  Have fun!


What Do You Smell Like?

Did the title grab your attention?  I have been thinking about what I smell like these days. Am I fragrant, or do I permeate a bad smell that makes people not want to be near me?  My desire is that I would be a pleasing fragrance first to the Lord.  Secondly, I want others to smell the fragrance of the Lord on me.  Is that possible?  Is it something others can smell? It was Christ who first offered Himself as a pleasing aroma to God on our behalf:
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
If my smell is to be sweet, I must first walk in love, following Christ's example.  This is not something that is always easy for me.  I often speak harshly out of frustration, and I've been known to raise my voice to my children, thinking that if I did that they would truly hear what I was saying.  I forget that it's when God comes with a still, small voice, how I am more prone to listen.  I have been known to have a bad attitude without any regard to how it may be affecting the atmosphere around me. I am on a journey of self-discovery and learning how to love myself as well as others the way Christ loves. When we are walking in love, we just smell good and others are attracted to us.  When we aren't walking in love, well, we stink.  Who wants to be around someone who stinks?

I took this picture at my sister's house on Mother's Day.  Isn't this rose beautiful?  Not being a gardner myself, I did some research on roses.  I believe there is much we can learn from a well-taken care of rose and the beautiful fragrance it produces. 
  • Sunlight -  Roses need plenty of sunlight.  As Christians, we must continually walk in the Light of His love.  We are called to shine forth the glory of the Lord!
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the
LORD has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)
  • Good soil - Roses must be planted in good soil if they are going to grow.  We must continue to allow our roots to go down deeper into the good soil of Christ. It's just easier to plant things in good soil!
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:3-9)
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  (Colossians 2:7)
  • Fertilizer - Roses are fertilized twice a year so they will reproduce.  We must fertilize our minds with His word daily so that we can grow and be more like Him.
Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth. (Matthew 4:4-Message)
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.  (2 Corinthians 3:18
  • Pruning - Roses are pruned to allow for new growth.  We must embrace the pruning of the Lord.  It is for our benefit and good things will grow in our lives because of it.
  • Thinning - Roses are thinned, removing dead leaves and stems to allow for health and vitality.  We must allow the Lord to remove from our lives anything which will hinder us from bearing good fruit. 
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4)
I want everything that I do, and every attitude that I have, to be a sweet smelling fragrance unto the Lord. I want my love for the Lord and for others to be attracting to the world around me. I want the fragrance of Heaven to permeate out of every fiber of my being. Through my life, I want others to taste and see that the Lord is good!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Miscellany Monday

I am joining in with Carissa of lowercase letters for  Miscellany Monday.  This is perfect for me today because I am tired and having trouble figuring out which of my three posts that are in draft to put up.  Here's my miscellaneous randomness:
  1. I have a serious coffee addiction.  However, I am thinking this is something I cannot afford to purchase every day, so am on the lookout for a new coffee pot.  Any ideas?  And although I would love an Espresso machine, I just can't afford one.
  2. I am sitting in Starbucks right now waiting for my son to take his STAR testing.  I have 2.5 hours to burn.  I wonder how much coffee I could drink during this time?
  3. I am thinking I really would love to hire a maid.  When I was pregnant (why back when) I had one come every other week and it was so nice.  I will admit the house only stayed clean for about 10 hours but it was wonderful while it lasted.
  4. My daughter and son will celebrate their 10th and 7th birthdays in June.  Kaylie would like to go to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Should be easy to plan that.  Aaron has already expressed his interest to go back to Chuck-E-Cheese and spend $1,000 on tokens for prizes he will either lose or break.  Does anyone else have an aversion to that place?
  5. I am approaching my One Year Blogiversary in July.  I am so excited!
Well, how's that for random.  I hope I didn't bore you.  Be sure and stop over to Carissa's blog and join in the fun!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Captivating Bible Study - Week Seven (Loving A Man)

Women play a crucial role in the lives of men, not only their husbands, but also their brothers, sons, friends, bosses and co-workers.  This week we took just a small peek behind the curtain into the heart of a man.  With the help of the DVD lesson which represented a small group of men, we discovered that the core question in a man's heart is "Do I have what it takes?  Am I a real man?".  As women, we want to answer this question as a "yes" in every way, with not just our words, but also with our actions.  I remember as a child growing up that my brothers always wanted to play the role of the hero.  Every time there was an altercation that involved me, they would immediately come to my rescue.  If I need someone stronger than me to carry something, or fix something, I would call on my dad or brothers to help me. 

I shared a real-life situation that happened recently,
In our home, the toilet often gets clogged, badly. Now, some of you may immediately go looking for a man to assist you in this very arduous task of fixing the toilet.  Me, however, nope, I can do it myself!  So not too long ago, the toilet was clogged.  And ladies, I mean it was CLOGGED!  So, I took up my handy-dandy plunger and began to attack the toilet with great confidence.  I attacked.....and attacked.....and ATTACKED....and got frustrated and ATTACKED again (and by this point in time I am sure everyone in the house could hear me attacking the toilet).  Nothing, the water would not let go of the grip it had on the toilet bowl.  After a few very loud mutterings, I screamed for my husband.  And it was not a "Hey babe, would you please come and see if you can help me with the toilet" type of scream.  Nope, it was more of a "Hey you, can you get up and unclogged this stupid thing"!  And of course, he got up and eventually the water lost it's grip and we had the ability to now flush once again.  The hero had come to my rescue.
I realize now that I probably should have asked my husband to take care of the toilet in the first place.  I can now imagine what my husband might have been thinking because I so very loudly took matters into my owns hands.  "She doesn't need me""I don't have what it takes."  "Isn't this what a man is supposed to do."  Well, I think it's about time I schedule a date night with the hubby.  I think he needs to be romanced and told how very much I appreciate him and that he really does have what it takes, and that next to Jesus, He IS my hero! 

Next week we will be discussing our need to play an irreversible role in this world.

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Friday Follow (May 7th) & Mother's Day Giveaway!

Friday Follow

Adventures of a Wanna-Be Supah Mommy
I had such a blast participating in Friday Follow last week, that I could not pass up joining the fun again!  If you are visiting my blog for the first time, Welcome!  My goal in blogging is to encourage women from all walks of life, through what the Lord is teaching me on my journey.  I pray you will find hope and encouragement here.  Also, every blog who links up gets a chance to win a fabulous prize!  To participate in the Friday Follow and learn more about the giveaway, visit One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families, or Midday Escapades to read more about linking up.  Now, I am off to visit some very cool blogs!  Won't you join me?


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grace, Grace & More Grace

God has been speaking to me about grace over the last few days.  Some definitions of Grace are
  • an attractively polite manner of behaving
  • courteous goodwill
  • the free and unmerited favor of God
I have been seeing the number "5" a lot lately, and especially the time of "5:55" on the clock everywhere, sometimes 2x a day.  Because of this, I've been claiming and declaring an increase of God's grace over my life.  And although I believe God IS allowing me to receive that increase, He has also revealed to me that although I have received His grace, I do not always walk in it, nor do I extend it to others.  Ouch!  As I prayed for deeper revelation about this, I came to realize that there are many times when I neither walk in His grace, nor do I extend it to others. Some examples,
There have been mornings where I've overslept.  I've rushed my kids out of bed, asked them to eat their breakfast quickly, asked them to hurry and get dressed, brush their teeth, etc., and hurried them out to door and off to school.  My behavior was less than attractive, and because they were rushed, my childrens' attitudes were less than polite.
There have been times when I've been at the grocery store and the checker was either new or just having a bad day.  I remember standing in line thinking to myself "can she possibly go any slower? I mean really, do I look like I have all day?".  My attitude towards her did not reflect mercy, neither did I care to be courteous or extend goodwill to this person.
There have been far too many times where I have gotten frustrated with myself and have verbally talked down to myself about something I said, or did, or didn't do.  I can be so mean to myself sometimes and never even think that I deserve a break. In those moments, I was not acting like a person who had received the unmerited favor of God over her life.  I was far from accepting of the grace that God had freely given to me.
I do not just want to receive God's grace.  I want to walk in it and extend it to everyone that crosses my path, starting with my husband and children.  I want to be known as a woman of grace, one who extends mercy to herself and to those around her. 
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I'm found,
was blind but now I see.
God freely extended grace and mercy to us.  We did not deserve it.  It was a gift.  Now that we've taken this gift for ourselves, we must learn to walk in it daily, and allow God to show us how to extend it to others.  God is full of compassion and I love His gentle reminders when we fall short.  My prayer is that I will walk in the light of His grace every day and lavish that same grace onto others.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

National Day of Prayer Observance

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer
This year's theme is
“Prayer for Such a Time as This”

and is based on the verse from Nahum 1:7 which states: 
 “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in Him.”
 Tomorrow I will join others from our church and city who will gather
at our local City Hall to lift up our Nation before the Lord in prayer.

Will you take a moment tomorrow to stop and pray for our Nation? 
Your prayers really do matter!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Growing Pains

Tonight I was putting my son, who is 6 years old, to bed.  He told me that he had a pain in his leg.  He said, "Mommy, I have a growing pain".  Since I always pray for him before he goes to sleep, I immediately stepped in with authority and faith and began to ask Jesus to take the pain away.  When I was done praying, I kissed him and started to tuck him in.  My beautiful boy, full of wisdom, looks at me and says:
"Mommy, please don't pray for my growing pain to go away.  If you ask Jesus to take the pain away, that means I won't grow".
Oh, out of the mouths of babes!  But in that moment, the Lord began to gently speak to me.  Life hurts sometimes.  There will be pain and disappointment.  There will be times when we feel like we cannot go on, that to have to live through the pain would be unbearable.  But sometimes growth only comes when we allow ourselves to walk through the pain. I am not saying that we should not go after physical healing. But I feel the Lord clearly spoke to me about our journey in general.  Yes, there are times when we must take the authority we have been given in Christ and pray the pain away.  But I also believe there are other times when we simply must embrace our pain, asking the Lord to help us to endure it.  In those times, we grow and we become stronger.  We walk away from those seasons in our life with greater faith and strength for the next leg of our journey.

I will continue to pray and ask the Lord to take away my children's growing pains.  What mother would put her child to bed with pain and ask the Lord to allow them to endure it?  But there will be other times when my children will have to walk through their pain, and in those times, I will surrender them back to the Lord, trusting Him, and asking Him to help them to walk through it. They will be stronger because of it.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

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More Random Dozen Randomness

I am joining in again with my friend Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee for a rather random Random Dozen! This is a great way to get to know more about each other.  And, even if I've already answered a question, I probably won't remember my answer and will most likely answer it differently!  So why don't you jump on over to Linda's and join in the fun! 

1. What was the last thing about which you procrastinated?  Cleaning my house.  I've been procrastinating on that one for months!

2. How long does it take you to fall asleep, and do you sleep through the night?  Considering I don't even go to bed until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m., it doesn't take me long at all to go to sleep.  Sleeping through the night is a whole other issue. I have a 9-year-old daughter who struggles with nightmares and fears, so she is up off and on.  And then there's bladder that calls me a couple of times in the night most of the time.  

3. Which decade would you choose to exemplify your favorite fashion styles?  Hmmm, I don't really have a fashion style.  What decade is that?

4. What is your personal best dish to feed a crowd?  My husband makes a rockin bean based Chili!  My personal best would have to be my potato & linguica enchiladas.

5. Are you an impulse shopper? What was the last thing you bought on impulse?  I can be a little impulsive, but only when it concerns buying clothing for my children. Otherwise, nope.

6. What is one wish you have for your own funeral?  I want people to laugh.  I would like to know that I made a difference.  I hope I can listen in.

7. If it's true that joy is in found in the simple things in life, what does your joy look like today?  Today, my joy is sitting right next to me in the form of an extra bold Mocha Freddo from Peet's!

8. What is your favorite type of bread?  Sourdough!

9. What trait do you fear developing the most? (Laziness, greediness, grumpiness, etc.)  Grumpiness.  I think some days I am already there.  It's something I am hoping doesn't hang around for too long.  I believe it's a choice.  Today I am choosing JOY!

10. What trait would you like most to develop?  Patience.  But I know better than to pray for that one!

11. Which room in your house best reflects your personality? Why? Hmmm, my prayer room. I have my art hanging all over the place.  It's pretty random and abstract and I think I am too.

12. How do you maintain balance in your life regarding, work, family, church, other organizations and activities, and blogging?  I have come to realize that I cannot do it all every day.  Work, family and church are my priority daily. After that, I am learning to balance ministry, activities and blogging.  I am learning to say no and hear the Lord concerning what I should and shouldn't be doing.  As far as blogging, I try and do this at night after the kids are in bed.


Monday, May 3, 2010

God Is My Hope

Today has been one of those days.  I can't quite but my finger on it, but it's like something is trying to pull me down.  I am a little under the weather with a few things, a little overwhelmed with a few other things, but nothing so big as to cause a downward spiral.  Nonetheless, I do not like feeling this way.  I feel somewhat paralyzed and am having a hard time even conquering the simplest things.  I was thinking this morning that it would be so nice to crawl back into my nice, warm bed and sleep for another day or two.  But that is not reality.  Reality is that the Lord is with me.  He is for me and not against me.  He is my refuge in times of trouble.  He hides me in the cleft of the rock.  He is my hope and He watches over me.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11)
I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - He who watches over you will not slumber; Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you The LORD is your shade at your right hand; The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; The LORD will watch over your coming and going Both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121)
Many years ago, I suffered from extreme bouts of depression.  Since then, I've learned to dig deep inside during moments like this to find the Joy of the Lord, which is my strength.  I know now to go to His Word, to Worship and to Prayer, all sources of strength.  During one of those extreme bouts of depression about eleven years ago, I wrote the following poem.  I just found this the other day and feel led to share it here in the hope that it might encourage someone going through a rough time.

A Prayer From My Heart
How long, Oh Lord, will my soul be in anguish?
The turmoil is raging uncontrollably within me.
I know that Your Word says that You will never leave me nor forsake me,
but I feel so alone, hopeless and afraid.
Lord, deliver me from these feelings of hopelessness and fear,
for I truly desire to put my hope in You, the giver of life.

Show me, oh Lord, the way into the secret places of Your heart.
I have gotten lost within the turmoil of my life and I cannot find You.
But I know that You wait for me, as a Father waits for His child.
So wait for me, oh Lord, and when I find You, hide me in the
Shadow of Your Wings until I am once again able to soar as the Eagle.

Strengthen me, oh Lord, and set me upon the solid Rock.
I do not want to waiver back and forth between hope and despair.
Lord, show me the path that I must take and place me upon solid ground,
ground that will not be shaken when everything around me is.

Teach me, oh Lord, to trust You, even when it seems as though
everything around me is falling apart and I cannot see what lies ahead.
Increase my faith Lord, not faith in man or in myself, but faith in
knowing that You are on the throne and that You are working in my life.

Cleanse me, oh Lord, from the impurities that keep me from
serving You with a whole heart.  Show me, Lord, those things
that are not pleasing to You and remove them from within me.
Place me upon the Potter's Wheel and mold me and shape me
more into the likeness of Your image.

Take my brokenness, Lord, and use it for Your glory.
I desire to completely yield and surrender to Your will.  
Whatever You desire to do in me and through me, Lord,
I give You permission. But use my brokenness Lord,
and make it into something glorious for Your Name's sake.

Thank You, Lord, that Your grace is unfailing and that
Your mercies are new every morning.  Show me Your grace, Lord, 
and use me according to Your will.  Forgive me, Lord, for not
trusting You, and show me Your mercy so that I in turn can
show mercy to others.

Lord, I love You, but I know that Your love for me is
far greater than my love for You can ever be.
But I want to love You more Lord, show me how.
You alone are the treasure that I seek and the only
true desire of my heart.  I long to be with You, to talk with You,
to laugh with You, to cry with You, to dance with You.

I give you my life, Lord.  Use me, not according to my plan
but according to the desires that You have placed deep within
my heart and according to Your perfect plan. 
I am Your willing servant. May I be found pleasing in Your sight.

*You have my permission to share this poem with others, but I would appreciate a link back to my blog.  Thank You!