Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Peace that Passeth All Understanding

Photo Credit

I can't begin to imagine what the families in Connecticut are going through.

I know what I went through yesterday which doesn't even begin to compare. I felt a little more threatened as our family went to the polar express last night. It crossed my mind more than once that someone could verily easily pull out a gun there in the midst of hundreds of people and shoot many of us.
I also felt a lot more thankful for my two girls. As soon as I heard it on the radio I walked back into the room where they were and tears filled my eyes.
As I got up this morning and continued to hear and read about this sad situation I realized two things:
  1. We can't control those around us or even what they do to our children.  We also can't constantly live in fear of what others around us may do.
  3. We can control our actions. We can help prepare our children and give them a sense of hope even in the midst of the darkest situation.
We aren't promised tomorrow. What happened yesterday could happen at any school, mall, sporting or Christmas event right around us.
As these shots were fired I imagine the children (and teachers) were terrified.  However, I also imagine some of them had a deeper peace as they just went to sleep in the arms of Jesus. Those that had a Mom, Dad, gradmother, grandad or someone else that had taken them to church. Those that had a loved one share the good news about the Christ child born many years ago. Those that had accepted the greatest gift ever given-Jesus.
While we all are still celebrating Christmas in a broken world they are experiencing complete peace, joy, hope and love.
No-we can't protect our children from everything and everyone. Some things are just out of our hands. But let me tell you what we can do-we can help lead them to the one who can.
They ultimately have to make that decision on their own but how much easier will it be for them to see Christ if we are living a life where He can be seen?   How much easier will it be for them to face even the most difficult situations knowing Christ is on their side?
So I ask: If your child was in that position would he/she have peace and a greater hope? Have you done everything possible to ensure they do?
If not it's the perfect time to start and share the story of Christmas and how it all began. Instead of rushing around searching for a perfect toy, lead them to a gift that will last an eternity.  And I encourage you not just through this Christmas season or through this time of mourning for those in Connecticut but make it a lifetime commitment. Christ came to this world to die for us the least we can do is live for Him.
And in living for Him we can help pass onto our kids a peace that passeth all understanding.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thirsty Thursdays: Friend Ships

Last year during our revival the evangelist mentioned that if he would walk into a public place and shoot 5 people that would make the news; however, if 5 souls were saved and gained eternal life, that certainly would not be making the news. It hit me then-it's sad but true -the bad news is reported FAR more than the good.

While there is plenty of bad news, there's also plenty of good. God is still doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He's not just a God present in the Bible but he's present in our lives today. I have been greatly inspired and encouraged by some of the "stories" I've heard lately. I have wanted to start a new feature on my blog for quite some time sharing these stories and incredible people with you. I feel that now more than ever we are thirsty for some good news! It's my prayer that you will be encouraged, inspired and refreshed...

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25

About 6 or 7 years ago, I went with a church group in Lake Charles, Louisiana to "tour" Friend Ships.  I walked onto a massive ship and saw a full blown mission field.  Lots of people volunteering, not just for an afternoon, but for a year or even a lifetime. They had completely given their lives to help those in need.  They were living day by day depending on God for their next meal and anything else they needed.  It was there on one of these ships that it first hit me.  The Bible is God's Living Word.  He didn't just expect people in the Old and New Testament to completely give their lives to Him but He expects it of us today.  And what's even more is that when we fully trust Him He provides.  Don and Sondra Tipton are living proof...

Port Mercy in Lake Charles, LA where we toured

Don and Sandra Tipton were the owners of a Polo and Hunting Club. As they began to study deeper and deeper into God's Word they became more and more concerned. They were watching the rich literally throw money away and become richer while others were starving and homeless. In the book Jesus and Company they talk about the struggle and change that took place in their lives:

We had a simple thought-not really understanding at the time that the Holy Spirit sometimes puts thoughts into our mind. What if we take from this land of plenty what it doesn't want, what it is spending millions of dollars on each year to burn and bury? What if we take the crumbs from the tables of the wealthy and share them with our brothers and sisters and children who are poor and starving? If there truly is a need -and there is-if we are our brother's keeper and it is our job to help the poor, the widows, the orphans and those in need, if the Lord is the great provider, and if we were willing and said,"Here we are, Lord send us," would he really supply? If someone was willing to love this children in need, if someone did it for the glory of God, would the Lord turn his face from them?...
We began to realize that knowledge of the Word without putting it to the test is only knowledge, that it's easy to say we believe and trust God; the hard part would be putting our faith to work...We knew this would take trust, complete trust. We would have to give up the business, our only means of support. We would be totally dependent on the Lord to provide our food, our clothing, our everything"
So with only $38 in an account and knowing nothing about the sea or ships Don and Sandra felt God was calling them to buy a ship. They started looking knowing they didn't have the finances to purchase one. When God works he works big! They ended up being GIVEN a massive seven story ship. It needed a lot of work and parts but God provided it all for them.

Fast forward a few years and several miracles later...They now have not just one ship but 5 ships!  Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods have been delivered around the world to those in need. Medical care has also been provided to those in need. A Friendships village has been established in Honduras. Check out their October newsletter just to see some of the things accomplished last month.  All of this not because two people had a lot of money to give or even a lot of knowledge but simply because they were willing.

For more information on Friendships check out their website or FB page.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tot School: Thanksgiving

I know I’m WAY behind on my Tot School posts (and Tot School in general for that matter).  We’ve really just been enjoying fall and doing several fall activities.  I thought I’d share a few with you:

We’ve made cinnamon play-dough using this recipe.  I added some popsicle sticks with turkey faces and we’ve been making turkeys.  We’ve had a play-dough Thanksgiving feast.  And even a birthday party in expectation of “Miss Priss’” birthday coming up soon.

I made a giant book “Turkey, Turkey What Do You See” book and a Pilgrim Turkey color matching flip book from patterns at Childcare Land.  I couldn't find it anymore under the free patterns but they do have lots of other cute stuff like a turkey playdough mat.
We’ve had picnics:

We’ve made huge leaf piles and spent literally hours jumping in them:

As a family we’ve been working on our chain of thankfulness.  This idea came from here.  Just as she did we started off at the beginning of the month reading “Let’s Be Thankful” by PK Hallinan and talking about all the things – big and small- he was thankful for in the book.  Then we (my husband, Miss Priss and I) all wrote down something we were thankful for on a strip of paper.  Now each night after supper we read a verse(s) from the Bible using this calendar and then we each add a strip.  At the end of the month we’re going to use our chain to decorate the Christmas tree in the basement along with ornaments from Truth in The Tinsel.  It was such a blessing as we sat down to do it night before last and “Miss Priss” already had her Bible and was sitting at the table.  She opened it as though she were reading and said “Chapter 21 – God’s been good to us today!” 
"Miss Priss" holding up our Chain of Thanks
I’ve also personally been doing the FB Days of Thankfulness.  I didn’t do it last year because I thought, "You’re supposed to be thankful everyday not just everyday in November!"  However, I must say I’ve really enjoyed doing it. It’s made me even more intentional about being thankful.  It's also been uplifting to read everyone else's blessings!  And it really is true:  
“For when I am thankful it’s easy to see, I tend to spend life living more joyfully.” 
PK Hallinan, Let’s Be Thankful

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Rooted in Love

Last year during our revival the evangelist mentioned that if he would walk into a public place and shoot 5 people that would make the news; however, if 5 souls were saved and gained eternal life, that certainly would not be making the news. It hit me then-it's sad but true -the bad news is reported FAR more than the good.

While there is plenty of bad news, there's also plenty of good. God is still doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He's not just a God present in the Bible but he's present in our lives today. I have been greatly inspired and encouraged by some of the "stories" I've heard lately. I have wanted to start a new feature on my blog for quite some time sharing these stories and incredible people with you. I feel that now more than ever we are thirsty for some good news! It's my prayer that you will be encouraged, inspired and refreshed...
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25

Today's good news is Rooted in Love.  Rooted in love was started by Laura Swann. Laura answered a call to adopt and in doing so is completely transforming lives across the world!

Wanting to raise money for her adoption, Laura did a fundraiser selling products handmade by women in other countries. These women have a wonderful skill but no place to market their work. That's where Laura comes in. After doing the fundraiser she felt God calling her to do it as a ministry. She now does home parties, craft shows and other events selling these beautiful items. She not only helps to market and sell these items but she shares the stories of these women and prays for them!

Some of Her partners are:

Back to Africa-jewelry handcrafted in Uganda and Africa

I have this necklace in turquoise -LOVE!!

Connected in Hope-scarves handcrafted in Ethiopia

Tukula-bags made in Uganda

Ergon Handicrafts-stationary handcrafted in India

What I love most about Rooted in Love and it's partners is that they are enabling these women to provide for themselves and make a better life for their children-not just giving them a one time handout.
I'm amazed that God is using someone in the same county as me to make such an impact around the world. And better yet that I can be a small part of it by purchasing something beautiful and original! I've purchased a scarf, bag, and a couple pieces of jewelry and I love it all! I get compliments each time I wear them which also gives me a chance to share these ladies stories and to talk about how God can work!

How would you like to give unique, meaningful Christmas gifts while helping to eliminate poverty and educate a child?  It's a win/win situation and definitely good news worth sharing!

Laura does a much better job telling her story than I do so check out her blog and like her Facebook page!
She even has photo albums on her Facebook page with items sorted by price. Super cute things from $5 on up!

Also, if you're local you can check her out at the Coffee Well in Gadsden on November 10th!

Do you have any good news to share?
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sometimes It's Not the Circumstances that Change...

I have been praying for our country and this election for quite sometime. I prayed almost continuously yesterday. Then around noon a peace came over me. God reminded me that this world was going to grow worse and worse but he also reminded me my hope was not in this world. My hope for the future and for my children do not lie in our president or even our country. My hope lies in a risen Savior.  

So as Mike Huckabee said so well "We don't stop believing what we believe.  We do a better job of doing what we're supposed to do."

So as for me and my house we will continue to serve the Lord.  We will continue to love our country and honor those that have fought so hard to give us all the freedoms we have today.  We will continue to believe and teach our girls marriage is only between a man and a woman. We will continue to respect and cherish the lives and rights of others, especially the unborn.  We will continue to work hard and support ourselves. We will continue to pray for our country and our president.  We will continue to put God first and others second.  If anything even more so now.

The storm is still raging around me but I've found peace. Things didn't go as I hoped but my focus of hope has shifted off my circumstance and onto Christ where it always should be anyway!  

"Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm.". ~Anonymos 

Are you thirsty for some good news? (Proverbs 25:25)   Make sure and read tomorrow!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Letter D and a Mini-Vacation

Tot School was cut a little short this week as we were able to spend the last part of the week in the Smoky Mountains. Looks like we'll be picking up a lot of this week on our review week! Here's some of what we did accomplish:

Bible Story: Moses

We read the story of Moses from our Bible storybook and did the coloring sheet and Moses craft. "Sour Patch" joined us on our second day of Moses and did the craft with us.


Letter D-used a Q-tip to paint dots on letter "D"
Fingerpainted the letter "d"

Nursery Rhyme-Hey Diddle Diddle

We also played in our fall sensory bin some more:  Sorting leaves by kind and color and having a little fun with disguises!

And some highlights from our vacation:

We spent one day shopping but had to take a couple breaks: 

To Ride Carousel

To Make "Sunshine" Laugh


Then we spent one day with the whole family in Cade's Cove. We took a little hike through the woods looking (and finding) a couple bear! 

So we didn't get a lot of Tot School done last week but we did have a great week and still learned a lot!

Resources and Additional Activities:

ABC Jesus Loves Me
Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter D
Tot School Letter D

Friday, October 12, 2012

Complete in Christ

“I have a great need for Christ, I have a great Christ for my need.” 
                                ~Charles Spurgeon
Wondering why you aren’t ever happy?  Feel like something is missing?  Are you constantly searching for something to bring you joy?

Maybe it’s because your need for Christ hasn't been met.  God created you for a purpose and placed within you a desire to need Him in your life.  We read earlier in our Colossians study “…all things were created by him, and for him.”  (Col 1:16)  You’re either living your life for Him as He created you or you’re looking for other things to fill that void.

I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of Sally Clarkson lately.  She gives an example of when she was living in a foreign country and trying to assemble something using instructions in a foreign language.  She didn’t understand the instructions so it was a hopeless case!  But then she found an interpreter and it was easily assembled. 

Our problem today is not with the instructions but with the interpretation.  We’ve put our trust in the wrong interpreter.  We depend on society to tell us what will bring us joy instead of our creator.  Do you even know what the Bible says about your purpose?  About truly having joy? About satisfying your needs?

“And ye are complete in him…” Colossians 2:10

It says you are COMPLETE in Christ.  That’s such a comfort to me!  HE’S ALL I NEED!!!  I don’t have to have a lot of money, power or good looks.  I just have to believe and fully trust in Him.  That’s the secret to life!
Are you feeling incomplete and in NEED this morning?  Get in His word and allow Him to complete you.  Here’s just a few examples to get you started:

Need a Friend – John 15:15

Need Strength-Psalm 46

Need Comfort – John 14:18

Need Joy- John 16:22

Need Peace – John 16:33

Need Encouragement – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Need Wisdom - James 1:5

Need Spiritually Fed – John 6:35

Need Forgiveness – Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:9

Need Love-John 15:13, Romans 8:35

Need Grace – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Need a Savior – Luke 19:10, John 3:16-17

Need a New Life- 1 John 5:12

I pray that you will allow your needs to be met by the one who created you and knows you best.  The one and only one who can truly complete you.

Also linked to:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tot School: C is for Colorful Coat

Here are some highlights from what we did and learned last week in Tot School using our ABCJLM curriculum:
Bible Story:  Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors
Day 1 -Read story from our Bible Story Book and Coloring Sheet
Day 2 - Reread the story and talked about
Day 3- Using the pictures and story book “Miss Priss” told me the story.  Then she created a coat of many colors using the coat printable and tissue paper.

Memory Verse- Romans 12:21

Song/Poem- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Letter C:
-Put cotton on letter “C”
-Made “C”s with play-doh
-Did a crayon rubbing of the letter “C”
-Made a letter “C” with masking tape and used it as a road for our cars
-Used our dot markers for letter “C”
Science Color Experiment:  We talked about how you could use certain colors to make other colors.   I got out our red, yellow, and blue food coloring.  I told her I needed orange food coloring but didn’t have any orange.  Then asked her if she thought we could make orange.  We put some cool whip (you could also use shaving cream or white icing) in a bag and I tried to get her to predict which two colors we could add to make orange. At first she didn’t get it but by the time we did the last one. She even guessed that blue and yellow would make green.  After making our prediction (one at a time) we added our food coloring and then I let her smash the bag and mix up the colors.   We then recorded our results.  She LOVED this!  She was so excited when it first made orange!  We also made purple (red + blue) and green (blue + yellow).  She was so into this the first couple times I decided to do a video.  Excuse the poor quality!

Number 3:
-Counted out groups of 3
She really started recognizing groups of 3 without even actually counting them out.  For example, when we were cooking I had three measuring cups out and she looked at them and said, “You need 3 of those?” 
Fine Motor:
Made “Snakes” with play-doh
Snacks: cupcakes and carrots
She tried helping with the icing then said "Mommy I think I'm better at the sprinkles!"
Planned on doing candy corn cookies but didn’t get it in!  Maybe during our review week J

Reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar on our Camo sleeping bag
Books we read this week


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rejoicing in My Inconveniences

This is our third week of our GMG Colossians study.  Here's a little of what I've learned this week:

Paul didn’t just witness and help the Gentiles.

He suffered in order to witness and help the Gentiles.

He didn’t just suffer but he rejoiced in those sufferings because he knew they were for a greater cause.  He knew he was making the way a little easier for them.

In the first chapter of Colossians he says:

“…whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you,…” Col 1:23-24


While Paul said:

I consider it an honor to be in prison if it means that you might have heard the gospel.

I’m gladly surrendering ALL my life and freedom so that you can experience freedom through Christ.

I don’t care what others think or even do to me.  My duty is to fulfill and spread God’s Word.

I say:

I could talk to this stranger about Jesus… but they may think I’m crazy.

I might go visit a shut-in…but then I’d have to take two little kids with me and that would be such a hassle.

I should cook a meal for a family that’s had a rough week…but that would take more time than I have.

It’s not always easy spreading the gospel or showing someone the love of Christ.  It may take my time or I may even receive a little ridicule from someone.  However, I’m not anywhere close to suffering. 
Paul rejoiced in his sufferings while I complain about my inconveniences.

In his letter to Philippi Paul said:

“…let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Philipians 2:3-4)

Paul didn’t just talk it he walked it.  He was truly able to set aside his own wants for the needs of others.  He had compassion, love, and a strong desire for them to have what he had found- a savior and a friend.  He rejoiced in his sufferings for them.  I’ve really learned something from Paul this week.  Stop viewing opportunities as inconveniences.   Stop complaining and making excuses and start rejoicing and sharing the love of Christ. 

Linked to:


Sunday, September 30, 2012

B is for Big Boat (aka Ark)

This week we went full force with Tot School.  We actually did it four days this week and “Miss Priss” cried because we weren’t doing in on Friday so we ended up having a little “mini” Tot School then!  I still don’t have our area exactly like I want it but I did finish and put up her learning board.  I love having this to go over each morning when we first get started.  I found this idea from here.
Here are some highlights from what we did and learned last week in Tot School:

Bible Story:  Noah’s Ark

Day 1 -Read story from our Bible Story Book and Colored theArk

Day 2 - Reread the story and talked about the rain. Did a little Science Experiment I found on Pinterest on clouds and rain.  

Put together our Noah’s Ark puzzle.


Day 3- Using the pictures and story book “Miss Priss” told me the story.  Then We counted out two of each animal cracker and placed them on the ark.

Day 4 – Retold Noah’s Ark focusing on the rainbow and then she painted a rainbow

Memory Verse- John 14:15

Song – Arky, Arky

Letter B:

-Put buttons on letter “B”

-Used our dot markers for letter “B”

-Played in our “B Bin” which included beans, a bottle, banana, ball, brush, block, buttons, and bells.  She sorted buttons, counted beans, and put them in the bottle.

-Sorted buttons by color talked about which color we had the least and most.

-Created a butterfly with our feet prints.  I painted “Miss Priss’” feet.  Then she painted “Sunshine’s”.
-Played with blocks

Number 3:

-Read Three Little Bears

-Counted out groups of 3 buttons

Fine Motor:

Introduced scissors and practiced cutting paper

Laced a bear
Gross Motor:  Rolled and threw a ball.

Field Trip: We went to Nocolulla Falls this week and visited the barn where they keep the bunnies.

Books We Read This Week: 

This week is Letter C and Joseph's Colorful Coat! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A is for Apple

I think apples are quite possibly the world’s most perfect food!  I LOVE them straight off the tree, baked, fried, in a pie, in a cake, cut up, smashed up, with peanut butter or caramel, etc., etc.,etc.  I can easily see how Eve was tempted by the apple J  Nothing says the beginning of fall like apples and here are some highlights from what we did and learned last week in Tot School:

Our Bible Story for the week was Adam and Eve.  We read from our Bible Storybook each morning. "Miss Priss" also did the coloring sheets from ABC Jesus Loves Me and by our third morning was telling me the story.  Our Bible verse for the week was Psalm19:14.

Song – O Be Careful Little Eyes

Here were some of our letter "A"activities:

Using our dot markers on the letter "A"

Adding apple stickers to letter "A"


We also took a trip to our favorite apple orchard, Mercier Orchards
Picking Apples with PaPa
Enjoying an Apple
Listening about the apples on the hayride

We had LOTS of apples from our orchard visit so we ate them and we also made Jewish Apple Cake and a couple batches of Apple Butter.  "Miss Priss" helped make our apple cake.  Her favorite parts were chopping the apples and sifting the flour!


Our Crock-pot Apple Butter

For more apples ideas check out last years' blogs:  Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed and Tot School: Week 4.
Resources and Additional Links: