Friday, March 30, 2012

My God Image

I have realized something about myself. Unless I am rooted in Christ and constantly in His word, I am pretty shaky when it comes to my " accomplishments and achievements". Let me explain. Social media, support groups, friends, church, pintrest, and blogs open up the doors for so many avenues to be used by God, through God but if my identity is in any of those things listed above the minute someone does not comment, recognize or pay tribute or a craft on pintrest becomes just a pin and never a production my self worth begins to fall.

Call me honest, or putting myself out there but I think that so many of us fall into this category and we hate to admit it. I share because this blog serves as a journey to my avenue, to see my spiritual growth as well as the growth of my family. This has been something that the Holy Spirit has been bringing to the forefront of my heart each and every day. This year, has been a tough year for Spiritual growth. I am thankful for the growing pains because it means that the Holy Spirit sees that I'm ready for it; I need to grow so that I can grow into a new level.

Lately, however, I have felt a huge disconnect from certain areas of life and I really believe that this is God working out my self image.....removing it from me and replacing His image into my heart. When I look in the mirror, regardless of who is saying what or not saying- I see Christ. When I am having a harried day with my kids and look at a blog that is full of tranquility and peace and begin to compare that God-image rises up in me and yells " NO!".

When my self esteem begins to waver because of what I feel I am not doing enough of, being enough too, failing in  this area, etc my God Image rises up and says, "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

I am a child of God, I have been bought by the blood of Christ, I am a new creation, God knit ME in my mother's womb, I AM fearfully and wonderfully made, I am not bound to sin but God made him who had no sin, to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God...."

You will NEVER feel good enough, you will never do enough crafts, games, reading lessons, spend enough time with friends, give enough ON YOUR OWN STRENGTH! 

Hold me now, I feel the Holy Spirit moving! But by the strength and power of the HOly Spirit mighty things will come forth through you. Remove from selfish ambition- this includes any self image and worth that is carried and replace it with my garment of Praise- that my light would shine through in the dark places. You will  not reach out when you hold onto self. Self is not of me, but humble yourself so that I may be exalted. 

Mothers, wives, friends- our image is in CHRIST! The old has passed away, behold the new has come. He makes all things new. Stop living in the lies that the enemy has placed on you. " You will never be as good as her, you will never do as much as her, your friends are not interested in you, why doesn't anyone call you..." These are lies to isolate and cause division. This is how the enemy works, with thoughts and lies.

Behold, I have created your for greatness for might for power- IN MY NAME. No longer walk with your head held low, but I have created you for such a time as this. Your image as a mama is rooted in ME, your image as a wife is rooted in ME, your image as a friend is rooted in ME- You are rooted in ME.  John 15: 1-11

1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 

Praise God, He totally just hijacked my blog- Praise God, my heart is overflowing with joy right now at the truth that I shakily typed as the Holy Spirit flowed through my heart. This is totally meant for me, but I believe that God has allowed me to have this forum because it is intended for so many more. Walk forward oh Daughter of Christ- " Daughter your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed from your affliction." Mark 5:34

Easter Ideas

We are SOOO behind on celebrating Easter this year, or at least the weeks coming up to it. I think next year, I will incorporate our family that is in town, into our celebration and actually plan to do so....because, Easter is in a week here are some ideas we typically do each year as well as a few new ones!

* Make Unleavened bread
* Bake hot cross buns and sing the song while explaining the meaning
* Read the Easter story
* Do our walk to Calvary banner with each symbol for each day ( something we start typically WAAAY before- can anyone say "catch up"?)
* Build our cross and nail our sins on it
* Create an indoor Easter scene
* Have an egg rolling contest
* Make a Spring,floral centerpiece celebrating Easter
* Act out the Easter story
* Resurrection Eggs- LOVE these!
* A friend game the idea of a plant based empty tomb! Love that, thank you Cati!

Here are some more ideas that I posted about last year Easter Ideas and  a couple more !

Enjoy celebrating Resurrection Sunday and the days leading up to it! Remember, " How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure that he should give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure...."
Listen to this song and know Christ loves you!

These are just a few- I plan on dedicating this entire next week to getting ready for the celebrating the Resurrection of Christ! What do you like to do?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Refreshing Breaks

Ben and I took a much needed hiatus from parenting and spent three days relaxing, playing games, hiking, eating and so much more together up in the northeastern mountains of Arizona. There was snow on the ground, the smell of pine needles everywhere and silence. I am so thankful that I married my best friend, that we have family willing to watch our children so we can get away and that we value our relationship in the midst of parenting. As you know, parenting can get a tad catawampus on you sometimes. Sometimes, a little time a way is just enough to rejuvenate your heart. And, wish you had just a couple of more days.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Applying James 3:17

Today I read in my quiet time James 3:17. This is a verse that I feel so strongly in my spirit to meditate on and to ask the Holy Spirit to continually renew and work in my heart. There are times that I feel the complete opposite of this on the inside. Or, I feel that I have so much to change that I cannot even imagine where to begin or that I am doing alright.

Raising a family requires more sacrifice of myself than I could have ever imagined. It requires me to lay down my selfish ambition and my insecurities. I am forced to confront parts of me that quite honestly would never come out or be known, except to God, because of the life I've created. I am so thankful for the powerful working of the Holy Spirit and to know that " Nothing is impossible with God."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Something For Mama Too

I have been learning to crochet for the past two months. Right now, I'm working on a couple of different projects. One, is making little crocheted chicks with eggs for my kids. They are far from perfect but I love a challenge and something homemade.

Crocheting is very relaxing and addicting. There are a few things you need to get started:

* Variety of crochet needles ( I have F-I)
* Fun colors of skeins ( aka. yarn balls)
* Books from the library, youtube or a dear friend
* Patience and determination

The first time I tried to make my first row for a scarf it took me over an hour. Now, I can probably make an entire scarf in an hour. I am kind of becoming addicted to this little craft of mine and having so much fun with it I may try to offer a few tutorials a few times a month. That, however, would require taking pictures as I go, step by step- a bit of a challenge. Anyways, here are a few of my favorite books to start with!

Some of my favorite crochet books

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Forces of Nature

Today we learned more about friction, inertia and force. We slid down the slide on placemats, cardboard boxes, trash bags, and a a blanket. The kids hypothesized on what would cause them move faster. We also tested a piece of wood, stone, rubber animals and an eraser to see which had the least amount of friction. 

We climbed trees and talked about how thankful we were they weren't made of ice and snow. Its been a fun day! Grandma even tested the forces of gravity and F=ma for us on the slide :) We do love her :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Fun!

Enjoying the amazingly gorgeous weather out here in AZ! Sunny, "warm" ( 80s) and a great time for ice cream cones! 

the other day, the boys played quietly for 3 hours by themselves, setting up chess, and then going outside to play dinosaurs who are eating "lemons"- love them

Water Balloon Choices

Monday was an interesting sort of day. There was so much damage control from the weekend with absolutely non-stop action and that can lend itself to a very overwhelming Monday. Monday is my blocked off day. I rarely try to schedule anything on that day besides school, working out and cleaning. 

The vacuum has been on its way out for a few years now but totally died 2 weeks ago. I could hardly stand not vacuuming so after my workout,and 1/2 our home cleaned, we headed to our local store to buy a new vacuum. That is kind of where the day started unraveling. Hannah is just all over the place. I can't remember quite having any child quite like this before. To be honest, I don't think I have. 

When I arrive at the store, I have a mission: ( i.e.: I had researched what type of vacuum I wanted prior to going to the store), I pile the kids out the car, " Hold hands, hold hands,", run in, locate item, retrieve, hustle to check out, pay and leave. My internal goal is 7 minutes or LESS. I try to always shoot for the less.

Shopping casually is not an option for me at the moment and its not enjoyable. Well, Austen reminded me that I told him I would buy him a notebook and we still had to get crickets. Good thing, both of those store are next to each other, bad thing, that is two more store encounters. It just began to feel more and more overwhelming and much was do to the huge mess still at home and the school that needed to be accomplished. 

We ran in, conquered and ran out. HOME finally. I put Hannah to bed, had the kids do quiet time and finished up downstairs. That's where I just felt so overwhelmed like, " How is this all going to happen?". I walked up stairs and the boys' room was a disaster. I could feel that tornado brewing in my head of everything piling on top of the other....where I was getting to the point where smiling was forced. The boys then asked, " Mama, could we do water balloons? The ones that look like grenades?" 

Come, Holy Spirit. I felt the Holy Spirit  nudging me and saying, " Go fill them up." We went downstairs and ended up filling up 30 balloons. As we stepped outside the stress of the day started falling off of me and we laughed, smiled, chased, ran, and became soaked. 

Have you ever had to make "water balloon" choices? They are not easy to make. They take a lot of restraint and force us to decide what our attitude is going to be like, what atmosphere are we going to set for our family and our home. I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit. I'm thankful that I chose to not stay in my feelings of "whirlwind" and to remove myself and enjoy my children. We are faced with choices each day-  next time you are feeling out of control, life is crushing down on you, school is not happening the way you thought, your house is a disaster, dinner is burnt, etc. Pick up a " water balloon", throw it and laugh. You'll be glad you did, and the Holy Spirit will be able to mold your hearts to his because you were able to remove yourself from your immediate circumstance. This doesn't mean your circumstances or situations go away, it just means you are choosing to walk through it with a Christ like attitude. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sing, Spell, Read and Write

As many of you know. I love, LOVE the curriculum we use for learning to read and write. It is fun, interactive and oh so musical. My review of this curriculum was posted over at The Curriculum Choice. Come check it out!! Sing Spell Read and Write

Imaginative Hiding Games

The past few days, the boys have played for hours outside, making weed and grass houses for their animals, hiding them and asking me or Riah to find them. I have really enjoyed the simplistic and calming effect of this game. Children need more time to create and explore. I love giving mine this time. 

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.  ~Mark Twain

Imaginative Hiding Games

The past few days, the boys have played for hours outside, making weed and grass houses for their animals, hiding them and asking me or Riah to find them. I have really enjoyed the simplisticness and quietness of this game. Children need more time to create and explore. I love giving mine this time. 

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.  ~Mark Twain

Obedience In The Military

The weather has been gorgeous around here lately! We find ourselves outside enjoying the sunshine, without the extreme heat quite often. I try to take school outdoors as much as possible during our winter months because we know that summer is just around the corner and it will be time again to hunker down and stay cool.

Coming from the midwest, my first summer here was so backwards. I would take the boys out at 7am and walk down to the park. The temperature would already be 100 and by the time we came home 1.5 later, we would be near 110 in mid July. I could not understand why there was no one around, playing. It was summer for goodness sakes! Now, I get it. Our summer is everyone else's winter. Now, I love thinking of our fun activities that I will plan this summer to get us through the heat. Trust me, sunshine and heat is so much better than sleet and blizzards. 

Below, is a picture of some veggie chips I attempted to make one afternoon. I sliced parsnips and turnips and drizzled olive oil and salt. I baked them at 400 degrees, set off the fire alarms and still managed to enjoy them. They were not as good as the store bought veggie  chips but still healthy. 

The kids and I have been studying the military and learning the importance of obedience within the soldiers' life. We listened to Phillip Sousa's marches, fell into rank and followed the leader yelling, " left, right left". Also, the kids took crayons, army vehicles and paper outside and drew pictures of their favorite vehicles. We've been reading a lot of books on military vehicles and I bought water balloons, shaped as grenades and we are just waiting for an 80 degree day to fill them up and have a war. 

Time With Papa

We had such a great time with Papa this past 8 days. We hiked, played games, went to the park, drank Starbucks, laughed, visited the Arboretum, went to a Pinewood Derby and so much more. Papa brings such a fun atmosphere with all his dancing and singing. We love him so much and were sad to see him go! Jayden thought it was amazing that he could beat Papa " the master" in chess and Austen had a chance to show off his mad reading skills as well. What a great fast week we had!
I have been in such a writing slump lately. March typically is like this for me because I get out of routine with family in town and anticipating family in town. Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to lately.
" Mama, can you take a picture of me?"

root collection

trimming and selecting just the right root for his collection

such a sweet pair

my almost 6 year old!

bathed, changed, dry pajamas on, why?