Thursday, September 6, 2012

Faith, Family and decorating adventures...

When my husband and I first got married, like a lot of young couples we wanted everything new and now.  We felt as though we deserved new and the best of what the world had to offer. That was many years ago and I am so glad that we have grown in the Lord and matured a lot since then. We learned the hard way that we don't really deserve anything...we are sinners that are saved by the blood of Christ and not by our own works. Whatever we are given in this life is a blessing from God, yes, we are hard workers but we don't work to have more material thing, its ultimately up to God what he chooses to give us. We want to be good stewards of whatever we are given and appreciate it and be content with what we have, never desiring the possessions of others. Is this easy?  Not always.  Are we perfect at achieving this?  Not everyday, but we try our best and we aim to please our Creator and when we fail, we ask His forgiveness and start new again tomorrow.  Humility is a virtue that we work at daily.  We have also realized that having what the world sees as important, does not make you happy.

The season of life that we are in right now is much more Christ centered and we are now child bearing and child raising. So, just a little bit on our beliefs and thoughts...We love home decorating/remodeling/projects, BUT, at this stage in our lives we choose to spend more time at home as a family rather than working more at work to have extra money to spend on these projects so our budget is very limited.  We enjoy the projects that we are able to do, BUT, we are grateful for the years that God gives us to raise children and have their laughter and presence in our home and we feel that this is our first priority along side with our relationship with God...So, the projects we choose to do, we perform it to meet a need and we do the work ourselves to save money and experience the fullfillment of hard work in the process...which is what we want our children to learn. Do we want to have nice things, of course but not at the expense of our child, our salvation or our family time together.  So we have to ask ourselves if those things will be strained while performing a project. We love making the most of what God gives us and making our home and the things we do have nice, clean and presentable. We take care of what is intrusted to us so it will last longer and will cost us less in the long run. When myself or my husband feel the need to do a household project we (No. 1) make sure it is in the budget, (No. 2) make sure that it won't take up so much of our time that it will take our focus away from what matters most and (No. 3) make sure that it will improve the peace, functionality and simplicity in our home and not complicate it. We never choose to do a project or buy something simply because someone else or everyone else around us has it or is doing the same thing. We don't fit into a mold, we are in this world but not of it and that is ok with us. I can't imagine being any other way.

My wheels have been turning lately, I want our home to be centered around God, our 3 year old and any other children God chooses to bless us with. I have noticed that the older I get, the more my style changes into something more simple and casual.  I really like a mix of French Country and Shabby Chic. It’s so inviting, peaceful, relaxing and inexpensive.  I have happily found many items lying around my home that with a coat of paint and some sanding, have been turned into instant shabby chic pieces. The great part is that things don't have to match or be new...actually, the older the better. Yard sales, thrift stores and hand-me-downs are perfect and that is great for us because that is where we get almost everything from furniture to clothes, linens, dishes, etc…

I am still working on the pics of our projects and I will post them soon.

I hope you enjoy what we share and are inspired to keep your home a welcoming haven for you and your special loved ones. God bless!!!

The Virtuous Wife

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon talks about the character of a virtuous wife…as I was reading this today, I really felt like God was speaking to me.  Even though this was not the first time I had read these verses, I was really reminded that these things are often forgotten in the world in which we live or they are not valued very highly.  As a Christian mom and wife I must be conformed and changed by God’s word and not to the world’s ways of doing things…these verses are very convicting and as I strive to raise my little girl in the ways of the Lord, this is also a reminder of the values which I need to teach her at a young age.  I was raised by my mother since my parents divorced when I was 6 years old.  When I look at my daughter and my marriage I desire to be the mom and wife that The Lord made me to be and nothing less than that.  I experienced firsthand what a broken marriage does to a child.  God wants us to be virtuous, trustworthy, hardworking, God fearing, compassionate and kind to our husbands, our children and to others around us.

Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.  She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.   Proverbs 30: 10-13

She also rises while it is till night, and provides food for her household.  Proverbs30: 15

She extends her hands to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.  Proverbs 30: 20

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.  She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Proverbs 30: 26-27

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Proverbs 30: 30

Lets pray that as we go about our daily responsibilities today and everyday…taking care of our children, our husbands and our homes, that we will seek the will of God in everything we do no matter how big or how small.  We serve the Lord when we serve others.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I am the vine; you are the branches...

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 

As my 3 year old and I sat down to our usual bedtime routine of bible story and prayer the other night, God spoke to me through the story we chose to read.  

It centers on John 15:5. This verse serves as such a great reminder to me...I'm sure I am not alone when I say that life is distracting. Let me say it louder. LIFE IS DISTRACTING!!! The TV is blaring, the phone is ringing, the dog is barking, someone is at the door. My daughter is calling me, my husband needs my help... and the list goes on. I have the blessing of also being somewhat OCD so if the dishes are in the sink; they are calling my name, as is the laundry that needs folding and the dinner that needs cooking. 

Each day and its responsibilities remind me that I can do nothing without God; nothing without his grace, his forgiveness, his mercy, his peace, his love, his presence and his sacrifice for me. Sacrifice. Forgiveness. Mercy. Love. This sounds so familiar...Oh yes, those are the same things my family expects of me each day. If I need those things from God...or from others for that matter then why am I overwhelmed or surprised when others or God expects them of ME. I can do nothing without the vine.  God is the vine, I am the branches.  If I want to bear fruit in my household, in my family, in my church, in my workplace, at the grocery…I have to abide in God.  As christians we are know by our fruit, we forget that sometimes and go about our tasks very casually.  Have you ever had a moment when you gave into the temptation to be aggravated or restless about a life situation and you notice that someone is watching you?  It’s awful and God convicts you instantly.  

Why is it that even though I have tried a million and one times before to do things in my own strength and in my own time and it never works, I still keep trying it anyway?  It’s amazing that even though being focused on God is where we need and want to be we always get distracted.  There is no doubt that being in the presence of God is the sweetest place to be.  Whether it’s reading my bible, raising my hands in praise or on my knees in prayer, I am always happiest when I am in connection with the Lord.   

In this world, we have to remember that in whatever job, responsibility or task that God has placed before us today, we are to perform that action as and work as though we were working directly for him (we really are).  Whatever situation I find myself in, this outlook always helps me to get back on track and smile.  My job as a child of God, a mommy and a wife is to show God’s love to my family.  Through all the activities I do in a day my most important responsibility is to the Lord first.  I learned the hard way that when you put God first, everything else falls into place. I am a better and more pleasant person to be around and a good example for little eyes to see or even to ,unbelievers that I am trying to win to God when I am acting like what God says I am…His child. 

God made the ultimate sacrifice for us and good thing he knows we are not perfect and that we will fail to meet his expectations this side of heaven, but he loves us anyway and continues to reminds us that He is the vine and we are the branches, and without him we can do nothing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What defines you?

Tonight at bible study my pastor asked a question...What defines you?

I think that is a very interesting question. It really made me think about what I feel defines me. Sometimes I feel defined by the fact that I am a mother and a wife, or I feel that I am defined by my dominant traits such as being a planner and organizer by nature. Maybe I feel defined by my petite frame. Whatever I may be feeling defined by...somehow I don't think it’s what God defines me by (or you for that matter).

Even thought all of those things may be factual in my life they do not define me. As my pastor so creatively put it “they season and flavor my life”, but never define me. Neither does our experiences or lack thereof.

I now know the answer to this question.

Definitely food for thought…my relationship with Jesus defines who I am, it really is that simple.

This leads me to another food for my relationships with others, do I allow my relationship with Jesus to shine through me and be the defining factor in me?

I am a shy person, I always have been. I am better in small groups than large crowds. I can be easily intimidated and shy away from too much interaction with people. So how do I be who I am in Christ in my interaction with others?

How did Jesus behave when he was confronted with crowds of people, he welcomed them and welcomed the opportunity to share with them truth and life.  How many opportunities does God give us each day to do the same and we pass them up because of fear?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.     2 Timothy 1:7

The next time we are faced with a situation or a circumstance when we have an opportunity to be a blessing to someone or speak truth to someone, let us have the courage and boldness to remember who we are in Christ and let that be what defines us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A tribute to my Mom, Happy Mothers Day

A tribute to my Mom…

With Mothers Day fast approaching, I am preparing to spend some time with my Mom.  This past year, she and I have shared something really dear to me…a love for the Lord. 

When I was a little girl, I always remember my Mother speaking tenderly to me, being patient with me and having so many wonderful talents that she shared with me.  I hoped someday to be a Mommy just as she was.  She always had a special way about her.  She was good at everything she did.  She had a way of making our house so warm and cozy and a place where everyone wanted to be.  She was always such a wonderful cook and we had more hot meals than we could have ever asked or prayed for.  We were loved and cherished and when you’re a child you think that everyone has a house that runs the way yours does.  I was amazed as I got older just how very blessed and loved I was.

My parents divorced when I was 6.  My brother was a year old and my Mom was left to raise us on her own.  God gave her the strength and faith she needed to provide for us not only the basic needs to live, but the upbringing she knew she wanted for us.  She taught us responsibility, manners, how to respect others, work hard and earn what you have but also to know and recognize that everything is a blessing from God. She instilled in us that who you are on the inside means much more than who you are on the outside.  I became saved at the age of 11 and simply had no idea what the next decade would bring.

My teenage years were hard.  I pushed away from my mom and from God. Being the amazing woman that she is, my Mom stuck by me and never left my side.  She gave me space when I thought I needed it but was waiting with open arms when I realized that space was not what I needed at all (just as God is compassionate to us).

When I hit my 20’s, I became engaged and got married, she helped me as I entered womanhood and prepared to be a wife.  She became my best friend and walked me down the aisle as she handed me over to my husband and into the hands of God to lead me through starting my life as an adult.

A few years later my husband and I were blessed with our daughter Brileigh.  God showed me right away that even though I had given my life to him many years back, it was time for me to renew that commitment and to bring more of him into my life, my marriage, my home and my family.  My eyes were suddenly opened to the reality of what my Mom had given to me and given up for me over the years.  I also noticed how much I had grown to be just like her in so many ways.  Parenthood has a way of waking you up and helping you see the light…but a lot of that was also the Lord.  I realized why my Mom raised us the way she did and did everything possible to protect us.  She and I began a journey together re-committing our lives to Christ.  In the process my husband and mother-in-law became saved as well.  What an amazing God we serve!  He is faithful even when we are not. 

My Mom and I spend so much time together sharing life and wonderful memories and stories of my childhood, our love for Brileigh, Scrabble, gardening, thrift store shoping, being moms and spending time in the sun, napping, cooking and spending time at home with family...but the one thing that is more important than anything else is that we share a love for God. 
It is one of the most amazing opportunities in this life to be a Mother and even more so to be a Christian mother.  I have the ability and opportunity each day to show the love of Christ to my child just the way my Mom showed it to me.  To have Brileigh raise a godly family would be the best gift she could ever give to me and to future generations. 

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15.

The world we live in separates us from God if we allow the influences of this world to determine who we are.  Christian moms who love the Lord and desire to raise their children for the Lord are one of the most important disciples for Christ.  Thank you Mom for loving me unconditionally, you have supported me, and have had faith in me and in God.  Thank you for forgiving me when I was less than perfect but most of…thank you for showing me what the love of Christ is like.  It does not matter how old I am…I still want to be like you, because you showed me that what we do each day as earthly parents (out of love for our children) is what our heavenly Father does each day for us. 

I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day  

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful moms!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Yummy Asian Salad Dressing Recipe

Asian Salad Dressing

1 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together well, preferably in a container that can it can be shaken and poured out (old salad dressing bottles or old water bottles work well).  The dressing will need to be shaken well before each use.  It will keep in the fridge for weeks. The recipe can be cut in half or doubled.

It is so yummy, so simple and really inexpensive to make. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time for God...the challenge with little ones

Time for God...I always used to wonder how moms of many have the time for God.  I have (1) little and I used to find it such a challenge.  I would realize that days would go by and I had not taken the time to sit with my bible and meditate on the scripture.  When I would look back on those days, not surprisingly, they were stressful days that I had little peace and burdens that were either weighing heavy on my mind or on my soul.  My family and I had spent very little quality time together during those few days and I had worked myself to hard doing non-necessary projects (such as rearranging the furniture) or other non-priorities.  Satan is deceptive in a way that is so subtle sometimes that we don't notice till we have fallen for his tricks.  It's sad that we can be so easily distracted at times.  We have to always remember that Satan knows what our weaknesses are.

1 Peter 5:8

New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

In those times, this verse comes to mind because by my failure to stay alert, I have allowed the enemy to devour me and my family (even if it is only for a minute, an hour or a day, that is too long).  Since I am being honest here...I also during these times feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit telling me that I need to sit and read my bible, spend time with God, spend time with my the word out loud to them, just bring God's presence into my home, plead the blood of Jesus over them.  If we are all honest with ourselves I thin you would agree that you have heard that voice you listen to it like you should??

God's presence is so incredible.  I am so thankful that in those times when I am distracted (as people tend to get at times) God has pulled me out, waken me up and put me right back on track.  He always reminds me in some wonderful way that he is faithful and forgiving and that he loves me.  Only God can fill that void in our hearts and only he can give everlasting peace, joy, comfort, fulfillment...

My new routine now includes getting up at 6:30 each day to spend 45 minutes to an hour in prayer, meditating in  the word of God, listing to God and his instructions and writing in my prayer journal (more on this later). I do this so that before anyone else in my house gets up, I am alert and on the top of my game and ready to share the love of God with my family and ready to teach them by Godly example.  Granted, I have a bad day every now and then just like the rest of us but by staying in tune with God and his plan for my life I am able to nip those bad days in the bud. This has been so wonderful and brings much needed peace to my days.  It gives me the direction that I need, comfort in God's promises and the strength to face whatever comes my way, but most importantly it gives me a Godly focus and direction to lead my family to live for God.  God first, family second and everything else last.  When we put God first, everything else falls into place.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Simply Sprout: Mommy & Me Mondays: Keeping little hands busy with...

Simply Sprout: Mommy & Me Mondays: Keeping little hands busy with...: Like most women I wear many hats.  Probably too many at times!  The hat that fits the best and is comfy and cozy is the one o...

What a neat idea, I found this from Simply Sprout.  What toddler doesn't love water and bubbles with shiny sparkly things inside.  Fun summer project.  Cheap to make too...with whatever you have around the house in your craft bin.  That's my kind of project. FREE.  Will post pics when we try this one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Child Training Bible: Make a Child Training Bible

Child Training Bible: Make a Child Training Bible: This site will help you with everything you need to make your own Child Training Bible.  Make the truths of God’s Word foremost in your pare...

I am such an organizer and I think this is a wonderful idea.  My daughter would love to have one like this.  I have decided to make this one of our next projects.  This site is wonderful...check it out.

What parenting means...and how we can show our children we love them

Recently I had an experience with my daughter that has made me prayerfully consider what parenting is all about. God showed me that it’s all about growing in my relationship with the Lord as I teach my child to do the same. This pretty much sums it up...

We want to use discipline situations as opportunities to teach our children.  Every misbehavior (sin) is an opportunity to teach them God's Word.

We are responsible to build relationships. God has commanded us to disciple our children (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). In order to do this, we have to have healthy, strong relationships with them.

God say's that our relationship with Him is demonstrated in our relationship with others (our children being one of them). (1 John 4:21)
(Mark 12:30-31)

We are to lay down our lives for our children; it is a privilege that we have children. We need to spend time with them, love them, teach them God's Word and discipline them in love.

We want our children to welcome and value our instruction. In order for them to do this, we must invest time and energy building a relationship of trust and love. (1 John 3:18)

Children are not a burden but a blessing from the Lord.

Thank God for your children and pray for them daily.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Welcome to Prayerfully Living...

Recently I have been so inspired by blogs written by Christian homemakers and moms of many, I decided to start my own.  It is so uplifting to read about Godly women raising families who respect and love the Lord. In today’s world, there are not enough of those families. Even though I am not a mom of many, I look up to those women that are, and I respect their decision to let God decide how many children they are to be blessed with.  I am a mom of a beautiful 3 year old daughter.  I admit that in the years when my husband and I were first married, we did not turn that area of our lives over to the Lord.  I feel that God has convicted me on that and I have asked the Lord's forgiveness in this matter.  It was not easy to conceive our daughter.  We would love to have more children, but we are again having trouble conceiving.  In the process of going through testing, I was diagnosed with PCOS.  Looking back on all the years that I thought I was in control, I was being deceived.  God is always in control and his plans are perfect and so is his timing.  Since my husband and I realize this now, we are prayerfully living and praying for God to bless us with more children (if it is his will). I feel that I went through a bit of a grieving period trying to except that we may only have one child, but in the process God showed me that right now my focus needs to be on learning His will for our family and bringing up our daughter in the training and admonition of the Lord. So that is what we are concentrating on and that's where we are right now.  Is there anyone out there going through the same or a similar experience?  I want to hear about it, please reply to this post.