A Christian Response to Sex Scandals

This post has been edited to remove names.  I had originally included certain names in order to hopefully help other Christians sort through a huge scandal that might be shaking some people’s faith.  With that said, I do not want it to seem like I am attacking any particular family so I am removing the names. My first exposure to an adultery by a “man of God” It was after church one Sunday. I was maybe nine My parents were in some other part of the church, and I was wandering the empty halls, when I found out someone I had grown to idolize, a “man of God” had, had an affair. I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was impossible. All I could think was: “No not him. It couldn’t be him. He loved God so much. How could he have an affair? They must mean someone else.” But it wasn’t someone else, it was the man I had idolized, the man I thought could do no wrong, the man I thought was invincible. The man was David, from the Bible. I had never learned of David’s adultery until that day. I was literally devastated. Up until that point all that I had learned about David, his faith, his slaying Goliath, his military victories had made him a type of Christ in my eyes. I believed David was a man of God with no flaws. All of that was shattered when I learned the truth from scripture that had been carefully avoided in the Bible education of a young girl. The story of David’s adultery, gross abuse of power (if...

The Submissive Wives Guide Is NOT Biblical

You may have seen it floating around social media.  TLC created a new special that aired yesterday entitled, The Submissive Wives Guide. As a Christian woman I beg you, do not take what it taught in this T.V. special as Biblical!  Granted some of it is, but too much is missing.  Chances are the people they followed with their cameras have a much more balanced view of submission in marriage, but whatever their views were was lost in editing. I encourage you to OPEN your own Bibles and read what God has to say about marriage for men and women, not a TLC edited version of “Biblical Submission.” Here are some quotes from the episode I took serious issue with: “If Kristin can voluntarily cooperate by submitting to her husband it will change her world.” Nope, marriage is a two way street.  Yes submission is bound to help but their is absolutely no guarantee if her husband isn’t being loving.  Luckily for Kristin, she seemed to have a very kind and loving husband.  Submission does not magically fix marriages with out other Biblical elements like patience, deference, kindness, and love from both parties. “It doesn’t matter the way she feels, she has to do it (have sex with her husband) anyway. She has to suck it up and do it anyway.” NO! NO! NO!  And a thousand times NO!  The Bible does teaches that a man has control over his wife’s body, AND a woman has control over her husband’s.  If a woman isn’t in the mood it is so much healthier to abstain, and work on getting in...

I’ve Got Plans

I had plans, big plans. I had mapped out my blogging goals, created plenty of charts and action steps, and was ready to “take things to the next level” with my writing. I had spoken with a literary agent, connected with the “right” people and I was set to kick things into high gear. Well, then something happened.  My plans, didn’t.  God’s sense of humor is funny sometimes. I had an exhausting (surprise!) pregnancy where I was ill more often than not.  Said exhaustion, and perpetual illnesses brought my blogging plans to a screeching halt.  Unfortunately since having said surprise baby my family has been perpetually sick. My plans, my plans, my plans. Can you relate? I was recently given the opportunity to review Veggie Tale’s newest DVD, Noah’s Ark (affiliate link).   It wasn’t until I sat down to write this review that I realized how much I related to the main character, Shem, voiced by Wayne Brady. It’s a fun, imaginative, telling of Noah’s ark that focuses on Shem coming to terms with God’s plans for his life versus his own. My kids loved it, but honestly it got me thinking about how I hadn’t surrendered easily to God’s plans for my life.  But better yet, it opened a door to discuss some “heavy” issues with my kids, because let’s face it eventually kids grow up.  They’ll have plans of their own, and the sooner they can learn to yield to God’s plans in their life the better. That’s why I love Veggie Tales (even with their new look), they take a Biblical principle and tell a...

Sometimes Things Just Fall Off Your Plate………

The above quote sums up 2015 thus far for me.  Between illness and family crises I feel like very little has been accomplished this year.  And let’s not even talk about the state of my house.  Okay? Now, about my grandma.  I know I’ve sent thank you’s via facebook, and my sister has sent thank you’s via e-mail, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something now. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for those of you who helped fund my grandma’s ramp by sharing our go fund me page.  They, and I, was blown away by everyone’s generosity. And after working some 20 below zero days my brother-in-law with some help from his very pregnant wife, my husband, and my father (but it was mostly my brother in-law) the ramp was finished a few weeks ago.  Not only will it help my grandma while recovering from her broken ankle, but also moving forward as her mobility will continue to be limited by her spinal stenosis. My grandmother continues to get better, but continues to deal with chronic pain that I can not begin to understand.  Please keep she and my grandfather in your prayers. Hopefully less will fall off my plate, in the coming months.   But if it does, hey it...

Taking My Four Year Old To The Hospital And Other Adventures In Parenting

Last week was the first time one of my kids was admitted to the hospital.  Not fun. It was not fun for my sweet four year old who is terrified of needles.  And when I say terrified, I mean terrified. It was not fun for my husband who had to spend most of the night awake, then catch a few hours of sleep on a pull out chair.  And let’s be honest, sick or well, who can sleep in a hospital? And it was not fun for me as I agonized over where I should spend the night, with my infant or with my four year old.  This would be where I considered just giving her formula, but the problem is she’s sensitive to dairy when I eat it, so I couldn’t imagine what formula would do to her tummy.  Plus when my husband was an infant he almost died from a dairy intolerance, so it was a complicated decision. We were blessed though too. We were blessed that my mom was able to watch my other three kids.  Blessed that my dad was able to ride with me through a rough part of town in the middle of the night to meet my husband and daughter in the E.R. We were blessed that my baby would actually take a bottle, albeit begrudgingly, so I didn’t need to bring her to the hospital too, I was also blessed that she was old enough to start rice cereal which she gleefully took from my mother between the bottles of breast milk I was able to somehow find time to pump....

$2 To Be a Blessing

Friends, Church Family, and The Body of Christ, Do you have an extra $2? My grandparents were always the type to donate money or time when it was needed. I wish I could give you an idea of how truly generous they’ve been over the years, but they always helped in secret never expecting anything in return, they would probably think I’m sharing too much as it is. I watched them donate time and money to the church, and I watched them help friends and family in crisis. They taught me how to give by their quiet example. Now they are the ones in crisis. Will you help them? My grandmother has had mobility problems for years from spinal stenosis. Last week she fell and broke her ankle. She has no way of getting in and out of her house. They need a ramp. If something they’ve done over the years has blessed you, or maybe you were on the reviving end of one of their gifts, would you give a few dollars now? Maybe you don’t know my grandparents. Please know if you give it would be an insurmountable blessing to them. I truly believe my grandparents will reap what they’ve sown. After years of love and kindness shown to others, I know it will be shown back to them. Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for praying. Thank you for sharing this campaign. And thank you for...

How To Freezer Cook When You Don’t Know Where to Start

Freezer cooking can seem like a daunting task.  But it needn’t. Okay, yeah so in the interest of full disclosure, the first time I attempted any freezer cooking I wound up with a small fire in my oven.  But at least you can learn from my mistakes right? Three years ago I had two babies (one a newborn and one eighteen months) and a three year old. Dinner time was a nightmare. Between food restrictions and an incredibly picky eater I was making at least two meals every night and sometimes three. It was insanity. I’d try to make the dinners between nursing sessions while the older two children were occupied with an “amazing toy” as per the suggestion of a parenting book. Unfortunately they were never too terribly interested in the toys, they wanted my attention which had been so divided since the baby had been born. Read the rest of my story and find out my best freezer cooking tips at Free Homeschool...

Free The Girls! Project For Awesome #P4A2014

We’ve all been there ladies,  you see that adorable brazier sitting on the store clothing rack and somehow you just know if  were to wear said lactation lingerie you would suddenly become more confident and fierce.  Even though it wouldn’t be visible when you wore it, people would be able to tell something was different about you  when you had it on. So you dig through double barrel slingshot after double barrel sling shot searching for the ever elusive, perfect size. A’s B’s C’s D’s….. And then the heavens part, the sun shines down, and an angel chorus sings as you find the perfect bra. The first time you wear it though you get to work and it starts pinching, the straps dig in, and you discover a weird indentation when you take in off after you get home.  It turns out you should have taken two minutes to try it on at the store because now the over the shoulder boulder holder that was supposed to lead you to riches and popularity gets relegated to the back corner of your sock drawer with several other misfit cha cha carriers, never to be worn again. But what if I told you there  was someplace you could send your gently used hooter holders not just to get rid of them but to change a life. “Currently 27 million men, women, and children are being held as slaves around the world.    More today than any other time in history. 80% of those slaves are women and girls.  By partnering with safe houses and after care facilities Free the Girls provides...

How To Find Time With God When You’re a Busy Mom

I’m sure you’ve heard a preacher say this at least once or twice: “If you love someone you want to spend time with them, so it stands to reason that if you loved God you’d want to spend time with Him too.” Here’s the problem though, some seasons in life are just inherently busy.  So how does a busy mom spend time with God?  I share my thoughts.  If you’re a subscriber click the link to see the video.   How do you find time to spend with God?  If you like this video and want to talk about it be sure to share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or...

This Post Might Save a Life

I’ve got two vlogs for you today.  I actually had a sleeping baby the other morning and a clean house so I took the opportunity to record 4 vlogs that have been on my mind. Unless you missed the memo and have been arriving early everywhere this past week, we just had a time change.  Which in case you’ve missed the fire awareness memos it means it’s time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are a BIG deal to me because we almost had a fire start in the middle of the night a few years ago in my children’s bedroom.  If you’d like to here the story click on the video below.   We praise God for our happy ending to the story.  The results could have been devastating.  If you don’t have smoke detectors in the bedrooms get them. And now on a somewhat lighter note, I also did a vlog the other day about Hymns versus Contemporary Christian Music.  I say somewhat lighter but I know it can be a touch controversial too.  It’s a swirling mess of convictions, preferences, and passion.  Be sure to click the below video and let me know your thoughts in the...

An Open Letter to President Obama From A Stay At Home Mom

Dear President Obama, I realize you speak for a living.  You say millions of words and the cameras are always on just waiting for a controversial sound byte.  I realize how easy it must be for you to misspeak.  Which is what I’d like to think you did when you said you didn’t want American women choosing to stay home with their children. (source)  But in case you actually meant what has now been pulled out of context and compressed into a short youtube clip, I just wanted to let you know a few things. I have nothing against working moms.  I truly believe most moms struggle to make the best choice for their families in all circumstances.  I know because I do every day. Choosing to stay at home was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, but it wasn’t the only one. When I did work full time, we chose to put my entire paycheck into savings. We choose to drive cars with six digit mileage and that are over a decade old. We choose to seldom eat out. We choose to go without a cell phone plan and just buy minutes for emergencies. We choose not to take lavish vacations every year, although we’ve been saving for Disney and might be able to go soon. We chose to purchase a fixer  upper house, and do many repairs ourselves, literally paying with blood, sweat, and tears. We choose to go without cable. We choose to go without the latest gadgets that come out. We choose to buy from thrift stores whenever possible. There have...

Mom Tested Natural Remedies That Work!

So I’m sitting here one month postpartum, with two infections I’m trying to fight off.  On the bright side after I had my son I had three infections at the same time, all much worse than my current maladies. And of course the infections flared up on Christmas Eve and I had to wait two days before getting seen, making them even worse, so the fact these two infections are mild is good, I guess……. My current infections are the start of Mastitis (believe me I can tell when it starts to flare up) and a urinary tract infection  (remember to pee postpartum ladies, even if you don’t feel the urge).  I don’t want to take antibiotics, because then I will probably get a yeast infection (see above reference to three infections after my last postpartum period) and put the baby at risk for thrush. So here’s the deal.  I’ve successfully fought off mastitis and urinary tract infections in the past, so that’s what I’m doing this time.  But……. if I start to get worse I’m getting pills.  At the moment I’m just tired and have mild pain, no fevers yet.  Also when I did a 2nd UTI test strip it was a fainter positive, although that could be because I’m drinking a TON of water. I’m mega dosing on vitamin C and taking a Cranberry & D Mannose drink.  I’ve read there’s some essential oils that can help with mastitis, but I’m hesitant to use them until I do more research beyond the opinions of mommy bloggers. The thing about home remedies, for me at least, is I...

How Do I Deal With Fear and Fight Deception?

I was going to share my birth story video (me talking about it) today with everyone, but then I realized with how I had it tagged on youtube, the related videos in the sidebar have copious amounts of women in the middle of giving birth in various stages of undress.  Because those are images that I generally don’t want to see, even if they are medical, I will assume you don’t want to see them either in your recommended video section. With that said, my birth story is coming, I just need to re-upload my video. This particular post has been sitting in my draft folder for awhile, and I’ve had a hard time hitting publish.  I feel like I haven’t done the subject justice, and quite honestly this is a really personal post for me. Pregnancy and postpartum times have always lead me struggle with anxiety and intrusive thoughts.  Not to the point where I needed treatment, but it’s been affecting me nonetheless.  This postpartum period has been no different unfortunately as fearful “what if’s swirl my brain”, but fear is a lie.  This post was written when my brain was a little less muddled and I’m hoping the post encourages my heart as I reread it, and encourages yours as well. *********************************** Can we agree all Christians should be in the Word of God?  As much as I love reading Christian books or blogs, the Bible has a power to convict and change greater than any other book out there.  Plus, how do you know what another writer is saying is Biblical, unless you’re in the Bible...

I Got My 18 Week Ultrasound And It’s A………….

Well, we have a little wiggle worm that’s for sure.  It probably had something to do with the large, unsweetened, McDonald’s ice tea I drank before the ultra sound.  And in a related story I had a hard time falling asleep that night too. The baby would not stay still, and unfortunately was facing away from the technician for almost the entire time.  The Ultra sound took a good 50 minutes and we didn’t get the profile shot until about the last 5. The technician also couldn’t get a shot of the right hand which the baby had pressed up against the side of its face, and the right foot which was pressed up against my very full bladder. Had it been my first ultrasound I would have been terribly paranoid that something was terribly wrong since things were taking so long, and another tech came in at the end to help too.  But it was obvious after having had 3 other 18 week scans this little one was just keeping it’s back to the camera. At any rate, everything looked good, and we finally were able to get that profile shot.  And we also found out it’s a……………   GIRL!!!!! Emma will be here sometime in September.  Needless to say my son will be greatly outnumbered, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to hold his own. Thank you to all my readers too who e-mailed and said they were praying for me, I appreciate it more than you know.  ...

Don’t Be Desperate, Overwhelmed, And Just Trying To Make Everything Work

So I have double awesome news today. 1) The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is back and better than ever. 2) If you’re a subscriber to my blog I’m going to be selecting 78 (yes seventy-eight) winners from my mailing list to receive different books from the bundle.  All you need to do is join my mailing list.  Every morning I’ll tell you how you can be a winner. It might be as simple as replying to an e-mail or I might ask a trivia question about the bundle.   When the sale is over I’ll divide up the 78 books between the winners.  Easy peasy. The task will be different every day. But I’m sure you’re dying to know more about the books and bundle, so read on:     By popular demand, 100+ homemaking bloggers are bringing back The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, and it’s better than ever! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking—a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come. Unlike a library, though, you don’t have to spend years building it up. The Ultimate Bundles team has done the hard work for you, searching the web to find the very best eBooks from top homemaking authors and combining them into one essential collection that you can buy in one simple purchase. Act now to get the ultimate eBook collection on homemaking at a once-in-a-lifetime price. I’m confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere — and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (not including $200+ in bonuses!)....

Exciting News!!!

So here’s what’s been going on in my life……. I’ve been dealing with 3 months of morning sickness But that means we’re expecting again, YAY! I got a miserable virus 2 weeks ago (yuck). Just in time for the entire family to get the flu (booo) Although our symptoms weren’t too bad because of the essential oils (no I’m not an associate, I just love them) we’ve been using. I just wish we would have used some of the immune boosting oils, before we all got sick. Through all the yuck, my youngest was potty trained, (Woot!) and believe it or not my son was the easiest out of all three of my kids. Hopefully he’s not just lulling me into a false sense of security.  I realize all of a sudden next week he might decide telling me he needs to use the toilet is no longer cool. I’m hoping to get back to writing more soon, but as my husband reminded me it’s in God’s timing and it’s better not to force something and let Him guide. Speaking of my husband he’s 2 classes away from, finally ;), getting his Theology degree. It’s a matter of completing 2 weekend modules. Pray he can get this done before our new little one get’s here.  Something about getting married, having three kids, and being the sole bread winner for the family tends to slow down the 4 year plan.  I am forever grateful though he was willing to take the slow path and be present for our kids though. Oooh and while I’m bragging on him he’s also got a Gospel...

3 Tips To Simplify Your Time Online #lifesimplified

I’m changing e-mail hosts and switching to a newsletter format . If you’re subscribed to my list your e-mails will soon be looking a little different. They’re still from me though. Lately when I’ve been getting online to do work, or just to kill time I’ve felt like Alice falling down a proverbial rabbit hole.  Have you noticed how much, for lack of a better word,  stuff  there actually is on the internet? You want a recipe for vegan lasagna that doesn’t contain soy?  No problem there’s a pin for that. Homescool help? Check.  Clean Christian humor? Check.  Financial advice? Check. Looking for pictures of kittens in a cup? Check. I’ve been on information overload. We’ve all been on serious information overload! As a blogger I loathe to give you these tips, because you might stop visiting my site, or unsubscribe from my e-mails.  But here’s the thing I’ve realized.  I don’t care if you never visit my website or buy a book from me again.  I would rather you live a more balanced God honoring life than personally have an arbitrary number of fans/subscribers/followers.   So here’s my list.  It’s what works  for me.  I encourage you though, more than following these few tips (which are 100% based on my own personal opinion) to seek wisdom from God on this one.  If every time you get online you feel like your falling down that proverbial rabbit hole, something has got to give. 1) Unfollow pages and friends on Facebook that don’t matter to you. Notice I didn’t say unfriend or unlike?  Just unfollow them.  It hides updates from your...

A Baptist’s View on Lent

I often don’t share the fact that I’m Baptist online.  Not because I’m ashamed, but because for the purposes of an encouraging Christian website, that doesn’t delve terribly deep into theology, it’s mostly irrelevant.  Plus there are some Baptists out there I don’t care to be associated with. With that being said: Lent snuck up on me.  I was vaguely aware of those terribly fattening and sugary pastries, whose Polish name is as difficult to spell as is to pronounce, being advertised at my local grocery store, but it still snuck up on me. A Catholic friend announced she’d be giving up Facebook for 40 days, and I was reminded about what this season represents. There’s something holy about fasting. Whether it’s from food for a day (or a few) or from something else for a longer period of time (like 40 days during Lent for example.) Jesus fasted, Paul fasted, David fasted, Esther called on a whole race to fast, and it certainly stands to reason that many other Bible heroes fasted as well even if it wasn’t specifically mentioned in scripture.  Christ even says in scripture, “when you fast” in conversation, rather than “if you fast”. The 40 days leading up to Easter certainly seems like a good time to choose to fast from something.  As a rule Baptist churches don’t encourage Lenten fasting, but I’ve personally given things up for Lent and I’ve known other Baptists to fast in this time as well. BUT……. There is a danger in a fasting if it’s merely a religious ritual. We shouldn’t fast simply because a rule in our...

Don’t Let Facebook Suck The Life Out Of You

In case you can’t see the image: “Man, after scrolling through pictures of people I haven’t seen in decades, and entering a lively political debate in the comment section of a shared news article, I feel so much better about life and myself!”   Said no.one.ever. I’d ask you to share this on some social media site, but that would be a tad hypocritical.  If you can relate though, do what you gotta do. And with that, I’m off to do taxes, and stop scrolling through pictures of people I haven’t seen in 10 years because I don’t want to dig through receipts and credit card statements.  Even though one of my college friends just had a baby today, and she might post new pictures soon 😉...

An Important Warning: When Simplifying Life Get’s Complicated #Lifesimplified

Don’t let the magazines, or other blogs fool you.  I’m here with a warning today.  One of those neon colored, you better stop what you’re doing and read this kind of warnings. Why the warning you may ask, it’s really quite simple.  I want to spare you the disillusion and the heart ache that following a magic formula or a list will make your life magically perfect. Because quite frankly there is no book, no blog, no magazine, and no printable out there that has that has that ability.  If there was Hogwarts would be a real place and the author of said document would be a witch. Don’t expect magic when you’re organizing or simplifying your life, sometimes it get’s downright complicated and scary. My entire house was literally turned upside down a few months ago.  And I’m not just figuratively using the word literally either, my house literally did get turned upside down, or at the very least all the crap,  wonderful possessions, that were upstairs got moved downstairs so we could redo the flooring in 75% of our home. My husband and I got a steal of a deal on a foreclosure 2 years ago, and despite the fact that when we walked in there were bulging ceilings, a leaky roof, a leaking water meter, mushrooms (yes mushrooms, shudder) and mold (from the leaky water meter too), this was the place we chose to mortgage.  $20,000 worth of repairs (which were rolled in with the mortgage) later  our house no longer seemed like it was on it’s last legs, it was revitalized, and worthy to be called a...

I’m Simplifying Life In 2014! #lifesimplified

I’m simplifying Life in 2014! Join in and check out all the posts on Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/christinwrites/life-simplified/ Let me know what your resolutions are in the comments. Are you planning on simplifying life? (Subscribers click link to see the video). “More Or Less” By Jeff Shinabarger http://goo.gl/A7NYM2 (#ad) You can find my books here: http://goo.gl/Q3J7zD (#ad) Want your own one word button template? Melanie from only a breath made these beautiful one here: http://www.onlyabreath.com/2013/12/free-one-word-blog-button-template/...

The Shocking Truth About Christmas

Christmas isn’t about family. There I said it. It’s not about getting together and exchanging presents, it’s not about seeing people you haven’t in awhile. It’s not about catching up, it’s not about seeing your kids in their Christmas pajamas. It’s not about making family memories that will last a lifetime. Christmas isn’t even about how we celebrate this years December 25th. Christmas is about what happened 2000 years ago when God wrapped in flesh came to redeem the world. The quickest way to be disappointed on Christmas is to make it about anything else. Family gatherings are never as precious as we envision, children are not as grateful as we had hoped, and that perfect family moment never happens. And yet in the stillness of the past, there was a perfect Christmas, everything fit with God’s perfect plan, and a child was born, and a world was changed. Here’s 2 songs I hope you enjoy.  Subscribers Click Link To See Videos. Hey Moon A Christmas...

Do You Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself?

I had a breakdown half way through my Junior year in High School.  I was about to get my first C, EVER in my LIFE!  Up until this point in High School I had a 4.0 so a C (even if it was in an advanced math/physics class) was a HUGE blow. Back in High School I had this notion I could have it all.  I thought I could have leads in the school musical (which I did for 3 years), take piano lessons, take voice lessons, take tap lessons, take ballet lessons, sing in a church ensemble, sing in a church choir, participate in church youth group activities AND maintain a 4.0 in all advanced classes.  The thought of getting less than an A was terrifying. As an adult I can see the craziness.  I can see the unnecessary pressure I put on myself. I can see the foolishness of a 16 year old. But as an adult I have been doing the exact same thing to myself only on a grander scale. I got this notion when I stopped working full time, that I still needed to earn money.  Sure I’d let my husband bring home the lion’s share because that’s what a “good Christian” husband is supposed to do, and a “good Christian” wife should let him (right?).  Despite this I got the notion that  I *needed* to bring home some bacon as well. I began the same craziness that I did in High School of, insane deadlines and commitments.  Except this time I was doing it with a growing family (eventually 3 little ones) to care for....

Help End Child Slavery! #P4A Project For Awesome 2013

Help end modern day child slavery by voting here! If you had lived during the time of the Civil War, would you have been an abolitionist? Would you have been brave enough to sneak slaves to Canada or fight in the Union Army? I vlogged not too long ago about my experience at the Allume Blogging conference in South Carolina.  I went expecting to learn how to make my blog and social media better and instead I was faced with some pretty harsh realities that compels me not only to change my writing, but the way I live my life as well. God orchestrates things in a funny way sometimes, and even before I went to Allume He started putting the issue of modern day slavery in my path.  A youtube video would show up in my sidebar or I’d see a facebook link here and there. At first I was like, “No way, slavery isn’t a big thing anymore.  There’s no way it’s wide spread.” But the more I learned about modern day slavery the more obvious the horror became. At Allume I was able to meet one of the founders of The Exodus Road, and with hearing her stories there was no more denying slavery in the world today in my mind.  Even in my comfortable Lower Middle Class western existence I can’t unsee the faces of the children who need rescue, and who are being abused in the worst way. When my husband and I first started talking about slavery with our teenagers at church (in the most PG way possible) they were beyond shocked, and many of...

Letting God Do Your Christmas Shopping

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 Yesterday on Facebook I shared that between four 2nd hand stores and Amazon I am officially done with my Christmas shopping.  I did not expect to finish yesterday, you know how 2nd hand stores are right?  Sometimes they have good buys, sometimes they don’t.  But yesterday I cleaned up, I mean cleaned up, at the last Salvation Army I visited.  The back of my mini-van was loaded down with like-new toys for my kids and nephew. Here’s the thing I didn’t share on Facebook though, and I probably should have: my husband and I have been praying about how much money to spend on Christmas gifts, a lot.  We’ve been ironing out financial priorities lately and we wanted this Christmas to be more in line with our future goals, which include ways of figuring out how to give more. At Allume I heard the author of More or Less Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity  (#ad), Jeff Shinabarger, speak.  It changed the way I look at our personal wealth.  We may not be rich by American standards but we are beyond wealthy.  You can listen to the keynote here and I highly recommend it.  After listening to his speech at the conference I went upstairs and sobbed, I mean sobbed, to my husband on the phone about how I desperately wanted to give more but had no idea where to start.  Then when I came downstairs to the conference area again Jeff just happened...

Even When The Car Won’t Start and You Feel Like Pulling Your Hair Out…..

Coming Next Monday, An Open Mic Link Up! Woot! I’m pretty excited about this, and in celebration I’ll be sharing some vlogs this week and telling you more details about the link up as they’re ironed out. Last week my little pookie was sick (still is too) and we needed to take her to the doctor.  Between my car not starting and not being able to see our pediatrician though…….. it was one of “those” mornings.  My husband also makes fun of me (all in love I’m sure) about the number of times my car hasn’t started in the past year that have been completely my fault. We’re featuring Samaritan’s Purse as the “unofficial, in no way endorsing us, or is affiliated with us” sponsor of the video.  There’s still time to pack a shoebox if you haven’t, to spread some cheer this holiday season. Subscribers click the link to see the vlog. We’d love it if you’d share the video, or tell someone (social media or otherwise) about Samaritan’s Purse.  They are doing fantastic work for the cause of...

Climbing Trees, Falling Leaves, and A Beautiful 2 Year Old

This post is linked up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. No censoring, no massive editing, just writing for five minutes. There’s a tree in our backyard.  It’s young, maybe 10 years old. It has beautiful flowers in the spring and brilliant red leaves in the fall, that when the sunlight hits them, makes the branches look as if they are on fire. My daughter conquered the tree and it’s spindly branches this summer.  I’m not sure if it was from a book she read, T.V. show she saw, or just an idea her dad put in her head; but my 5 year old was determined to climb this little tree. It took weeks of her trying to figure out how to wiggle up there without assistance, but finally one day I looked in our fenced in back yard and saw her.  Proudly perched in the crook of the lowest branch. My little boy of course wanted to join his big sister, but well, he was almost 2 and far too short.  Just as determined as his sister though he attempted every way he could to scale the tree too.  But he wasn’t quite tall enough. It’s that little boys birthday today.  And my “almost 2 year old” is officially 2 now.  Where did the time go?  Cliche yes, but so true. It won’t be long and I’ll look in the backyard, he’ll be perched a top the branches.  Smiling that he finally conquered that little tree.  And I’ll probably cry because my baby isn’t so small...

What Do Operation Christmas Child & Talking Vegetables Have in Common?

  Aren’t all those shoe boxes pretty?  The above photo was taken at Allume during one of the break out sessions.  I’d heard of shoeboxes before but it took Allume and some talking vegetables to get me and my family super excited about them.   Here’s the short version, run, don’t walk (or drive a car if it’s more than a mile) to your nearest store and buy Merry Larry. When I had the opportunity to review Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, I figured I’d be getting a funny DVD in the mail that my kids would love. What I didn’t expect was a DVD that would challenge my kids to give of themselves this Christmas.  All my 5 year old has been talking about for weeks now is packing a shoe box. (Your family still has time too! Drop off week is November 18th-22nd) I’m getting ahead of myself though. Merry Larry is a happy-go-lucky elf at a mall where Phil (aka Bob the Tomato) has been hired to deck the mall with as many lights as can possibly fit.  On the surface it seems like Merry Larry knows more about the “true meaning” of Christmas than light obsessed Phil, but PLOT TWIST, both vegetables (or fruit botanically speaking) were wrong! They learn through the shenanigans you’d expect from your favorite talking vegetables, that the true light of Christmas reflects the gift God gave us so long ago.  Even the King of the Mall admits Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Awesome right? Well it get’s better, through a silly song, and a special bonus feature the...

Is There Such Thing As Absolute Truth?

This post is linked up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. No censoring, no massive editing, just writing for five minutes. In my philosophy course (I was required to take) in college not only did I need to memorize many useless worldviews, but I was also required to write a research project entitled, “What is Absolute Truth?” We needed to interview a minimum number of people (I think it may have been 50) and ask them “What is Absolute Truth?” then report back the findings. I was AMAZED at the varied answers I received.  How complicated is truth right? Apparently for some people, truth is very complicated.  In fact for many people, truth doesn’t even really exist. The dividing line seemed to be religious philosophy. Those who were Christians believed that there was absolute truth.  Those who weren’t Christians believed you defined your own truth. For a girl who was raised in church this shocked me a little bit.  How can someone not believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth?  But I realized after that college philosophy class this is what we’re up against as Christians. We’re up against a worldview that says, your truth doesn’t apply to me I reject it. But just because it’s rejected by many doesn’t make it less true. I believe in absolute truth.  I mourn for those who don’t. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is...

Why I Was Completely Unimpressed With Ann Voskamp (Not What You Think)

I was completely unimpressed with Ann Voskamp.  There I said it.  I met her, and I was unimpressed I mean first of all she was tall, being short myself, tall people don’t impress me (short’s where it’s at people).  2nd of all she wore jeans, jeans come on. I was expecting a bedazzled suit jacket like all the great women speakers wear.  And also while her haircut was cute and hair color flattering, it was so normal.  And, get this, she waited in line in the public restroom with the rest of the conference attendees. Now don’t get me wrong, I was seriously blessed by her key note speech.  My heart was challenged and God started speaking to me and preparing my heart to be broken during the coming weekend.  But I could tell, the words Ann spoke, weren’t her’s at all.  In fact every single last one of them weren’t hers.  No, I’m not saying she plagiarized anyone, I’m saying she was sensitive to the Holy Spirit and spoke the words he laid on her heart. Which brings me to her oh, so, popular book “1000 Gifts” I wasn’t impressed with that one either. In fact I only read 3/4’s of it and skimmed the rest.  (In the interest of full disclosure I got busy and couldn’t renew it anymore times from the library because there was a crazy long waiting list.) Ann once again didn’t use her own words when she wrote this book.  I mean if they were her words I would be  completely and utterly impressed with the book.  But they weren’t.  I could definitely...

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