Read My Apple Tree Story here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God's Land, Birthday Wish, and Silhouettes

Ella said to me last night, "Momma, did you know that all the clouds, the stars, and the whole earth is God's land? It's His land, Momma."

Yes it is, Ella. It sure is.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground‑‑trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:8-9

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:1-7

VOTE in the new Bible Verse poll. This is my way of encouraging both myself and you to open our Bibles and learn just a little bit more. Write these verses down so you can refer back to them later, maybe when you need some uplifting words or some extra encouragement.

I would love to hear from you as to what your favorite verse is. The verse from last week that had the most votes last week was one that I absolutely love and refer back to often ...

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A very special Birthday wish to my adorable niece, Anna Chapman, on her FIRST birthday today. I cannot believe it's been an entire year! I think about what an exciting day it was for us all this time last year. And she will be welcoming a sibling in March! We are so blessed.
For this child, I have prayed.
1 Samuel 1:27

And lastly, these are my silhouettes I had done of my children by Clay Rice. I'm trying to figure out where to hang them.

He is an extremely talented artist and it was absolutely amazing to watch how he does these. You should look him up. He also wrote and illustrated this book, which is beautiful. You should look him up and have him come to your town!

God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

Friday, September 24, 2010

FRIDAY FAVORITES - The Crippled Lamb

I am so excited to share with you my FRIDAY FAVORITES item. The good thing about this product, is that absolutely anyone can enjoy it and benefit from it. Children of all ages, adults, strong Christians, and those that may not have a personal relationship with Christ.

The Crippled Lamb, written by one of my favorites, Max Lucado, is a beautiful book, equally in illustration, content, and spirit. It will warm your heart everytime you read it. As one review read, “It is sure to move even the hardest of hearts.”

This book is a beautiful story of a little lamb named Joshua that is very much different than the other lambs. He can’t run, jump, and play, for he has a bad leg. Because of this, he often feels sad and left out – except when his best friend Abigail, an old, wise cow, is around.

Abigail spent most days telling Joshua, “Don’t be sad, little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out.” But it was still hard, and he often felt alone.

Then, one special night, when Joshua was feeling extra low, God put him in such a special place at the most special time, and little Joshua realized that God has heard his prayer and gave him an answer that will give you chills … and move you to tears! It was then that he understood why he had been born with a crippled leg.

This is a story that, although is more of a Christmas story, can and should be shared year-round. I actually just finished reading it again to Ella, and I just glowed as it sparked a wonderful, meaningful, and in-depth conversation with her.

We have the small board book, which is great for the children right now, however I would love to get the nice hardback copy to place on my coffee table to enjoy the beautiful illustrations and also as a reminder that God has a special place and purpose for each and every one of us. He created each of us differently for a reason and we are all equally important.

Next Time a Sunrise Steals Your Breath or a Meadow of Flowers Leaves You Speechless, Remain that Way. Say Nothing and Listen as Heaven Whispers,
"Do you like it? I did it just for you."- Max Lucado

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time With God = Growth in Attitudes & Thoughts

First of all, I am beyond humbled by Liz's post. God's perfect timing is truly amazing and I am so thankful that He is at work in each of our lives. His grace and love shine through in so many ways and it shows all around us. And as her post reads, it is yet another reminder that as we spend time in God's word and ask Him for His help, we can see growth in our attitudes and thoughts.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

Liz over at Crafty Mama Blog is a beautiful Mom, wife, friend, and Godly woman that has decided to share her incredible talents with the rest of us! She, like us all, is juggling and balancing life along with the time, energy, and courage it takes to open her own etsy store. She has recently launched a new line of products for adults that are similar to her adorable children's products. You have GOT to check it out and support and encourage her in this new venture!

Also, I am continuing with a new Bible verse poll. I really would love for you to do this with me. We all get busy and this is a simple way to open our Bibles and learn just a little more about God. Hopefully you will be encouraged at a time you are struggling and can find hope during an overwhelming time. It is my hope that you will open your Bible along with me, and learn just one more thing about God's amazing love for us. I struggle with this, with opening my Bible each day, but I know that spending time in His word is what we are supposed to do. It is expected of us. So I am starting at a simple level, soaking in every word I can, as I have realized how much I do NOT know and how much left there is for me to learn. Looking up just a few verses each week is the very least I should do. I am learning so much by just opening my Bible. I would love for you to take this simple challenge with me. Now take a much-needed minute, open your Bible, find these verses and VOTE!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Simple Gesture

Ella was at preschool. Wilson was asleep in the car. I realized I was somewhat alone for a moment. I took advantage of that moment and turned on K-love. I found a nice beach access with no other cars and parked. On the radio, they were talking about simple acts of kindness. Simple things we can do that can make such a difference - even life-changing. And it always seems to come at just the perfect time for both the do-er and the receiver. But we should know that it is God's doing. And it is all done in His perfect timing.

Jesus asked all of us who believe to, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven"
Matthew 5:16

I came across this wonderful, touching story and found it very much worthy of sharing. Remember that sometimes, a little thing doesn't mean a lot, it means EVERYTHING.

A Simple Gesture
By: Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth:

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…" (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)
Friend To Friend:

My husband, Steve, was pumping gas. It seemed like he was always pumping gas. Living out in the country and driving into town each day required gas, and a lot of it. As he stood holding the nozzle and watching the numbers rapidly roll by higher and higher, he noticed an old 1992 grey Honda Civic pull up to the pump behind him. The car had seen better days: rusted roof, missing hubcaps, faded paint, and dented bumper.

Out of the corner of his eye, he observed a young woman who appeared to be in her late 20's get out of the car. She was dressed in medical scrubs and looked about as tired as her Civic. Methodically, she swiped her card, placed the nozzle in the tank, and squeezed the handle. Within one minute of beginning, she stopped squeezing. She then placed the nozzle back in the pump and began screwing the cap back on her tank.

That couldn't have been more than a couple of gallons, Steve thought.

"Is that all the gas you're getting?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, well, you know. Trying to space it out," she replied.

Steve placed his nozzle back on in its holder, walked over to her pump, and swiped his card. "Let's fill it up today."

"No, no. You can't do that," she protested.

"I already did," he smiled. "It's already done. See. The card's approved. Fill it up."

"Tears welled up in her eyes. "Thank you," she said.

"Now you have a good day," he replied. "God bless." And off he drove.

I just love that man.

As I thought about Steve's act of kindness, I was challenged to pay closer attention to those around me throughout my busy days. I was stirred to look for someone who needed a kind word, a bill paid, a burden carried.

Throughout Jesus' thirty-three years he walked this earth, he noticed people who crossed his path during his busy day. He noticed a small man in a tree straining to catch a glimpse as he passed by (Luke 19:1-8). He noticed a woman with a bent-over back sitting in the women's section of the synagogue straining to hear (Luke 13). He noticed a 38-year-old lame man sitting by a pool (John 5). He noticed a grieving mother mourning the loss of her only son (Luke 7). He noticed the hunger of the crowd after a long day of teaching on the hillside (Mark 6). He noticed … and he did something about it.

It is very easy to go about our busy days with blinders on - focusing on our own little worlds and ignoring the ministry opportunities surrounding us. But Jesus showed us how to pay attention, lighten a load, bestow a blessing, give a gift, help the hurting, and bind-up the broken. Listen, Jesus was busy! He had a lot to accomplish in 3.5 years of his earthly ministry. But he was never too busy to pay attention to the needs of the people around him.

Steve was my hero that day. And I suspect, for one young lady in a beat-up, old gray Honda Civic, he was her hero as well.

Let's Pray:

Dear LORD, open my eyes today. Forgive me for being so selfish that I forget to notice the needs all around me. Show me someone that I can help today. Show me how I can be Your hands and feet today. I'm listening. I'm watching. I'm paying attention.
In Jesus' Name,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Favorites

Today I wanted to share with you a product that benefits the entire family! This all really started when I was on bedrest last summer. Having been told that my little baby was coming at only 27 weeks, I was determined to fatten him up as best I could. I did not care how much weight I gained. Wanted to take-in as much protein as I possibly could. I wasn’t able to be in the kitchen cooking healthy meals, though. So, this is what I counted on to get the most nutrients to my baby boy (along with all the wonderful and numerous meals my church family brought to us) …
(You can usually find it in grocery stores near the oatmeal and breakfast bars. I personally prefer the Rich Milk Chocolate flavor. And by the way, remember my Friday Favorites are all personal to me. I am not getting compensated -- just simply sharing what I think is a good product!)

I am not a huge milk-lover, however this stuff I love! And so does Ella. I put about ¼ packet in her milk every morning and evening and I know that she is getting SO many more vitamins and nutrients.

Carnation Instant Breakfast has:
2x Protein of an egg
2x Calcium of yogurt
Extra Antioxidants to support immune system
Extra B Vitamins to convert food to energy
Vitamin A – 45% of your daily requirement
Vitamin C – 50% daily requirement
Iron – 25% daily requirement
21 Vitamins & Minerals in each serving

When on bedrest, I fixed probably 3-4 servings of this each day! I know, that sounds crazy, but it helped me know that I was giving extra and proper nutrients to my teeny tiny baby. One thing I did to mix it up a bit ...

Poor a serving of milk in a blender with ice. Pour in a packet of Milk Chocolate Instant Breakfast. Then add a ½ Tablespoon of INSTANT coffee (must be instant). Blend that together and you have a delicious mocha-like shake.

Instead of coffee, you can add a banana for another different treat. I wouldn’t recommend giving the coffee shake to your children! But think how healthy the banana shake is! And what a fun way to get your children to intake so many nutrients. You can also have them help you make it for a fun parent-child activity.

Happy Friday to all my dear reader-friends! I hope to enjoy some downtime with my family. I have been fighting a bad cold for 8 days now and feel so run down. I feel overwhelmed. Don't we all feel pulled in so many directions all at the very same time?! I still haven't learned that balance of being a good mom, wife, homemaker, friend, and Christian -- all in one. How do you do it?

Don't forget to VOTE! Open that Bible of yours and enjoy God's Word!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Target GC, Worthwhile Quotes, and Bible Verse Voting!

Check out my friend's blog Karen At Home. She is an incredible mom and I love reading about how she is learning to balance life at work, life at home, and being a loving and supportive Christian, Mom, wife and friend. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and ... she loves SOUTH CAROLINA!

She is hosting a fantastic giveaway for reaching 300 followers. Check it out and enter away at


"When we set an example of honesty our children will be honest. When we encircle them with love they will be loving. When we practice tolerance they will be tolerant. When we meet life with laughter and a twinkle in our eye they will develop a sense of humor."    Wilferd A. Peterson thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

"If you want your child to accept your values when he reaches his teen years, then you must be worthy of his respect during his younger days."    James Dobson order to offer ourselves as a model for you, that you might follow our example.
2 Thessalonians 3:9

"A mother is a person who sees that there are only four pieces of pie for five persons and promptly remarks that she's never cared for pie."   Unknown is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35


Take this challenge with me by spending just a few minutes reading God's word. I have started something to encourage both you and me to open our Bibles and learn more about God's love for us and the way in which HE wants us to live. This is a constant struggle for me ... I want to be better for HIM.

So, I am keeping things simple. I learn more that way! I encourage you to and hope that you will take just a few minutes to learn just a little more. VOTE for your favorite Bible verse. A new poll will be starting in a few short days.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Simple Challenge for You and Me

I get easily overwhelmed with challenging tasks. Sometimes simply opening my Bible can be overwhelming, wondering where to start, and if I am interpreting His word correctly. This thought has been tugging at my heart lately, wondering how I personally can learn more about God’s Word and His amazing ways, and also spread and share it in a not-so-overwhelming and challenging way, although His word and love for us IS SO OVERWHELMING!!

I have started something new on here. If you look on the right sidebar, you will notice a Bible verse poll. Things don’t seem quite so overwhelming if I break it down verse by verse. It seems to hold more with me, and I tend to learn more when things are kept simple. I thought what a better way than to take you along this learning process and share in this simple challenge with you.

This is challenging me to open my Bible and read and learn. It may be little by little. It may only be one verse at a time, and that is okay. I know the importance of spending time in His word daily, but sometimes life just keeps me from doing so and that frustrates me.

So … let’s do this together! I am challenging and encouraging both you and myself to take this journey. I am spending time finding Bible verses that I think might be helpful, encouraging, and enlightening to you, which puts ME spending time in His word learning more. And YOU gain too. It’s simple! Each week I will post 4 or so Bible verses. You open your Bible, look up each verse, and tell me which is most meaningful or relevant to you at the time. Just maybe it will be the exact thing you need to hear at that very moment ... and it puts YOU in His word. You never know how God works through His perfect timing. You may even want to start a notebook of verses to look back on when you need some uplifting words and encouragement.

If you do not have a Bible, please email me. I would be honored to send you one.

I am excited about this challenge, and I really encourage you to and hope you will participate with me.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Drum Roll Please ...

And the winner of my giveaway is:

( selected #2)

Congratulations! I will be in touch via email today. I am sure you will be very satisfied with your brand new FREE personalized art canvas. Share some pics with us! I'd love to see which one you choose and where you decide to hang it!

Thank you to all who participated and to Little House Monograms for sponsoring. (You are very talented and I wish you all the best in your business!) Remember these awesome products with all your gift-giving needs now that Christmas is quickly approaching. What a perfect, fun, and personal gift!

I already have another incredible giveaway planned. Keep checking back. I LOVE reading all your comments. They are so encouraging to me to keep plugging away in this wonderful blogging world!

More posts to come ... hopefully today!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

GIVEAWAY TIME ... In Honor of my Loyal Readers!

I am SO excited about this awesome GIVEAWAY!!! You are in for a real treat! Mary from LittleHouseMonograms has very graciously offered you:


These beautiful art canvases are perfect in so many ways …

an elegant look for a bedroom nook or living room sitting on a wooden easel on a table top,

a perfect addition to your child’s room, nursery, or playroom,

fun to personalize a boring dorm room,

nice wedding or shower gift, 

generous housewarming gift … the uses are endless!

And how cute are they?! The problem is deciding which one to choose, and whether to keep it for yourself or give it for a gift!

These canvases look great hanging on the wall or can be displayed on a wooden easel. Depending on which room and which look you are going for, they can be done very elegantly or more on the cutesy side, which allows you much versatility in getting exactly what you want!

Mary’s work is very quality work. She was always taught never to cut corners just to get something finished. Her lovely Mom instilled in her to, “Take your time and do it right the first time!” These monogrammed designs are made with artist canvas covered in high quality card stock. Everything is cut by hand and each design is original. Canvases are available in both 12"x12" and 10"x10" and are finished on all sides so no frame is needed and then sprayed with a sealer to protect it from dust and little fingers. Back has hardware for easy hanging.

TO ENTER this incredible giveaway, all you have to do is:
      Go to her ETSY SHOP HERE and “Favorite” her shop when you check out all of her amazing products. Then leave me a comment saying that you did so and which your favorite design/color is = 1 entry.

(Make sure to leave separate comments for each entry)

Mention & link my giveaway on your blog = 5 entries
(For example, leave 5 separate comments under this post stating you mentioned it)

Mention my giveaway on your Facebook Wall = 5 entries

Include my blog link under your Blog List = 5 entries

Become a Follower = 2 entries
(If you already are a Follower, you may still enter. I am loyal to my readers!!!)

Add my blog to your Computer Favorites = 2 entries

Make a purchase with Mary from LittleHouseMonograms = 5 entries

This giveaway will end Monday night, Sept 13 at 11:59pm and I will announce the winner Tuesday. Winner will be chosen by random selection at

As always, thank you for your faithfulness and continued support. And a BIG thank you to Mary from Little House Monograms on etsy for sponsoring this great giveaway!!! Check our her adorable shop!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lord, bless this child with a spirit
to know and love you.

God is my great shepherd and I'm His little lamb. He watches me so lovingly no matter how small I am.

Lord, please take care of me.
My boat is so small and the sea is so wide.

Only God knows
how many apples are in each seed.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Favorites

"Following Jesus shouldn't be just one more thing to do" Jen Hatmaker writes of her book "Out of the Spin Cycle" Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load.

A few of us are starting a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group locally and this is the Devotional Book we are using. It has been the PERFECT book for me. As mothers, free time doesn't come often, and these devotions can be read easily and quickly. Each "chapter" is only 2-3 pages long, yet so much is gained from each word.

So, I just had to share it with you today through my
Friday Favorites
Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load
and I would love for you to join along and read with me. You will not be disappointed!

From the Back Cover:
Motherhood sometimes feels like a list of expectations. You may be busy or even overwhelmed. But you are also strong and brilliant. And here's a secret: a lot of those things on your list of expectations are things Jesus never expected you to do on your own.

In Out of the Spin Cycle, author and speaker Jen Hatmaker takes the words and deeds of Jesus, adds the humor of a young mom's life, and offers messages of grace and encouragement. Covering areas such as worry, marriage, priorities, money, and the comparison trap, this dynamic Bible teacher brings Jesus's message alive in short, to-the-point devotionals for your busy life. This is a devotional for you--the woman inside the mom--the Bible student, the learner, the world-changer.
So put aside that to-do list for a moment and discover the ways Jesus can lighten your mother load.

Product Description:

What lists and systems and self-help books have failed to do for young moms in the trenches, Jesus can accomplish blindfolded. Yes, moms are busy, they need a break, and they'd just like a shower. But they are also strong and brilliant and have the power to move mountains. Author and speaker Jen Hatmaker takes the words and deeds of Jesus, adds the humor of a young mom's life, and offers messages of grace and encouragement. She shows overburdened moms forty things Jesus doesn't expect them to do on their own. Covering areas such as worry, marriage, priorities, money, and the trap of comparison, this lively Bible teacher brings Jesus's message alive in a format geared to the short moments moms have that can be allotted to reflection. This is a devotional for the woman inside the mom--the Bible student, the learner, the world-changer.
5.0 out of 5 stars For Any Mom Who Needs to Lighten Her Load!, June 20, 2010

By LifeVerse "Christine" (California, USA)
This review is from: Out of the Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load (Paperback)

Jen Hatmaker has written a wonderful book for any Mom who needs to lighten her load! Her new book Out Of The Spin Cycle is the perfect gift for any mom...from the Mom struggling with her newborn baby, to the toddler mom wondering if she'll survive the challenging twos, to the more experience mom...who will enjoy looking back and laughing at her mothering trials and errors. Like a comfortable pair of mom slippers, this book should be right next to her bedside as a daily necessity.

Out of The Spin Cycle has one key theme: less pressure for Mom. These 40 devotionals are centered on something that burdens moms as they are parent these tiny little creatures, delivered as a gift from God, without an instruction manual. I enjoyed Jen Hatmaker's perspective of motherhood, as I was the vice-president of the local moms club, listening to other moms pressure one another to have the "perfect child." While moms are busy scheduling playdates, Spanish lessons, enrichment classes, swim lessons for babies, and a variety of educational programs designed to elevate her child in status, Jen Hatmaker reminds us of the true meaning of motherhood: enjoy your child, as God made him or her.

This is the first Jen Hatmaker book that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I received an advanced copy from the publisher Revell Books, for review.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I am saddened and frustrated with my recent actions. I could have used a bad situation and turned it good, but I didn’t. I could have been a witness, but I wasn’t. And I can’t go back. But I can take from it, and I will.

Sitting in church this past Sunday, I was reminded of something that happened this summer. One evening I was driving home from Vacation Bible School. I had Ella in the car with me. I was beyond exhausted from a long, hot day with 2 busy children, then spent almost 3 hours with 20 extremely active & excited 4 year olds at church. I pulled on the curb at our regular grocery store and got a diet coke from the drink machine, as I do too often. I realize when I open the car door that our VBS music is blaring. I have on my church’s VBS tee shirt.

I notice a man sitting on the bench beside the drink machines. It was right around 8pm, starting to get dark. Clearly he was intoxicated. I smelled him immediately. He was filthy … looked like it had been weeks since he had showered.

All I wanted was my diet coke. I was hot and exhausted. At first I wondered if I should even get out of the car. I admit I was a little nervous and slightly scared, mainly because I had Ella with me. I tried not to make eye contact. I quickly got my drink and got back in the car and locked the doors.

As things often do, it hit me just slightly too late. I was so disappointed in myself. What a perfect opportunity to help someone, and what did I do … nothing. I could have easily bought an extra drink and handed to him. I wonder now when someone last did something nice for this man. What bothers me most about this situation, though, was that I was wearing my church’s logo.

I will think about this missed-opportunity for a long time and hopefully next time I will do something to make a difference.

"Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more."
Proverbs 31:6-7


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