Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Revelation 22: 5
" There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever. "

I read this verse and immediately 2 songs come to my mind, I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light , and Handel's Messiah ("and He shall reign forever and ever..."). That's how I think, I remember in music. If you set scripture to music and it has a beat and I can dance to it, I'll remember it! Otherwise, scripture memory is challenging for me. That's why, I've been working so hard at it lately. I want to be able to recall in any given situation, a word of comfort, wisdom, joy, peace, name it, it's in the Bible and I want to know it. That's why I'm so excited to get Beth Moore's latest Bible study, "Entrusted". I was able to get it with scripture memory cards. I haven't yet received them in the mail, but look out, I'm all over this scripture memory now, I might just spit 2 Timothy out for the next few months everyday in this blog. And heaven help my family, they'll be 2 Timothy-ed to death!!! I encourage you to study and memorize along with me. Let me know what your "go to" verse is lately and how it's important in your life right now. Please comment below, I'd love to hear from you.

As summer is drawing to an end, I am trying to eke out all of the outdoor summer activities I can. Yesterday, I took my mom, my youngest and her bestie to see the last of the Sunflowers and to eat some delicious ice cream at one of our local creameries. It was such a beautiful sunshiney day! Here are some pics of our visit, and some pics of some of my husband and kids from last week (same place-no ice cream!).

Me and the girls.
My mom and the girls.


My hubby and our girls.

Me and our girls.
This is the first year since 2012 that we haven't gotten our boy in the pic (he was at usual), but if you want to visit our sunflower pics over the years, click here- It's a sunshine day!. It's fun to look back and see how my girls are growing into such beautiful young ladies.

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!

***I encourage you to also follow these links to #Entrusted ,, Beth Moore's latest study of 2 Timothy. We can study it together!!***

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This week, last year

Leviticus 26: 10
" You will still be eating last year's harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. "

Leviticus is sort of a guide book for God's people after the exodus from Egypt, but before they are led into the "promised land". It is God's guide to a relationship with Him. Lots and lots of guidelines...but remember these are the same group of people that made a golden calf and started to worship it after Moses went up the mountain to receive God's laws; they needed some guidelines, lots and lots of them! Of course today, we have guidelines too, we have God's word which includes the book of Leviticus and 65 others. While we don't have to adhere to the sacrificial rules set forth in the Old Testament, we do need to remember that God's words are our shield and we need to know them so that we are prepared to fight our daily battles and struggles. I like this verse because it gives hope for those who are keeping their relationship with God (I also like it because they have so much food, they have to get rid of it so they can have more food!!).  Lord, thank you for knowing our weaknesses and struggles, and for giving us your word and your spirit to guide us through them. Amen!

Speaking of struggles...
This week, last year, started off very nicely. The children were just back to school, the weather was beautiful and we spent long warm afternoons playing outside. My then 2 year old, suddenly one evening, complained that her knee was hurting her and just 2 days later we were in the ER and admitted to the hospital (see Walking and jumping for more details). What a week!! If it hadn't been for my faith, I don't know how I would have gotten through it. This year, I'm happy to report that my now 3 year old is perfectly healthy, and even though there are still days I worry about her health (as I do each of my children), each day I am so blessed by all of her 3 year old antics...good and bad! Thank you, Lord, for the miracle that this little person is to me every day.

Here she was this time last year.

Here she is in the hospital. Such a frightening few days for our family.
Even in the midst of of our fear and uncertainty of what was wrong, we were certain that God was in control.

Here is a link to a video I posted on Facebook from my old phone, which is completely dead now. I'm just not tech savvy enough to know how to put the video on this blog post, so please click on the link to see the entertaining ride I had in the ambulance when we were transferring to the children's hospital. 

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday, and that when you look back to your "this week last year", that you are as grateful as I am to know that God was in control then, he is in control now and He is always in control!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The last first

Matthew 20: 16
" So the last will be first, and the first will be last. "

This verse is about envy. Specifically in this parable, the workers were none too happy that those that only worked an hour, got the same wages as those that worked all day in the sun (to be quite frank, I wouldn't be very happy about that either!). But we need to look at the true meaning of this parable, and rejoice!! I had very little understanding about God and Jesus growing up, even though I went to church, I just didn't get it. It doesn't matter to God that I came to the party a little later. His gift to me is the same gift He gives to all who believe. Whether we come to Him as children or at our final hour, we are given the same thing...eternal life! (No returns. No exchanges!!)

I am celebrating today, my children's return to the first day of school. For two of them, it's the last, first day of elementary school, and middle school! Where does the time go?? Here's a couple of pics I took this morning as my kiddos were headed out the door.

It was this young man's 1st day of 10th grade. He didn't really want his picture taken, lol!
 I'm loving his new jeans and shirt. His father took him to Kohl's to get a few new things for school.
Isn't he handsome??!! (Kohl's- Men's Urban Pipeline Slim-Fit Straight-Leg Jeans, and
Men's Urban Pipeline Print Button-Down Shirt)

Here's my 8th grader ready for her last, first day of middle school!
(She has new clothes, too, from Kohl's, but she didn't wear them!)

and finally, this girl...

My girl's last, first day of elementary school. It's hard to believe it!!
Love her new tee from Kohl's-Girls 7-16 Mudd (similar style).

While I'm celebrating the first day of school today, I'm also celebrating another new day in Christ! Yay, another one!! Thank heaven, because I could really use a  redo some days. I pray that you have a wonderful new day today, too. 

***Also, I have been so blessed by these quotes from Beth Moore's latest Bible study of 2 Timothy, Entrusted ,, #EntrustedStudy. Here's one that hits a homerun for me***

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Get Back

Job 22: 23
" If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: if you remove wickedness far from your tent "

Poor Job! He wasn't a wicked man, he was a good man. His well meaning friends were giving him some unsolicited advice. I have had that happen to me and unfortunately, I've given some as well. Not that all advice that is unsolicited is bad (in Job's case his friends were off-base). What we really need is to go to God first and seek His advice and counsel before we open our mouths to others. Sometimes, the only words that need to be spoken are on bent knee to our Lord. Praying for and with our friends and family is the most powerful thing we can do. Thank you, Lord, that we can come to you in prayer.

The returning I'm thinking about today (although, returning to the Lord is NEVER bad advice) is returning to school. And in my house, returning to school also means that my son returned to football (camp started last week, workouts started waaayyy before that!!). We are busy preparing. This week we tried to get back to our bedtime routine, uughh!. We also already have most of my Elementary student's school supplies. And my boy, he needed: new cleats, new socks,  pads and practice shirt and shorts. We have yet to get school clothes or new backpacks, plus, the girls still need to get their hair trimmed. There is a lot of prep work to be done before the kids "get back"!!!

Here's something we did to help us "get back" on track!

My new favorite store for name brand, but not full price, is TJ Maxx. Of course I've been there before, but I must have been distracted, because now you can't keep me out of there. The trick is to go often, and if you see something you like: get it! It'll be gone the next time you go!!

They had a great assortment of backpacks!!

....and the prices were great!
Are you are getting ready to "get back" as well?  What kinds of things are you doing to prepare? Is there a great tip or a great store you want to share? Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. 

I pray you have a terrific day and evening at this point!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Choose joy!

James 1: 2
" Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, "

So, kids...God love them, because quite frankly, Lord, sometimes they are soooo trying!!!  I love ALL of my children so much. I know they don't truly grasp that. Sometimes I hear how much I favor one over the other, or if I have to discipline one of them, they know I absolutely couldn't love them. If I did love them, they would have the latest and greatest in technology or I'd let them go there or let them read that, or let them wear something completely inappropriate. Apparently, according to my children, I am the only parent in the world that has expectations of any kind. Their friends don't have to walk the dog, or clean their rooms or pick up anything. And...they also get pretty much everything they want. Too bad, so sad! Suck it up sister (brother, whatever). Life doesn't work that way.

 If I could, my children would each have my undivided attention all the time, their rooms would be something out of the pages of a magazine, they would have a driver to take them where they needed to go and pick them up precisely when they wanted to leave. They would have unlimited healthy, delicious snacks in the pantry and refrigerator whenever they wanted them, and we would dine on french fries and hamburgers (or whatever delicious meal they desire), expertly prepared by our live-in chef every night. We'd have a weight room and a gymnastics room with a trampoline, a built in pool with a lifeguard (his name would be Chris Evans and...I digress...). You get the picture.

I can't give my children those things. As much as I love each one of them, and as hard as my husband and I work, we will probably never be able to provide such luxuries. What I can give them is my unconditional love (sometimes it feels like unrequited love), a meal to eat, and a bed to sleep in. I only discipline them so that they know right from wrong, what is expected of  their behavior and attitudes,and  how to respect and honor others. Most importantly, I pray for them. I pray for their relationship's with God, that they rely on Him and learn the importance of faith and forgiveness, of hope and peace, and of true joy. Lord, today, I am so thankful for my children, even on the tough days, and I pray that they take the time to look beyond their daily trials and disappointments (in me, in their dad, in themselves, etc...) and look for the beauty, and feel the joy that is around them, that they can feel peace and contentment even in the storms.

Here are some pics of my kiddos over the last few days, even when they complained that their lives were abysmal and bleak, they seemed to be missing some of the moments when I saw joy!

Here we are on the way to get our brakes fixed at our friends house. No one wanted to go!
I caught this moment of my girls listening to Barney the dinosaur singing Christmas songs (yes, in August!).
There was definitely some singing along going on here!!!

It took me over an hour to convince my son he would have a good day. He refused to believe me and did his best in the beginning to really try not to, but ...I caught him!!!
We had such a fun time in the pool, what a beautiful place to get your brakes fixed!

Just another smiling teen pic captured.
We capped off our day of  fun in the sun with McDonald's Sundaes on the way home!
We laughed and swam all day, my happiness was in their squeals and smiling faces.
Thank you, Lord, for this moment of joy!!

I pray today that you remember the moments of joy. Even on our hardest days they are there. They are there in a kind word spoken or an action taken. They are there in the smile of a child or just a song on the radio. There are moments in sunrises and sunsets, in the embrace of a loved one, and on the pages of scripture. Thank you, Lord, for joy!

I pray you have a joyous day!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I want...

Romans 7: 19
" For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing"

Boy, can I relate to this verse!!! Why just this morning, after my quiet time, one of my "littles" spilled yogurt on the carpeting in the living room. I cleaned it up, smiled and helped to feed said child some more. My husband came down the steps and asked me to help him with something and the minute my back was turned...more yogurt on the carpet! I was not as pleasant the second time it happened. So much so, that I had to pray again, and ask God for a morning re-do! Lord, forgive me, I'm certainly a sinful woman. Help me to wipe away my sinful ways and look toward You, where there is no condemnation, but life anew!

Not only do I want to live a more Christ-like life, I also want a few things for me, my children and my home (sorry for the awkward segue).  Here are a few things that I've been craving lately.

daily planner
This devotional planner from Anchored Press.
It comes in several colors and styles.
(Click here for link- Anchored Press)

The Pioneer Woman Cowgirl Lace 12-Piece Dinnerware Set
These dishes!
Love these everyday dishes from  The Pioneer Woman-Walmart.
Someone dropped one of our dinner plates the other night, so I'm pretty sure, I need these!!

Adult Converse All Star Chuck Taylor High-Top Sneakers
These sneakers from Kohl's.
It's back to school time, and my 13 year old, wants these!!!
(Converse All Star Chuck Taylor High-Tops- Kohl's)

This nail polish.
A friend of mine got a pedi and chose this color, I'm obsessed!!
(O.P.I- Midnight in Moscow)

So, just a few things that were on my mind that I thought I'd share with you. What kinds of things are on your list? Please share your "want" below. I'd love to hear from you.  I truly am so blessed, that I don't need any of these things, but I surely wouldn't mind having  a few of them. Thank you, Lord, that I have been blessed with the things I need and you so generously allow me to get a few of the things that I want.

I want you to have a good Thursday, today. OK?!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

First things first

Acts 16: 31
" They replied, ' Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household.' "

Routine...sounds mundane, doesn't it? But I like a routine. It keeps me focused and it gives me a sense of comfort and peace. Especially when my morning routine revolves around spending time with God. I thought I'd share my morning routine with you today.

I make lunches...
This one is for my hubby. Fortunately I only have 1 to do this morning.
During the school year I have 4 to make!!

I run!
I run about 2 miles...sometimes more sometimes less.
I have coffee with Jesus

I try to do this first most mornings, but I wanted to make sure I got the other things done before my hubby went to work.
and, something I'm really working on lately...
I memorize!

I have no idea why the picture turned out this way, but you'll notice, it's the same verse as above.
I also share the verse with my family at dinner and encourage them to memorize it, too.

I also eat!
Running makes me hungry...actually everything makes me hungry.
Let's be honest here, I'm in a perpetual hungry state!!
I made these scrumptious Strawberry Oatmeal Bars yesterday, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into them!!
(Recipe- here, and yes it's Pioneer Woman, of course!)

Lord, thank you for quiet time! I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into my morning. What do you do in the morning? I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, and let me know.

I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Transformation Tuesday!

2 Corinthians 3: 18
" And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. "

So, in this verse Paul is obviously not talking about a makeover, at least outwardly. Paul is telling us about the transformation that occurs in our hearts and in our minds when we put our hope in Jesus. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are transformed. The old has been made new! (paraphrase 2 Corinthians 5:17)  While there are some days that I feel like my Oldy-McOld self, I can look back at my life and see all of the miraculous changes that have taken place in my life. Thank you, Lord, for the "new" me. I look forward to so many more changes. I pray you continue to mold me and transform me!! Amen.

So last week, I had a great idea for a post. I took a picture of myself at pretty much my worst ( I wasn't ill, so I'm sure it could've gone even further downhill)!! I needed a root touchup, new contact lenses, and a hair trim. I have been struggling with my hairstyle lately. I decided to go shorter and I got a very adequate cut a few weeks ago, but it wasn't what I wanted. The week after I got this cut, I cut it again, myself. I just took the scissors and chopped of several inches of my hair. I was actually getting compliments on it after I did that, however, it was so uneven and choppy, it needed to be fixed. Last Tuesday, I got it "fixed" and touched up my roots. I felt like a new person after that. And when I finally had some time to really think about how my post would looked and sounded nothing like it does today. I wanted to wear a whole new outfit, with some cute shoes and make-up that looked like it was professionally done. I realized that the transformation that truly counts is on the inside. With just the few changes that I made outwardly, I felt transformed and new outside, and I've never been in a better place spiritually, so the more important transformation was already taking place on the inside. So here are some mighty scary pictures of me...transformed!!

Last week...

Uuughh!!! definitely not feeling that
I was living up to my full potential, here.
Not too, too least I was smiling!

Here I am today!

"I feel better, so much better"!!

I really like my "new" shorter  'do.
I decided that for this post, I wouldn't put on my newest outfit, I'm wearing a cute, classic
polo style dress (similar style found- here) that I purchased years ago.  Pretty and simple.

So, lesson learned for me. I'm glad I took the time to "gussy up" a bit. But the most important changes are occurring inside. Don't get me wrong, there will definitely be some more posts about my newest, latest and greatest outfit or shoes, or a great makeup find. But more importantly, I'll be sharing about my ups, downs, weaknesses, strengths, the trials and triumphs that come with living out my life in Christ. I pray today that we make those kind of changes together!

Have a terrific day!!

***Speaking of transformation, here's the latest and greatest from Beth Moore, #EntrustedStudy, . Order your copy today to receive a set of  FREE Scripture Memory Cards!!***

Monday, August 8, 2016

Not good enough

2 Corinthians 12: 9
" But he said to me, ' My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast gladly about all of my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. "

I had a perfectly lovely weekend. My family and I visited some relatives in Va. Beach to see our new great-nephew. I never thought about it before, but I'm a "Gr-aunt" (grand/great aunt)!!! We went to the beach and out to dinner right on the water, and had the best bacon donuts ever! Not to mention, I got to visit with the sweetest young couple in their new home and meet their beautiful new baby boy. Hmmmm (sigh of contentment). But for some reason this morning I can't seem to get my groove on. I'm somehow feeling inadequate, not good enough. Some of  my thoughts led me to think that I should maybe not write today because I really don't have anything to say that anybody would be interested in or anything important to share, or that there were other people so much more qualified than me who have such learned and important things to say ...STOP! Right here, right now! That's when I put on the armor of God, I opened up my Bible and found the verse above. None of the negative thoughts that I was having seemed important anymore. His grace is sufficient for me, none of the other things matter, because in my weakness, He is strong, He is powerful. So I will boast gladly of my weakness, the enemy holds no power over me, Christ's perfect power rests on me today and forever. Amen!

What a fun time my family and I had this weekend. Today I'm so thankful for the blessing of family. Here are some pics of our weekend.

My new little great nephew and his beautiful mommy!!
3 of my little loves on the beach!

Here we all are at dinner at Bubba's. Delicious and what a view!
Here's a FB link for Bubba's

I had to take a selfie with my hubby on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

On the way home we stopped in Chincoteague
 to have dinner and play miniature golf.
Here are my 4 "littles" sitting in a BIG chair at the fun park.

And, here's the beautiful sunset that we saw on our way back home. What a beautiful end to a wonderful weekend.
I pray today, that you know you are good enough. You are precious in His sight. On the days that you don't feel you can do it alone, remember you are never alone. You can lean on the One who is your strength when you are weak. Thank you, Lord, for your strength, your mercy and your grace!!

Have a marvelous Monday!!

***Important reminder: Only 7 more days to preorder your copy of Entrusted to receive a free set of Scripture Memory Cards***
Click here: #EntrustedStudy,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I SCREAM! for ice cream.

 2 Timothy 2: 23
" Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. "

Wow, did I need this verse yesterday, and again today! (and probably throughout this election season...). I had such a fun day yesterday, however, it started off a little rocky. Actually it started really well, but by the time I got my teenagers up and running and got to my mom's house to meet up with her and some friends for our fun day, it was rocky (and Rocky II, III, IV, etc...maybe even Creed?!). Help me Lord to squelch my temper. The rest of Chapter 2 in 2 Timothy is important, too. It goes on to read, " And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who had taken them captive to do his will."  Such important stuff. How can I hope to win anyone to Christ if I so easily lose my temper or I'm yelling at my children all the time? Forgive me, Lord. Help me to be more fruitful in my walk and especially in my talk. Our actions and words are scrutinized by those who don't know you. " Set a guard over my mouth. Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. " Psalm 141: 3

Today, I am thankful for ice cream!!! Yesterday I drove up to PA to visit  The Turkey Hill Experience.. We opted for the whole experience and paid a little extra for the "Taste Lab". The Taste Lab is where you get to learn about and make your own ice cream flavor: fixin's and all! I have never eaten so much ice cream in one day. So fun! Here are some pics from our "Experience"...

Here are our 3 "nutty"  kids!
Here's our group in the Taste Lab. Yummy!!

My sweet 10 yr old!
My baby girl.

Decisions, decisions!

Just one more ice cream before we go.
If you're ever in the Lancaster County PA area, I encourage to make this stop. We had such a nice day, we'll definitely be going back.

I pray your day is as sweet and delicious as ice cream (with extra toppings!)!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

God breathed

2 Timothy 3: 16-17
" All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. "

When I run, I breath hard. It's not pretty breathing either, after about 1/2 mile you'd have thought that I must have run a 1/2 marathon. I have learned some breathing skills to help with my breathing. If I take deep, intentional breaths in, and let them out slowly, (not the whole run, just intermittently) it helps me to have a lot more control of my breathing. You do the same thing in yoga and meditation, intentional breathing. It helps you to be more centered and focused. Deep breathing also relaxes you and relieves stress. Reading the Bible helps me do the same thing. Intentional reading of scripture, literally God's breath, helps me to be more centered and focused. It benefits me and those around me. I feel more connected with God, which helps me to worry less and relieves life's tensions. Today, Lord, the miracle that I thank you for is my Bible! I pray that you would continue to change me and challenge me with your God-breathed word, so that I am better equipped to do your every good work. Amen!

We have been busy the last couple of weeks and there is no sign of a slowdown. My son and I volunteered at our local farm fair, my husband has been doing a lot of tiling and we had another birthday party to attend last weekend. I have a fun day trip planned for tomorrow with my mother, my 2 youngest and some of our friends, and...we're getting ready to go on another weekend trip to visit family. Last Wednesday my mother and my 3 youngest girls had a fun day shopping.  Here are a few pics from our shopping excursion...

Our goal was to find this girl, some new running shoes.
Mission accomplished!!
My mom purchased these Nike shoes at Champs for my girl.

You can't go by the Disney Store without going in, and this cutie pie found a magic mirror to gaze in.
What a great store, the girls all received bracelets for participating in a Disney Trivia game.

My mother took us to Nordstrom for lunch. Delicious!

I had to stop and get a mocha to help me with my drive home. Shopping with the kids wore me out!

What a nice day! Thank you, Lord, for fun days with family. I can't wait to show you what we're doing tomorrow!! It involves i-c-e c-r-e-a-m!!!

 I pray you have a good week. Fill it with intention. I can't help but think of this great old hymn by Edwin Hatch, Breathe on me breath of God. "Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love and do what you would do." Amen to that!

***Oh yeah, one more thing...
I've been chosen to be on the social media launch team for Beth Moore's newest Bible study, Entrusted, #EntrustedStudy. I've loved Beth Moore's studies and books for years. What a great way to study God's word intentionally.