5 Scriptures to Pray For Your Marriage

10
Jul
2014

Scripture-pray-marriage

Being intentional in marriage is extremely important.  I was reminded of this today as I read Marriage:  A Lifelong Journey (a devotional on the YouVersion Bible APP by Jim Daly.)  This paragraph resonated with me and I wanted to share it:

“Like a canoe, marriages often drift.  There’s no obvious conflict or struggle, just subtle distractions that lull spouse asleep.  Couples hardly notice they’re losing interest in one another until they end up somewhere they never intended to be.”  - Jim Daly

This is so true.  It can be easy to coast along and then before you know it, if you take your marriage for granted, even unintentionally, you are at a place where you do not want to be.  Alone, being room-mates or not engaged they way God created us to be together in marriage.

Being intentional can bring about a lot of “things” to do, but one thing we can do is pray for our marriages.  As I began my second time of reading “Wife After God” by Unveiled Wife, it all came back to me how I can let my marriage run on idle.  This will cause damage, even when I cannot see it.

As I begin an intentional journey of reading, journaling and praying for my marriage – just because, I thought you might want to as well.  My marriage is not in trouble, in fact it is great.  But it is when things are great that we must keep our guard up and be even more intentional.  This is where the enemy likes to wait and bait us.

Here are 5 Scriptures that I will be praying for my marriage – will you join me?

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.   Proverbs 4: 24-27

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:2-3

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4:15

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Six Phone Apps That Make My Life Easier

19
Jun
2014

iPhone-Apps-Life-Easier

I thought it would be fun to share what APPS I have on my phone and why.  Normally I am a pretty minimalist kinda gal, so I am not into all the latest and greatest, especially when it comes to APPS.  But there are a few that I find help and can save you time, your sanity and make things just a bit nicer too!

YouVersion Bible APP

I have shared this one several times before, but I always have new moms stumble into my community so could not pass this one by.  YouVersion is a FREE Bible on your phone, iPad or Tablet, but honestly – it is way more than that!

You can access an entire bible in many different formats just with the touch of a finger, but you also have access to hundreds of devotionals, videos and more.  This is what I currently have for my morning quiet time. I am able to do several different devotions and it keeps track of my reading, making it very easy!

Website:  youversion.com

The Bible APP for Kids

This is a creative Bible story APP that is perfect for kids age 6-8, although my four year old loves it.  There are stories from the Bible read and activities they can do along the way.   There are stars to collect through the reading and this makes kids eager to keep reading.

Website: bible.com/kidsscreen568x568

Letter School

This is one for the kids!  Voted the best Younger Children’s APP 2013 – KAPI Award, you will see why.  It is a great handwriting APP for both numbers and letters right on your phone or iPad.  Perfect for little fingers to get the idea of how to maneuver their fingers to make letters and also fun in the process.

It is great for using while waiting for an appointment or driving in the car.  I am not a huge screen user in the car, but it does come in handy for sure – plus they are learning something useful with letters and numbers.  That I like!

iTunes:  LetterSchool

Period Tracker LITE

I admit, I am not the best at keeping track of my monthly cycle.  I know, probably lame.  But this APP I’ve been using for over a year has made it so much easier to keep track of where I am in my cycle, helps me understand any moodiness which may come on (which honestly has been really diminished with the use of Young Living’s Progessence Plus Serum) as well as quickly being able to see when my period is due to arrive, especially if I am traveling out of town.  They also have a version for $1.99 which has a few more options, but the free version is great for me.

iTunes:  Period Tracker LITE4067c5_3cff470ce0c249cf8af8763f1205a9e1.png_srz_237_445_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

EveryDay Spirit

My newest APP purchase and so worth $1.99!  Every Day Spirit is a collection of 180 beautiful, hand-crafted iPhone wallpapers designed to be a daily reminder of goodness, joy and light.  I love being able to change the face of my phone with a scripture or other inspirational quote.

You can choose from Kindness, Gratitude, Joy, Faith, Love, Prayers, Peace and more.   Funny enough, the shot from their site is exactly the first one I chose for my phone!   It’s $1.99, but in my opinion, well worth the Joy it will put in my day when I glance at my phone sixteen trillion times!

Website:  Everyday Spirit

Pro HDR

I learned about this APP from my friend Myra {My Blessed Life}  while we were in Hawaii together.  She kept taking stunning sunset photos and when I asked her how, she spilled the beans!  She was using this APP.  I am not a blogger who does a lot of photography, but lately it has come in handy to have an APP that really takes great photos – food, family, outdoor shots, sunsets, beach scenes and more.

I love it and so does my hubby who also downloaded it.  If you are looking for an APP to help you take higher quality photos, this is the one!

iTunes:  Pro HDR

Now go download Pro HDR and take some fabulous summer photos!! 

Sharing about “Our Girls”

12
Jun
2014

Making-a-Difference-Compassion

If you could make a difference in a child’s life you may not even ever meet, would you?

Would you sacrifice $1 a day and 30 minutes of your time a month?  What if it cost you $1.25 a day and an hour of your time a month?  

A few months ago I was given a truly divine idea while sitting at the Hearts at Home Conference watching a video of Jill Savage visiting her Compassion sponsored child.  I felt led for my blog to sponsor a child – not just me, but all of us.  I wasn’t sure exactly what it would look like, but shortly after I picked an adorable 8 year old girl, aptly named Shine – it came to me.  I shared this idea a few months back and it has been great!

But for those who may not read my newsletter – I wanted to update you that we are now sponsoring three girls all from the same village!  Yep – my idea to have you all use my amazon link to make your purchases has exceeded my expectations.  I told you if we consistently were able to exceed to amount needed to sponsor one child, I would ask for more.  I called last month to ask for two more girls in the same village.  

I nearly fell off my stool when the gentleman on the other end of the phone said he only had TWO girls left in that village to sponsor.  I said, “Well, we’ll take them!”

So, we have three beautiful girls all from the same village:

Shine Eirene Andrap – 8   (middle photo)

Hannah Esther Christy – 10  (left photo)

Gold Jayishiha –  9  (right photo)

290x250TCM-sponsorchild1

I just recently received my first letter from Shine and am anxiously awaiting letters from the other two.  So fun!  One thing that has made corresponding so easy is that I can write my letters to the girls online!!  It is awesome and so easy.

Compassion-child-Shine

 

We are making a difference, in the lives of three girls half-way across the world!!  A few cents at a time add up!  If we continue to exceed the monthly amount of $38 per child, I will ask for more children to sponsor! 

What can you do?

If you can please remember to take the extra step to my website, click through on the graphic of the girls (like the one pictured above) on the bottom right hand corner you will then be directed to amazon.  

When you order, using my affiliate link, I get a small referral fee – which does not cost you anymore on your purchase,  amazon pays that to me, which is what I use to pay the sponsor fee each month.  It takes a few minutes of your time to click through, but makes a world of difference to three little girls!

Perhaps your family would like to sponsor a Compassion Child on your own? 

It is very easy to get started and something you can do right online.  Hop over to the Compassion website and you can scroll through waiting children, pick one and get started.  Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects your child with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program.  

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this journey of sponsoring these girls an incredible success so far!  I will share with you when I receive letters so we can rejoice together on how God is using this space and all of us together to make a difference.

Becoming a Life-Giving Mom

3
Jun
2014

 Life Giving Moms

This chapter is the one that deeply spoke to me and convicted me to dig into this book deeper, which then brought it to be our next book study.  

Sue’s story about the house fire was scary, I cannot even imagine how I would feel in that situation – but I can imagine and know how it feels to need help as a mom – and be desperate.

Every Mom Needs Help

I do try to be transparent by sharing that I certainly do not have things all together, although I may have strengths in some areas you may be weak in, and vice-versa.  I may struggle with issues that you do not and you struggle with things I have no idea about.  But God knows.

Week-0ne-1

I was reminded very CLEARLY here in chapter One, how important it is for me to get my energy, my power and my value from Him.  The one who created me to be just who I am – even in all my flaws.  I struggle every single day, but I must remember something very important, and today I was conveniently reminded of what God thinks of me when I listened to a recorded workshop by Dr. Kathy Koch from the 2014 Hearts at Home Conference:

“I am a unique, one-of-a-kind, created-in-the-image-of-God miracle.”  - Dr. Kathy Koch

I need to be reminded of that on those days when I feel like a complete failure as a mom, wife and/or friend.  I get just discouraged.  Do you feel like that too?  I needed to hear this today for me…..

I ran my half-marathon Sunday, I had been training for a few months – it was my fourth race.  I always love the challenge of beating previous race times and it is certainly a motivator.  But a little over two weeks ago I strained a muscle in my hip and had to quit my training.  I decided to push ahead and still run this weekend since it was part of a get-away weekend with my husband, who was also running the race.

Well, I barely finished the race, I was in so much pain at about mile 9 and finally by mile 11.5 I had to walk to finish, which was at 13.1 miles.  It was extremely discouraging for me and honestly, depressing.  I was crying once I crossed the finish line.

I realize this may seem silly to many.  This little ‘competition’ I had with myself is really not that big of a thing in the BIG picture.  And I would say you are right.  It really is not.  But I was invested in this desire.  Just like I am in so many other things where I can become discouraged and easily overcome.

As I walked the last portion of my race, in pain and frustration…..I whispered under my breath…. “Jesus….Jesus….Jesus”  I couldn’t say anything else, but that was powerful enough to get me across.

I was brought back to the firm reality of who my source is and who I need to continue to turn towards each and every day.

I need fresh perspective, a new look into some of those areas in my life which I’ve managed to put on idle.  Are you with me?

“A Life-Giving Mom replaced life-destroying habits with life-sustaining habits.  You have the power or choice.  The choices you make today will determine your destiny tomorrow.  You have before you choices that bring life and choices that bring death.  Choose life.”

What resonates for you in that quote from Sue’s book?  For me, I know I have power through HIM!  Each day is new and each day I can make choices better than the day before.

Start your day off by praying the Prayer to be a Life-Giving Mom.  If you have not printed those off yet, you can do so here.  Each day this week pray that – several times a day if you need to!

Here I am after my race, barely keeping the tears away.  Even in our struggles and pain HE rejoices over us.  :-)

Spokane-half-marathon

Kiwi Crate – Rain Forest Adventure

29
May
2014

kiwi-crate-2

I recently had the wonderful privilege of being sent a complimentary Kiwi Crate box – which was thoroughly enjoyed by my 4 year old and I one Saturday afternoon.  It was perfect!  As I have shared before, I am not very talented in the ‘crafty mom’ area!

I love the idea behind Kiwi Crate and how it can help moms like me who just don’t have that creative gene in them!   Each month Kiwi Crate designs a hands-on project for kids ages 3-8 around a fun theme – the box we received was on The Rainforest.   

For less than $20 per month, you will receive multiple arts, crafts, and science activities – delivered right to your door – can you say – YES!!!!  Saved by the postman!

Kiwi-crate-summer

In this box for May, we received items to make Jumping Frogs and a Rainstick.  I absolutely love that everything is included – I mean everything – rubber bands, colors and even a pair of scissors – you could easily order one and take it on a vacation with you and not worry about not having supplies you might need – love that!

Kiwi-crate-instructions-summer

I have a 4 year old little boy, so both projects were right up his alley.  I colored a few frogs and even his 17 year old big brother did too – it was fun to do together.  I really like that the instructions are clear, easy to read and follow – and there are pictures to go along with the wording, so even though he couldn’t read, he could see what step was next in the process.

We finished the Jumping Frogs and he loved trying to launch them into the little ponds we had cut out.

Kiwi-Crate-Frogs

The next project was a Rainstick.  With easy to use stickers and end caps, he almost completed it entirely on his own – which made him really proud!  Now, when I asked him to stand with his Rainstick for a picture he was a bit “uncooperative” but I knew other moms with 4 year olds would appreciate the expression on his face!

Kiwi-Jacob-Rain-Stick

After we finished our crafts we had a fun time going through the “Explore – play and learn magazine for kids” that had a bonus project in it (a hanging snake, I mean what 4 year old would not love a hanging snake!??)  There were interesting facts to learn, activities, experiments and more ideas – and even a snack time idea.

Kiwi-Crate-Book-reading

 I am really excited to grab the Kiwi Crate Summer Adventure Series.

For the months of June – August, each crate will include exciting summer themed projects, bonus activities and fun surprises for the family!

June – Camping Trip

Explore the great outdoors with a camping expedition!

June-Kiwi

July – Beach Day

Discover sea creatures & tide pools in Kiwi Crate’s seaside adventure

July-Kiwi

August – Amusement Park

Play & learn with a special trip to the amusement park

August-Kiwi

 Special Offer: New subscribers can save 25% on a 1st month subscription with code SUMMER25 (excludes sibling add-ons).

How Does it Work?

How-Kiwi-Crate-Works

I plan to sign up and grab the boxes for the summer – make sure to sign up by June 16th to start your summer series, if you sign up after that date, you will begin in July, missing the Camping Trip box.  

 

The boxes are a great rainy day stand-by activity or to take along when we go out of town.  I truly do love that everything is included.  If you have a child with a summer birthday, why not offer this up as a gift idea?  It would be a fun way to engage with your child and create some fun projects together.  Have more than one child, no worries – you can choose to ‘add on’ supplies to make double the fun, so no one is left out in the projects.

Have you used Kiwi Crate before?  What was your favorite things about it?