Sunday, March 29, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 30-32

Wow! We are coming into the final days of our 32-Day New Lens Challenge! So, we put checks in our check boxes and it is soon back to regular 'ole days and the same old, same old....

Wait a minute! This challenge was meant to actually change us, right? Yes, us, not them or him, but us. I changed. Did you? What was the most significant change you can see since 32 days ago?

The challenge may be "ending" but it is absolutely just a new beginning. Now, we have a new lens to look through and we will not be doing things the same way~

Day 30-32 Open up God's word and go to 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 and read this out loud. Now go back and put your name every place it says "love." Write this verse down with your name in the place of love and post it somewhere to see through-out your day. At the end of the day, circle the ones that were challenging to you. The next day do the same thing, only circle in a different color and the same for Day 32.

I love the verse 11 which says, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. "

Where God's word is abiding, it is changing! So, has it changed you?

Keep this verse posted for the next 30 days and continue changing. Let God's love permeate the deepest parts of your soul in such a way, that you don't know any other way to love! Thank Him for doing a work in you and ask Him to continue His chiseling and refining~ for this is the place where we are brought into His beauty and used to make a difference in the lives of those around us! Thanks for walking through this challenge with me. It was encouraging to think of other women out there working hard to build up their families at the same time. God bless,


Friday, March 27, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 28 & 29

Proverbs 31:12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

Day 28 Set aside time to be in prayer for your intimate relationship with your husband. The bond that is shared in marriage is so incredibly vulnerable and honest, our attitudes must be in the right place! Now, set aside some time to build your intimate relationship and pursue your husband in that way. This is a great need for our husbands, that they are so often "on guard" against in today's world. There is so much tempation all around. Let us be a warm and inviting place where they can share such a beautiful level of intimacy that only God could create between a man and a woman.

Day 29 OK....remember the verses we found about GOD being "all the we need." Time to share with our husband and ask forgiveness, if needed, for unspoken and unfair expectations that we have put upon him. Don't be hesitant or shy, but let your husband know that God faithfully supplies all that you need and you do not want your husband to feel the pressure of "being all." Find ways in this conversation to thank your husband for all that he does provide!


Day 28 Sit down with your child and make a fun acrostic poem using their name. Then use words that describe them (ex: helpful, gentle, etc...) Let them know what you love about them!

Day 29 If you have not done so already, take your children on their "date night" and just enjoy them. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I wanted to send you over to MckMama's blog to read this amazing post on prayer.

Her son, Stellan, had heart issues when he was in the womb, but was born healthy and without any problems. Stellan is 5 months old and is in the hospital with SVT, which causes his heart rate to be in the 200's. Knowing what this precious family is facing at this time makes this post on prayer even more beautiful.

Just a preview....

"God already knew would happen. He knew we'd pray. He knows if Stellan is going to live a long life or die soon. We still should pray, still need to pray, but God knows what He is going to do already. And, even if we do storm Heaven on Stellan's behalf, God still may choose to take Stellan home to Heaven. It is our job to communicate with God, to love Him, and, ultimately, to trust that whatever He decides is best.

Did you know that prayer can sometimes do amazing things for the one who is praying, too!? Prayer is talking with God. We are to talk to God. If we love Him, and have a relationship with God, we will want to chat with Him, and tell Him how wonderful He is, and beseech Him with our requests.And, in the end, God will do what God alone wants to do.

These can be hard thoughts to swallow, and even more difficult concepts to understand fully. And it gives me peace that I cannot fully understand God, or how prayer actually works, or what His will really is. All I need to do is to know God. That is enough for me."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The meditations of my heart

God has been at work in my heart over the past two months and many things that He is revealing take much thought and time to process. So, when He parts the waters and opens my eyes to grasp what He is really saying I am so thankful! This morning, He did that for me~

This was a fresh start in itself because the past two weeks I haven't been able to fall asleep before 1 am and the morning comes so quickly. Last night I was asleep at 11 o'clock and woke up sharply at 6:00 this morning. And yes, my precious Lord was waiting for me to come and sit awhile with Him.

Through His word and my prayers this is what came out in my journal, words from God revealing the truth of what "life" is doing to us, His precious children:

The conveniences of the world have become distractions.

The ministries of many churches have become breeding grounds for pride and competition.

The lusts of the world have become socially acceptable to such a degree that they have hardened us to the reality of their harm.

The mis-spoken and mis-represented use of truth has softened us into believing that we cannot be bold, so as not to offend.

The heightened need for "stuff" has created a discontent in our hearts, so much that we don't even recognize it. We are actually fooled into believing we are content with this kind of life.

The compromise of our hearts has led us astray and the world has clouded the path of purity. They have made it look strange, weird, lonely, costly and old-fashioned.

So...I do believe that those qualities are the place where I should start, rather than the qualities I should try and avoid. Afterall, I am a child of the Most High King, purchased by the blood of Christ, who Himself was labeled by the world, yet persevered.

How much more do I actually stand to gain when I appear as though I have lost it all?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 22-27

Hello Ladies! Wow, this was a tough week for me~ We have been working on a project at our church, that has consumed me for the past two weeks and this week I was on guard, up against many attacks. I am sorry I did not post Friday night for the weekend, I pray that you found a special way to honor your husband and children yesterday! This last week is really an inward focus for ourselves and I know it is going to be challenging, but also I pray have a profound impact on our hearts!

As you go through the week, find your own ways to:
1. Honor your husband
2. Be intentional with your children

Please comment with your ideas! I would really love to hear how you personally found ways to build life into your family. I will be looking forward to hearing what God has done in your heart~

You know your family better than anyone and remember, NO ONE CAN DO FOR THEM WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THEM! Make a list as you go through the week and maybe even look back through this challenge at what you have already done. Does something stand out that really impacted your husband or children, act on that and bless them again! They will tell you by words or actions what encourages and builds them up!


Day 22 to Day 27 Purpose to set aside each day to be in prayer about your attitude and "unspoken" expectations that you have put on your husband. Open God's word each day for the next six days and find a scripture that reveals to your heart what God is to you. Our husbands are not meant to "be all" and "provide all" we need and /or desire, but our Heavenly Father is! Draw near to Him and He will meet you where you are. Somehow, record each verse and pray that verse through-out your day.

(Also, be working on planning a "date night." Keep your husband in mind when planning. Even if it means later after all the children have gone to bed if you can't afford to go out somewhere. Plan something very special just for the two of you to enjoy!)


Day 22 to Day 27 For your children, first lay aside your dreams and expectations for them and let God fill your heart will pure intentions on their behalf. Yes, we all have the best intentions when dealing with our children, but it is hard as parents not to sometimes try and "mold" them ourselves. And GOD'S job! So release your children fully to God and find scripture to encourage you in viewing them solely through God's lens. What does God say about children? What verse(s) is He revealing to you concerning your child(ren)? Record the verses you find. Then find sometime to share with your children what God says about them. Let them know that what God says matters to you and you are going to trust in God's orginal design of them~ letting Him bring to completion all that is possible in each of them.

(Plan a special "date night" with each of your children. This may need to happen over the next couple of weeks, depending on the number of children you have. Plan something fun to do to have special time to invest one-on-one.)

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 17-21

Proverbs 31:10-12 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.


Day 17 Today our goal is to not argue or "go against" what our husband says or does. I do not mean this in a doormat sense, but a much more valuable sense in that we are working to build in leadership to our husbands. Without even thinking we can often be discouraging with our words or questions, so let us keep quiet and think much before we speak much.

Day 18 Do you have a decision to make? Seek your husband's guidance. This may be something you already do, so maybe find something that isn't BIG and ask him what he thinks would be best for you to do. Our husbands feel respected and trusted when we express that we value their opinion of how we spend our time.

Day 19 Ask your husband what he would like you to accomplish with the children today? Is there a project you can all work on to help him at the house, a verse he would like them to learn, something he has been asking you do? Maybe it is even find out about registration for t-ball. Just purpose to seek his parental leadership and follow-through.

Day 20 If it's possible, plan to take lunch for your husband at his workplace today and have the kids make special cards for him. Be a winsome example of a wife who honors and does her husband good. This is not to be prideful, but to publically show your love for him. This gives others the opportunity to witness God at work in a marriage relationship, because they see something that looks different from what the world offers. If not, then plan a special meal for him and still have cards ready!

Day 21 Find 6 different times today to say, "I love you for....." (Example: I love you for working hard to provide for us. I love you for taking time to spend with our children.)

Proverbs 31:26-28 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:


Day 17 Find a new way to say "no"....meaning, try not to say "NO" to your kids toda. I realize this is difficult, but even if you just pick 1 or 2 things you usually just say "no" to it will be great! (Example: "No, we are not going on a bike ride right now." Exchanged for: "I know that a bike ride would be so fun. Right now, we need to focus on our chores and rest time. We will see if we have time later this afternoon.") I really feel that this helps validate our children's desires as important. We do want them to know that their ideas are important to us, but we must communicate that to them!

Day 18 Purpose to not say "just a minute" to your children. Our goal is not to make our home child-centered, but not to appear too busy or distracted to meet their needs. Most things seem urgent to the small child, so help them feel that they are important to you, by addressing things as quickly as possible. They will see our willingness and feel a certain kind of love in having you not put them off. This take good judgement on our part. I am not saying drop everything, but at least find a proactive way to have them wait. (Yes, let me put this one dish away.) (Honey, I would love to come right away, can you use your words and tell me why, I am in the middle of making dinner) Take some time with older children to ask them about something specific they would like your help with or would like help in accomplishing over the next week or so.

Day 19 Make applesause with your kids today and color it a fun color! Here is a simple recipe.

Day 20 Talk to your children about how dad is the head of the home and why you are taking lunch or making cards for him. Ask them what they love most about daddy and write some of those things down on their cards. Build into your children a high respect for dad's leadership. If you have older children perhaps they can write a note to thank their dad for his leadership in some way they are appreciative.

Day 21 Get a piece of paper and some stickers, then let your kids know you are on the hunt for acts of kindness today. Each time you see one, you will stick a sticker on the page. Let them know the goal is to fill up the whole page! Maybe even draw a heart and fill up the heart. Share with them that kindness comes from the heart and is really wanting what is best for someone else. You share or do something that will benefit them more than yourself. And, that your heart is very happy when it is kind! Challenge older children to find ways to purpose to be kind today to the their siblings, a friend or family.

Friday, March 13, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 15 & 16

We have made it halfway ladies! I pray that this challenge is becoming more natural and you are finding true joy in encouraging and loving your husband and children through God's lens! For this weekend, the Sunday challenge is one for the whole family to take part in together~ Have a blessed weekend :)


Day 15 Ask your husband for sometime to pray for him. Spend a little time searching his heart (letting God lead your words/questions) and then pray for him about those things he shares. Don't forget to pray for perseverence to reach those goals he shared with you earlier in the week. If you are unable to actually pray with him, then set aside at least 15 mins to pray for him.


Day 15 Kneel beside your child's bed with them and pray with them and for them. Ask them about some things they would like to talk to God about, then model talking to God like He is right there with you.


Day 16 Plan a family movie or board game night. OR if your husband enjoys doing something else as a family that you are able to do, then plan time for that! Turn off the phone and let your family know that you are "all theirs" for the night. Maybe even have some fun things for supper like popcorn, pancakes, waffles.... you can think of something fun! Enjoy one another and pray together as a family, thanking God that He has put you all together as a part of His perfect plan and purpose!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Modesty with our Dress

modest fashion week

This is a blog I really enjoy visiting. Joy has five children and is serving with her husband as a missionary in Indonesia. She has a very gently way of writing, that seems to match her photograph. Her heart is so pure and she radiates her love for Jesus, it is refreshing and encouraging.

She is doing a special week-long focus on modesty and even has some very fun giveaways from some wonderful clothing lines and other great resources! So, click on her button above and visit each day this week to learn more about dressing modestly!

What a beautiful way to find ways to express our inner beauty, rather than just using our outer beauty! Another great thing about Joy, because she is a very beautiful gal, but her heart shines much brighter!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 10-14

Proverbs 14:1 "The wise woman builds her home, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."


Day 10 When your husband comes home today from work, refrain from complaining about your day. Focus on all the good things that took place and let him know the best part was him coming home!

Day 11 Take some time tonight to sit down with your husband and ask him what are some of his goals/dreams. Ask him what you can do to help him over time to accomplish them.

Day 12 Make your husbands favorite dessert for supper tonight.

Day 13 We often start "filling the room" with talking when our husband's come home from work. Work hard today to set up your house to be full of excitement (my boys go crazy with happiness!)when Daddy gets home, but then quiet for him to just be able to relax.

Day 14 Do you remember what first attracted you to your husband? Let him know!


Day 10 Find at least three times today to let your child know, "I am commited to you!" Tell them that this means you are always doing what is best for them based on what God asks you to do.

Day 11 Sit down with your kids and write a fun story to share tonight at supper! Start the sentences and let them fill in words once-in-awhile. (Ex: Once upon a time, there was a __________ and it decided to take a ride in a ___________) This promises, lot of laughs! Enjoy~

Day 12 Make your child's favorite cookies today! (You are already baking :) ) If you have more than one child, cutout cookies can be fun~

Day 13 Play a board game with your children today.

Day 14 Find time to sit with each child today and just let them talk! If they are not big talkers, sing songs with them or read a favorite book.

Friday, March 6, 2009

NewLens Challenge: Days 8 & 9

How are you doing? I pray that this past week has been encouraging to your heart and your home! If you are new to this, don't worry or be hard on yourself, change takes time and grace is available for the process~ thank you, Jesus! I also wanted to share something that has been on my heart. If you are unable to actually do these things for your husband or children (there are number of reasons why this might be) then I encourage you to keep a notebook for them, pray these things for them and pray about when you may be able to share with them. The most important part to remember is that although it benefits our family, it is really about changing our heart and attitude toward them! A sweet reminder God reveals to me each day I journey as a wife and mother~

Have a wonderful weekend!


Day 8 Buy a small notebook, make a cute book or just grap some notebook paper and staple it together! Whatever your style, get a book to start writing love letters to your husband :) My husband recently bought this book, and although I have not read it yet, I am looking forward to it! The art of handwritten notes is almost lost, so revive this art, as well as all the reasons why you first fell in love with your husband, and let him know! If your husband is willing, you can invite him to write in it also, and pass it back and forth between the two of you! See how long you can keep this expression of love growing over time~ (I bought my little book at the right at Archiver's for about 4.99)

Day 9 At Sunday lunch, share with everyone what you love about your husband and why you are grateful that God placed him as the leader of your home.


Day 8 Make a fun page of "7" things I love about you on this day! Sit down and read it to your child, then find a special place to keep it for them. Purpose to randomly do this on a different day each month, using the date for the number of things you love! Don't worry about the "artistry" of the page, just make it fun for your child. Keep them in mind and use things/colors that they love :)

Day 9 At Sunday lunch, share with everyone why you are so grateful to God that you are "your child's name" mommy! Thank them for the special kind of joy they bring to your family.

What fruit do you see in your home today?

On Wednesday, the boys and I went to the store and bought some fruit stickers and green and brown "fun" paper. What, might you be asking, was all this for? Well....

Our new "Fruit of the Spirit" tree that is growing in our kitchen.

I started the process of teaching the fruits of the Spirit with chart that had movable pieces of fruit. There was white column and a red column side by side. When we did not display a certain fruit, it had to be moved to the red column and then they would sit in our "Think About" chair for the number of minutes of their age. At the times end I would talk with them and pray with them about how we can better show that fruit of the Spirit.
But, I was seeing that we were needing more help in the practical part of how this looks in our home, our relationships and attitudes, so God gave me this idea!

When Mommy or Daddy sees a "fruit" we thank our son for displaying this in whatever the situation and then they get to put some fruit on our tree! It has been fun and for my boys a Big incentive to follow-through on the action of living out the fruits of the Spirit!

If you want to try this in your home, I would love to see your trees and hear about how it is working for you:)
On a completely different note.... I am not really into character clothing or shoes that light up. So, one might ask "why in the world is Luke wearing these?"

Well, yesterday we went looking for some spring/summer sandals and found these on sale for $5 and we could not help ourselves! Luke fell totally in love with them and Mommy could not resist this sweet face....

This morning the sweet child woke up and ran to give me hugs, then said "Excuse me mommy, I need to go see if my Lightening shoes slept good." He then asked me if he could take them outside for a walk! Pure happiness for this sweet boy and that my dear friends is why I bought the shoes! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Library Book List

This is our favorite pick for our recent trip to the library! Make sure to check out this beautiful book.

The Orange Trinka Hakes Noble illustrated by Doris Ettlinger
This is a wonderful book that teaches children the value of a simple life, contentment and handling yourself well when others are unkind. It is a precious story of the importance of making the most of what you have been given.

My Name is Helen Recorvits, pictures by Gabi Swiatkowska This is a sweet book about a young Korean girl adjusting to her new life in America.

Is There Really a Human Race? Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell This is a fun and colorful book about relishing the journey of life and making good choices along the way. How we lives makes a differnce in the world, one small step at a time.

More Than Anything Marie Bradby, pictures by Chris K. Soentpiet Booker, age nine, has a strong desire to learn how to read, but faces challenges as an African-American boy working in the saltworks each day.

Once Upon a Marie Bradby, pictures by Ted Rand This book in told in poetic detail, describing the toils and pleasures of life on a farm. The simple joys, as well as the sadness of the changes when land developing begins.

The Boxcar Gertrude Chandler Warner We greatly enjoyed this first book in the Boxcar Children series. It is about 4 orphaned children who are tryinig to make it on their own, but soon find themselves i the care of someone kind~ which they did not expect. Eli was captivated by this book and we have moved to another. I found it most encouraging how the siblings treated one another and were so very happy with very little. (This is a chapter book)

Bear Wants Karma Wilson, illlustrated by Jane Chapman Luke loved this sweet board book about a very hungry bear waking up from his hibernation!

Let's Dance Little Sandra Boynton (need I say anymore?)


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Through a New Lens: Challenge Days 3-7

"Whatever you do, whether than you eat or drink; or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31


Day 3~ Write a list of 5 things you see that your husband does very well. Tonight when he gets home, choose one and thank him. Don't rush it, but find a time to really be able to look him in the eyes and let him know you are grateful. (Keep the list and thank him for the other 4, sometime in the next month)

Day 4~ Find a verse that you want to pray for your husband, write it on a notecard and tape it somewhere for him to find today. Remember to pray for him!

Day 5~ Ask your husband to share something that you could do for him today, that would be helpful to him. Purpose to get it done!

Day 6~ Call your husband, just to say "I love you and I'm proud of how hard you work to provide for our family."

Day 7~ Set aside an hour tonight for your husband to do something he really enjoys. Even if it does not include you, just let him enjoy some quiet time of his own. (with a joyful spirit!)


Day 3~ Ask each child what makes the feel loved and purpose to express that kind of love to them today.

Day 4~ Have something fun planned for breakfast, maybe even something your children request, but you don't make too often.

Day 5~ Set aside 30mins to 1 hour to do what your children want to do! Don't answer the phone or any other distractions, just "be" with them.

Day 6~ Find time to speak to each of your children individually today and let them know how you see progress in them. Thank them for making good choices that honor God.

Day 7~ Spend 30 minutes today reading silly books with your children! Enjoy and laugh with them.

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