Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Little Weekend Reading

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We'll call this weekend reading the all-natural health edition.

I've had a growing interest in natural health for a few years now.  Lately I've been doing a lot of research on the internet and watching some really informative documentaries to help me to make better choices for optimum health and to feel better.  Today, I wanted to share some articles that have jumped out at me.

1.  Immune system need a boost?  Try these 12 boosters from My Blessed Life.


2.  Be more informed about what's in the food you're eating.  Check out this list of the top 10 scariest food additives from Yahoo Health.

3.  Feeling sick and tired?  Try these simple ways to cleanse and detox from Keeper of the Home.

4.  5 foods women should be eating as recommended by Katie at Simple Organic. 

5.  5 more foods for optimum health and to avoid the flu, also from Simple Organic.

6.  4 ways to knock out your cold using things you already have on hand from Green Your Way.

7.  We all know that we should drink more water for better health.  Here is a list of benefits to drinking lemon water from My Favorite Things.

7.  The waste your body eliminates can tell you about your level of health.  Check out this interesting and easy to read poster I found at The Wellness Warrior.  Don't worry, no real pictures, just drawings. 

Here's to a healthy 2012!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Banner Held High

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We go through tough times.  We get news we don't want to hear, we encounter changes that we don't necessarily embrace, we enter times of suffering.  Those times bring uncertainty, anxiety, and sometimes pain.  But I've seen that it's in those times that we also grow and learn things that we may have only been able to learn in those circumstances.

  I don't believe that God brings bad circumstances upon us, but that He uses them, working together all the things that we face for our good and His glory.  It's in realizing that, that brings freedom.  That no matter what the circumstance speaks, He's still in charge and we can be sure that He's got our best interest at hand.

So, instead of being chained to our challenge, we are freed by the truth that God is for us.  And, if God is for us who or what can be against us?
  
Who or what can stand against God?

Can sickness stand against a God who bears the name Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer?

  Can debt and loss stand up against a God who bears the name Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider?

  When we find ourselves in a dark place of despair, can that place stand up to a God who bears the name Jehovah Raah, the Lord our Shepherd?

What place do you find yourself in today?  Is there a Name of God that can bear your pain today?  A Name that speaks a different outcome than the situation you now stand in?

How about Jehovah Nissi?
  It was during a great battle, documented in the Old Testament, that God revealed Himself to the Israelites as Jehovah Nissi.  Joshua led the Israelite army into battle with their enemy the Amalekites. Moses stationed himself on a hill top and prayed with his hands stretched to the sky over the battle.  As his hands were held high the Israelites prevailed, but as they tired and fell the battle changed in favor of their enemy.  So Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses, set him on a rock and held his hands up until the battle was won.  Moses' hands held up like a banner over God's people as God caused them to be victorious.  After the battle Moses built an altar to God as a way to remember that victory over the enemy.

  He named it Jehovah Nissi, the Lord Our Banner of Love and Protection.

So wherever you find yourselves today, whatever you're dealing with, wave that banner, Jehovah Nissi over yourself.  Wave it in prayer as you give thanks for his unfailing love and constant protection.  Wave it as you go about your day and are reminded of the battle at hand, speaking His Name over it, banner held high.

Wave it and watch for the victory.




Is this your first visit to Freedom Friday?
 We're embracing freedom each Friday here in 2012.
  Click here for a list of the other posts in the series.

Monday, January 23, 2012

These Words Are Stirring Me

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There is a light that shines within me.
There is a hope that burns inside me.

Deep within my soul, my very existence, there is a being waiting to be freed.


A child who knows no fear, pain, or rejection.
There is an emotion all encompassing of excitement, joyfulness, gladness, and love.

The creative potential of laughter and the undeniable power of an infant's joy live inside me.
Unmeasurable are my limits for I call you Father.
Unimaginable my potential for you have called me daughter.

There is someone inside of me, waiting to be unleashed, whom you embrace, whom I long to be.

There is an all-consuming fire, a light that permeates from my very being.
You have unlocked me God, the doors you open no man can shut.

I will praise you for all my days for you are good.
You have released me God, with your love...
You are everything.


Words by Ian McIntosh from his song "Adoration" which you can listen to here.
*I changed the word son, to daughter. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Little Weekend Reading

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It finally snowed here...yay!  Not a lot, but enough to get a little excited about.  Hopefully you're enjoying a nice winter weekend where you are as well.  Sitting by the fire and reading is definitely on the to-do list for me this weekend.  Here are some great reads and tips I've found from around the web.    

1.  Is there a statute of limitations on being a crummy friend?  I loved this transparent post from
 Only A Breath.

2.  Too much noise in your life and not enough quiet?  Read about the discipline of solitude and why it's so important for our spirits over at (in)courage.

3.  Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  Here are some free printables to help you spread the love from
Tip Junkie.


4.  These olive oil candles look so easy to make and you probably have most of the supplies already on hand, plus they're clean burning.  Check them out at Little House on the Prairie Living.

5.  My husband's parents gave us a gift certificate to a butcher for Christmas.  So after we did a little meat shopping, I made this easy pork roast from The Pioneer Woman.   My hubby loved it.

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Then She Got Up...

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It's the beginning of the year, we've made resolutions and goals to change the things that we see in our lives, in ourselves that need to be different.  We wrote down the goals, made the list, we know what to do, where we want to be, but something keeps us from starting.


  Could it be shame?


Shame keeps us from entering into the now because it directs our focus on the past.  Mistakes we've made in the days, months, or years gone by belittle and taunt us.  Maybe the shame isn't from a mistake we made, but a wrong that we've suffered at someone else's hand, still, shame holds us, accusingly, asking,
How could we have let this happen?


Shame keeps us locked in yesterday.
 While today is slipping by and tomorrow beckons, we are hopelessly stuck.  No amount of lists or intentions can move us forward.


You see that's just where I've been.  Locked.  Oh, I have my list, my goals and plan for the year.  I know what needs change.  But every time I would make an attempt at taking a step forward the shame would call out, How could you have gotten in such a mess?, or,  This is so bad you'll never get out, or, You are such a loser and if anyone finds out they'll think so too.  It sounds ridiculous, but it's the truth.  I would hear those thoughts and others in my head whenever I would attempt to make a step in the right direction.  I was stuck and kept from moving forward because of shame.


Is that God's heart for me?  Is shame some sort of punishment, so I can continue to remember my sin?
No. In fact Romans 10:11 says,
Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame. (niv)


And Hebrews 8:12 says,
They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
      with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
(msg)



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So the other morning after I got the boys to school I sat on my couch eating my breakfast enjoying the quiet and reading a devotional.  It was about David, King David.  The man chosen and anointed by God to be King over His people had messed up, big time.  He committed adultery with another man's wife, got her pregnant and arranged for her husband to be killed so he could marry her.  He messed up.  When he realized his sin, he asked God's forgiveness.  
 The baby became very ill.  David prayed.  He didn't eat or bathe or leave his house.  The baby died.


  Now I can only imagine that he must have felt shame or at the very least been tempted to feel it.   But after all of that happened the bible says,
 Then David got up...


He screwed up big time, maybe even more than most of us, went through anguish and pain that his own actions had caused.  Yet he recognized it and asked God's forgiveness, received it and he got up and did the next thing.


And God calls David, the man He chose to be king, yet flawed and merely human, a man after His own heart. He screwed up, he repented and received forgiveness and he got up.  That very night he conceived Solomon who would be the next king and known in the Bible as the wisest of all men. 


So, by faith I'm giving my shame to God.  It's not from Him and it's not His intent that I carry it.  I'm ready to do the next thing.  How about you?  Can you give Him your shame by faith?  It's not from Him and it's not His intent that you carry it.  Can you receive His freedom today?  Let it be said of us, after all that's held us, after all the ways we've messed up or the ways we've been hurt,
Then she got up.




Is this your first visit to Freedom Friday? 
We're embracing freedom each Friday here in 2012.
Click here for a list of the other posts in the series.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Just for Fun

Feeling a bit tired and run-down today.  So after I picked my little buddy up from kindergarten this afternoon I decided we needed a little snuggle time in Mommy's bed before we picked up his 2 brothers from school.  So, we popped a bag of corn and set off with a Lego DVD and headed to my room.  I figured I'd have a little snack and then cozy up with my little guy and get a little nap.  Well, not much napping happened, but we did hold hands and snuggle...and we had a little fun with the Photo Booth app on my MacBook.  Check out these crazy pics...



So much fun!  I didn't even realize it had those fun effects until we took a few pictures.  Glad we found them...Samuel thought it was hysterical.  Oh, how I love his wild laughter!
Pure joy!
  Cherishing and counting this gift today.
  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Home Goals

The Nester

So I mentioned in My Word for 2012 post that I wanted freedom, and one of those areas I need freedom in is my home.  For one thing we just seem to have too much clutter.  I mean, where does all the stuff come from?  But, I have one main room in my home that needs some renovating so we can put it to use.  So when the Nester decided to host a Home Goals party, I decided to share my area of need and put my goal out there...a good way to hold myself accountable I think.

We live in a 100 year-old house that has a 3rd floor with 2 rooms. We've used them for various purposes over the 13+ years we've lived here, but over the last several years, as we filled the other rooms with 3 boys and their stuff, the 3rd floor became a sort of storage area.  Our dream is to make those rooms into an office/craft room and a sort of "quiet retreat" prayer space. 

So here is how the rooms look now...



Scary!  The ceiling is awaiting insulation and dry wall.  We've collected a nice bunch of cabinetry that's been sitting in boxes on my front porch {for an embarrassing amount of time} which my husband will install.  Floors need to be redone, walls painted, new lighting, decor, etc.
  Lots to do.   Not to mention all the "stuff" that's now sitting in the front room that needs to be sorted through.  Uhh!  But once it's complete I can see myself spending so much time up there.  Having an office to manage my husband's business and to aid in the management of our home will help so much in clearing clutter and paperwork from other areas of our home.   Also, having a place to create will be so amazing.  Once upon a time that space was my craft room and I long to have a place to create in again.  And having a little retreat space where I can sit and relax and have some quiet time in the morning to pray will be such a little luxury.  I look forward to it.

Here are some makeover inspiration photos that I found on Pinterest...

Better Homes and Gardens  via loving this life on pinterest
Better Homes and Gardens via loving this life on pinterest
Decor Pad via loving this life on pinterest
  
I'm hoping to start making some progress and to post pictures as we go through this diy project. 

Do you have any home goals this year? Share them over at the Nesting Place or just check out the goals of some of the 300 others who've shared.

Friday, January 13, 2012

When Fear Casts It's Shadow Long


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Several days ago I woke up in a panic.  Worries that I took to bed with me the night before played over in my mind taking the form of anxious dreams as I slept.  Worries, that still lingered as I awoke, and made my heart pound heavy.  

How do those worries take over and make me forget that I am loved, that I'm going to be ok?  It's like amnesia that comes and causes me to forget that I am in God's hands.  It's fear and it's ugly and, once in, it casts it's foreboding shadow on all that stands in it's presence.   Ever notice how fear enters in and it greedily tries to get it's hands on everything?  A fleeting thought becomes something that you just can't shake.  
Fear festers and grows so that it becomes the lens through which all else is seen.


Fear, it casts it's shadow long.


Last week I shared with you here about my word for 2012,



And all this year, each Friday, I will be sharing how that one word is changing my life.  So today, on this first
 Freedom Friday
freedom confronts fear.

Fear.
  All is covered by it's foreboding shade, if allowed.

  Allowed?  Why would I allow fear and dark thoughts?  Well, any fearful thought I don't deal with, I'm allowing to run wild through my life if I don't do something to stop it.  How do I stop it?  I'm learning to pray and find out what the Word of God says, and to replace those thoughts one by one with the truth.  
Take a look...

  Does the word of God say that you're forgotten?
No, it says in Isaiah 41:10,
 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes I will help you...

That you won't have what you need?
No, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says,
 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

  That you have no hope because you've screwed up far beyond repair?
  No, Jeremiah 29:11 says,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Or, that you're not loved?
No, in Romans 8:38-39 it says,
neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I'm finding there's a truth in the Bible that confronts every one of my fearful thoughts.  And, I'm learning to confront fear by countering it with one of those truths.  


So, my freedom today comes in words.

  Words can cut deep like a knife. 
Words can break a spirit.
Words can crush dreams.
 Words can haunt for years to come.
  But today, everyone of those words can be replaced with the healing Word of God and set you free.
  I know because that's what it's doing in me.

And tonight, as I lie down to sleep, if worry tries to command it's agenda, I'll simply focus on this promise from Proverbs 3:24,
 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
   when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.


Is this your first visit to Freedom Friday? 
We're embracing freedom each Friday here in 2012.
Click here for a list of the other posts in the series.




This post can also be found at...


Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Little Weekend Reading

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I'll subtitle this the New Year's Resolution Version.


  Make some new goals?
  Me too.
  Here are some links that may help the both of us.


1.  Eating better one of your goals?  Did you over indulge on holiday sweets like I did?
  Head over to Simple Organic
and find out why and how to give your body a sugar break.


2.  How about exercise?  Here are 10 muscle building tips from Real Women's Fitness.


3.  Need a total money makeover?  Check out these baby steps from Dave Ramsey.


4.  Need to get organized?  here are 10 everyday solutions to help from Organizing Your Way.


5.  Want to read more this year?  Need some ideas?  Check out the book lists of over 90 people over at The Nesting Place. 


6.  Want to go green and save money too?  Check out these easy recipes for natural homemade cleaners from Simple Organic. 


7.  Want to have more joy?  Take the "Joy Dare" and count 1000 gifts in 2012.  Find out how at A Holy Experience.

Enjoy your weekend and happy reading!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Word for 2012

Welcome to Freedom Fridays!  If this is your first time here, scroll down to read week one, My Word of 2012 post.  Otherwise, here are the current links to the rest of the series...
source: createfindadmire.tumblr.com via lovingthislife on pinterest.com 


For the past few years I've chosen a word that spoke out what I wanted that year to be about; what I wanted to take in and have shape my life in that year.  So, 3 years ago I began the year with the word "Love."  The next year it was "Grace."  And last year it was "Balance."  

Now, some of those years I think I could do-over, but having that little word definitely gave me something to focus on, something to take in.

So, at the start of this new year, with 366 days stretched out before me, all full of possibility and waiting to be filled, I prayed and set my heart on finding it's purpose in 2012.   

There's just so much I want to see happen this year, yet so much uncertainty even in the now.  So much under the surface, waiting to bloom and so much ahead that looks different.   And as all of that swirled inside, unknown mixing with possibility, the word that just kept coming up was

Freedom!


And as I meditated on that word over these days, it has settled right in and it feels right.  It touches all that I want to see and it rattles the cage of insecurity and fear.

I want freedom!

Freedom in my mind.
Freedom from debt.
Freedom from stress.
Freedom from fear.
Freedom from clutter.
Freedom from the care of what others think.
Freedom to change.
Freedom to dream.
Freedom to create.
Freedom to live full of joy.
Freedom to be me.

I like all the possibility this word offers.


  Join me this year as I unwrap freedom for all it's worth and watch it break the chains of all that binds?
  I'll be sharing the journey here each Friday in 2012.


Freedom Fridays!
{that just came to me, corny as it is, but I'm going with it...
not even going to worry what you all might think and censor myself...
see, feeling free already!}


Do you have a word for 2012?
  If so, care to share in the comments?
I'd love to hear from you.


This post is linked up with The Lettered Cottage's Word of the Year Party.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!



Happy New Year friends!


I love the feeling of a new year.
New year, new possibilities, right?

Here are some of the words that are jumping out at me as I begin 2012 and I wanted to share them with you...

source: janet dick via lovingthislife on pinterest

source: just-smileology.tumblr.com via lovingthislife on pinterest

source: modernemotive.com via lovingthislife on pinterest


Here's to a very blessed 2012!
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