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Month: April 2016

Why Did Jericho’s Walls Fall?

Why Did Jericho’s Walls Fall?

Yesterday after I had my toddler’s class marching around our “wall” in the center of the classroom, yelling when they reached the seventh time with the trumpet blowing loudly I asked them a question: Why did Jericho’s walls fall?

Jericho had completely shut up their city for fear of Israel. There was no way for Joshua to get his men into that city. But then an angel appeared to Joshua with specific instructions. They were to march around the city with the Ark of the Covenant one time each day for 6 days. But on the seventh day they were to do that 7 times and at the end shout as the priest blew the trumpets.

And after my class had reenacted that scene and our make-shift wall fell I asked them why did that wall fall. Was it the marching? Was it the yelling? Was it the trumpets blowing? What made Jericho fall?

God. God made Jericho fall. Why? Because the children of Israel were obedient to His command. Do you think some of those people felt silly waking up each morning to march around the city one more time. Don’t you think it required faith to stand outside your enemies walls and just shout at the top of your lungs because God said so? Their fear didn’t hinder their faith. They obeyed God.

What walls stand in your way today? Has God given you instructions on how to defeat them? What is keeping you from marching around your wall? I am not saying that your wall is there because of disobedience, so please don’t misunderstjerichoand me. But I do know that if God can make Jericho crumble at the shout of soldiers then God can remove your wall. God is strong enough. What does God require of us?

Faith. Obedience.

Be listening for God’s instructions on how to defeat your wall.

Digging Deeper in the Word {Questions to Ask}

Digging Deeper in the Word {Questions to Ask}

12833295_10153984012633970_1480735439_nFor months and months I have been having conversations with my son, William, about salvation. Our conversations years ago would often be after a punishment. We would explain to him that when he does something wrong it is a sin and sin requires punishment. We have worked our way up from that over the years and our conversations have gotten a little deeper.

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5 Ways to Stay Sane when your morning ISN’T

5 Ways to Stay Sane when your morning ISN’T

I woke up to children calling my name. Actually, crying my name. Usually when mornings start like that I know the rest of the morning won’t be much different. Well, I got the kids fed and before I could even begin to make my own breakfast they had begun the “Mom can I’s” of the day. They also like to use “Mom can you…” And it’s exhausting. Before I knew it I was reading books (which I love to do with the kids) and getting drinks and pulling stuck things off of things they shouldn’t be stuck to and my morning had gotten out of control. I hadn’t even had a chance to think for myself yet let alone make my breakfast or have my devotions.

Maybe you don’t have kids but I am sure you can relate to a hectic morning like that. The phone’s ringing, the dog’s barking, you’ve got to be out of the door by a certain time, etc…Everyone knows what it is like to have a hectic morning that gets you frazzled! So how do we deal that? We can’t really prevent them, they just happen. How we handle them is what is important. Here’s how I stay sane when my morning is not!stay sane

  1. Take a breath. A big, big breath. This allows your heart rate to slow down a little bit and just calm yourself. If I don’t take this big breath I will start yelling. And when the kids see me taking my big breath they know they better straighten up!
  2. Prioritize. What is the most important thing right now? Is it to the dishes or make that phone call? Eat breakfast or mop the floor? Play with the kids or folding the laundry? Decide what matters the most in that moment and drop everything else (for a bit…plan on coming back to it when the most important things are done.)
  3. Play calm music. One of my very first posts was about the Power of Music. It can either calm you or get you worked up. So choose your playlist wisely.
  4. Say no. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that you just cannot do. Filling your load will only make it heavier. If your morning is already full don’t attempt to fill it with anything else. If you need to have a few minutes to read your Bible or eat your breakfast tell your child you can’t read that book right now or fill that sippy cup right now. It will not hurt them to wait. In fact, it might do them some good.
  5. Pray. I saved this for last not because it is the last resort but because I hope it is the obvious reaction to a hectic morning. “When my heart is overwhelmed, it’s to God I cry!” Psalm 3:4 says, “And I cried unto the Lord with my voice and He heard me.” Go to God when you’re having a rough morning and ask Him to help you through it.
Link Up Parties

Link Up Parties

 

Have any of you been part of a blog link up? Many of you probably have. In fact, that’s probably how you came across my blog. But for the sake of the post, let’s assume you haven’t for now.

Link up parties are a great way to meet other bloggers and also get your blog out there. Bloggers will host a link up party on their blog and invite anyone to come and add a link to their own blog posts. Most parties have rules. You will have to link up to a post that relates to the topic of that blog. Sometimes they only let you post one link, other times you can post up to three or even as many as you’d like. Each blog link up party will have it’s own rules so you just have to read them.

Link up parties will be on a certain day each week. For example, I go to themodestmomblog.com every Monday morning to link up to that party. Then on Friday morning I go to a different blog to link up there. It only takes about 15 minutes to do each morning. It has increased my page views drastically and also has led me to some great blogs that I follow now.

link up parties

 

Here are the link parties I join weekly:

Monday-#ModestMonday;#ThankGoodnessItsMonday;#MondayMusings;#InspirationMonday;

Tuesday-#TeachingWhatIsGood#TestimonyTuesday#RaRaLinkup

Wednesday-HomemakingLinkUp#SittingAmongFriends#CoffeeForYourHeart

Thursday-#EncouragingHeartsAndHome;#HomemakingParty;#TuneinThursday;#HeartEncouragement;#liveFree;#ChasingCommunity

Friday- #GraceAndTruth;#FaithFilledFriday#FreshMarketFriday;

 

There are also Saturday and Sunday link ups but I just don’t do blog work on those days. All of the blogs I link up to have a family and home emphasis. That’s because my blog relates to that. If you have a blog on fitness or fashion then just google fitness blog link ups or fashion blog, or whatever your blog might be about.

Have I missed any other great link ups? I know there are a ton more out there! Share them here! Do you participate in link up parties? What do you think of them?

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Digging Deeper in the Word {Inviting Christ to Speak}

Digging Deeper in the Word {Inviting Christ to Speak}

12833295_10153984012633970_1480735439_nWelcome back to our weekly series focusing on digging deeper in God’s Word. In the past couple weeks I have given a different ways that I like to study my Bible. But today I want to give you something to think about- a challenge even.

Last week in church, a friend told a story. She said how she was sitting in an empty waiting room and decided to play some scripture songs from her phone while she waited. Not long after starting to play the songs someone called her and asked her to pray about something for her. She shared how God just prepared her heart for that phone call by listening to those Scripture songs.

It got me thinking. How do I prepare myspeak heart for my devotions? A quick skim over Facebook. See if anyone liked my photo on Instagram. Make my coffee. Check my email. Okay, now I am ready for devotions. Or am I? Have I even begun to prepare my heart for the Lord to speak to me? Not at all. And that is a sad story.

And what about during devotions? Is the tv playing in the background? Are the kids screaming on your lap for something (this is a scenario I am very familiar with)? Is your phone sitting next to you for just in case you get a text? Are you really inviting Christ to come speak to you? Are you “setting yourself up for success”? I know it’s not always possible to have complete silence with no distractions while doing devotions, but why not try? Get up earlier if you need to. Stay up later if you need to. Set a show on for the kids for a half hour. Invite Christ to speak to you!

So here’s my challenge for you all this week: have devotions before checking facebook or any other social network each day. Prepare your heart with prayer or godly music. Turn off all the background noise. Invite Christ to speak to you in your devotions this week.

Are you looking for some ideas for your personal devotions? Grace Happening and Young Housewife have been giving some great ideas! You can also find the rest of the Digging Deeper series here.

In what ways can you prepare your heart for devotions? What things do you know need to be set aside until after your devotions?

 

Are you standing in an even place?

Are you standing in an even place?

Did you know there is a Wikipedia page for falling accidentally? Weird, but true! If you go to that page you will learn that falling is the second leading cause of accidental death worldwide. Isn’t that crazy? I would have never guessed! And then if you look a little further there is a whole page dedicated to preventing falls. Among others, some ways to prevent a fall were to increase lighting, increase balance and strength, and to change your environment.

Psalm 26:12 says, “My foot standeth in an even place…” David was making an effort not to fall. He wasn’t putting himself in a place where he was likely to fall. Where are your feet today?

Are you dabbling in sin? Are you setting yourself up to fall back into your old life? Are you entertaining thoughts of sinful pleasures? You are not putting your feet in an even place. And just like falling down causes so much pain and sometimes death among the human race, when Christians fall it hurts. It hurts the individual who has fallen and it hurts the people around them.

How do we prevent falling spiritually? In many ways it’s the same as how we prevent falling physically.

Increase lighting. Be in God’s Word more often, be in church hearing preaching, be among God’s people, listen to godly music. Increase the Light in your life.

Increase balance and strength. Exercise faith. Exercise prayer. Exercise obedience. Strengthen your walk with the Lord.

Change your environment. Stop going to the places that cause you to sin. Stop being around the people that bring you down. Then start going to the places that encourage you to live right and be around the people that do the same.

Let’s start this weekend out right. Let’s make some changes in our life that will keep us from falling. Ask God to help you keep your feet in an even place.

even place

Digging Deeper in the Word {Where to Start}

Digging Deeper in the Word {Where to Start}

12833295_10153984012633970_1480735439_nI have been loving this series! It is something that not only have I enjoyed writing about but my heart really needed. We need encouragement in areas like personal devotions. We need to know we aren’t the only ones who struggle. And it really helps to know how other women overcome struggles like making devotions a habit or even getting something from your devotions every day.

Have you been encouraged by this series? Maybe you have been and want to make daily devotions a part of your life but don’t know where to start. Good news! You don’t need much to start!

What you will need:

  1. Bible
  2. Pen/pencil
  3. Notebook (optional)

I noticed in the past months how instagram made me really feel like I NEEDED that special notebook or that specific wide margin Bible or whatever else to have a deep, personal walk with the Lord. But all you need is a Bible and a pen or pencil. You should see the teeny tiny margins in my Bible and somehow I still manage to get notes scribbled all over them. My notebook is a cheapie from Walmart and that is also full of notes.

What you do:

Although a devotional can be so helpful don’t worry about it if you don’t have one. Don’t feel like you need that to get started. Just open your Bible and start reading. Where should you start reading? That’s up to you!

I know every time in my life when I got off track with my devotions and I needed to just start somewhere I would start in Proverbs. I really love reading a Proverb a day. Today is April 6 so read Proverbs 6. You will learn so much in Proverbs and eventually you will be ready to move on to another book.

Write down what you learn! I like to take notes because it helps me remember what I learned. I refer back to my notes VERY often and highly suggest you do take notes. Again…nothing fancy. Just write down what the Lord has taught you.

Don’t be afraid to just open your Bible and start reading. Don’t feel like you need to have the best notebook, pens, etc to walk closely to the Lord. Maybe this is a struggle you have overcome. Where did you start? What tips can you offer someone who is wanting to start having personal devotions?

Grace Happening started this series off with a great post with even more tips to someone who is just starting out with devotions. Go here for the rest of the posts in this series and visit Grace Happening and Young Housewife for even more posts in this series.

DIY Cowboy Checkers Board

DIY Cowboy Checkers Board

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Shane isn’t really into board games. Unless it is Settlers of Catan he is most likely not playing.But the other day he discovered a very interesting game called Cowboy Checkers (also called Nine Men’s Morris). He explained to me how to play and showed me a picture of the board. It didn’t look that complicated so we gave it a shot. We just got a piece of cardboard, a ruler, and a sharpie and went at it. We made the board in probably 20 minutes (could be done faster if you don’t care about symmetry).

As we started playing some friends were coming in and soon we had 5 adults around this board having a great time. It’s only a two player game but we just kept playing winner (which was Shane every time). It was a blast!

So, here’s how I made my board. Start with acowboycheckers1 piece of cardbord (the back of a cereal box would work perfectly) and make a big square on it. Put a dot in each corner and one dot between the corners…8 dots. Then do a smaller square within that one with the same amount of dots in the same places. Now do a third square, even smaller, in the middle of the board. Same amount of dots in the same places. Now, draw a line from the middle dot on the biggest square through the middle dot on the medium square and straight on through to the middle dot on the smallest square. Do that on each side. Now you have your board.

Instructions to play! If you want the Wikipedia instructions, go here. For my instructions…well, just keep reading.

Laying pieces. We use pennies and dimes. You need nine of each. Dimes will go first. Lay one dime on any dot on the board. Now pennies does the same. Go back and forth until all dimes and pennies are laid. When laying your pieces if you get three in a row you can steal one of your opponent’s pieces off of the board. So be watchful, and blocking when you need to block.

Pennies play first. You can move a penny to any connecting dot. You cannot skip around. It must be moved to a dot that is connected to the dot you are already on. Then dimes go. You go back and forth with the goal of getting three pieces in a row. If you get three in a row you get to remove one of your opponent’s pieces off of the board. Once one player has only three pieces left of the board they can jump around. They can move to any dot on the board now, not just connecting dots. When one player is left with only two pieces they have lost. The other player wins.

Make sense? If not, go ahead, read wikipedia’s instructions. I won’t tell. Let me know if you try this game out. Or maybe you have already heard of it and play it! Let me know where you heard of this game!

DSCF8147


Spring Cleaning!

Spring Cleaning!

Happy April 1st! Doesn’t this beautiful weather make you want to clean! file-page1I know it does that to me. I am ready to open windows, feel the breeze, and air out my house. But as life in the North goes I will have to wait another month for that. Still, that sunshine makes me want to get busy!

For the past three years I have been doing the same spring cleaning list. I make it in March and give myself April and May to complete it. It is a system I really love because I know I would never be able to do it all in one week. I just aim to do one thing on the list each day and it gets done in time.

When I make my list I first write down all the rooms that are in my house. Then under each room I write down the deep cleaning/organizingfile-page2 chores that don’t get done regularly. Easy as that! There is a space to write the date each task was completed to help me stay on track. I made my list into a pdf this year to be able to share it with you all. You can download it here: Spring Cleaning 2016.

How do you make your Spring Cleaning list? Do you do it in one day? One week? Or do you spread it out like me? What things are always on your spring cleaning list that other people might not think of? Share with us!

spring cleaning