Friday, April 29, 2011

HOMEmaker's Challenge

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

May is right around the corner, which means the "Try it" challenge will be ending. I decided to find something else, not only to occupy my time, but also to cause growth. I'm happy to be partaking in the Homemaker's Challenge during the entire month of May!

I purchased my e-book yesterday for a mere $5. Basically the book is divided into 31 "chapters". Each day there is a short "encouragement" followed by two challenges:
  • Mary challenge- this is an internal challenge. They help you evaluate your motives and focus on the important things in life.
  • Martha challenge- As it implies, this is an actual task in the house that will have you feeling like you accomplished something when you're done. (Like wiping cabinet doors and washing curtains)
By the end of the month I'll have completed a good house cleaning and have a better idea of what I want to accomplish with my house.

Will you consider joining the challenge? Head over to Joyful mothering to link up. You can purchase the book at Amazon: 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Testimony time

My brother had an opportunity to share his testimony in this neat video. I know its a little long, but its worth listening to.

My favorite words happen at the end:

"Jesus is alive and real, and He wants you to know Him."
Please share this video if it has encouraged you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter weekend

This past weekend our family drove approximately 9 hours each way to and from Michigan. While there we spent our time at a Bible conference. I've never been to one quite like it. It began Friday morning and ended Sunday afternoon. The bulk of the time was spent in meetings with very little free time. It was tiring, but it was also very good for our spiritual well being. I'm very glad we went and I'd like to share some pictures with you.

You'll notice that most of the people are Indian. It wasn't an Indian conference, it just so happens that the majority of the church members are Indian.

The captions for each photo are below the photos.

This first one shows a sweet reunion. Last May we went on a road trip. My daughter, Patricia (left) met Zaneta (center). They are the same age and they clicked immediately. In September Zaneta's family visited us for a day and their friendship grew.  Patricia was SUPER excited to see her again. Joseph (on the left) is a new friend we met this weekend (he's from a different family). He made it clear to Seth that he wanted to be his best friend. Too bad we live so far!

 There was LOTS of singing this weekend! It was great! The children performed in front of the adults several times.

Patricia and Zaneta in the group of kids. See how they love each other?! Notice the girl's outfit on the left. Beautiful isn't it?

 My first viewing of a live cricket game. :)

Enoch, my handsome hubby on the left, played cricket on the side with the kiddos.

 On the way to meal time! This is Sunday afternoon. The morning meeting was supposed to last 3 hours (no breaks in between!). But, guess what. It went over. By one and a half hours! It was supposed to end at 12:30, but it was closer to 2 when the meeting was dismissed. After that everyone headed straight for lunch! No one tarried around the meeting hall!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Try It Challenge- Week Three Review

Week three was a breeze!  I'll admit that I didn't do anything fancy, except drink a cup of green tea every day. I think I tried 5 different brands/varieties. I must say that it was enjoyable.

I used to drink green tea more regularly, but I've fallen out of the habit. Enoch and I have been enjoying a line of tea from Tetley. It's catered more towards Indians. We have three flavors at home: Masala, Elaichi and Ginger.

Anyway, back to the Green Tea! My very favoritest kind that I had all week was Lipton Green Tea, mixed berry flavor.

Tea is easy to make but I like to follow the steeping times given. Green tea is generally supposed to be steeped for around 2 minutes.  If you steep any tea too long, it can get bitter. If you steep too short, it'll be weak and we don't want that! 

I like to add a scant teaspoon of sugar to my cup. I don't like the way milk tastes with green tea, so I skip that!

Spiritual challenge: We were to do the plank three times each morning and pray while doing so. You can read about it on Peak313's blog. I did it. I don't like it, but I do like the way it makes my stomach feel. It feels like my stomach muscles are actually getting fit. I need to do lots of them in order to actually get fit!

This coming week our food challenge is avacado and the spiritual challenge is to pray scripture. I plan on trying Clare's avacado/black bean dip for sure!

This is the last week of the challenge... I guess I'll be on the look out for something else! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Time

Can you believe tomorrow is Easter already? I love seeing spring unfold with new life. Flowers that burst out of the ground and broken egg shells in the grass. It reminds me of Christ's resurrection. Rising from the dead is a form of new life. And His resurrection allows others to have new life in Him. That is the true meaning of Easter~ Christ rising from the dead.

However, like most kids, my children expect something at Easter time, preferably a large basket of candy. I wanted to give them something, but I really didn't want to spend tons of money or fill them with junk. Instead I gave them two things. I bought them a $5 movie ("The Little Rascals") and plaster eggs for painting.

Do you remember the plaster that the kids painted 3 years ago? I can hardly believe its been that long! Ian is showing Patricia's bug off here, even though he wasn't around at the time:

I bought 1/2 a dozen plaster eggs for the kids to do this year. It came with one "difficult to use" brush, so we each took turns painting ours.

We're spending our Easter weekend at a Bible conference in Michigan, so we were able to paint our eggs early.  The kids were slightly disappointed that they didn't get loads of candy this year. But I'm happy that we get to spend our time learning about our Lord who gave His life for us and then took His life back again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Deal of the week

I can't write much, but I wanted to pass this deal along to you.  I bought Toy Story's Operation game two days ago. The price is $5 at Walmart. It doesn't even look like its a sale, that's just the price they're selling it for.

Also, if you buy any Hasbro game before April 30th (just a few days away), you can send away for a rebate for a free frozen pizza. A classic game and a free pizza all for $5. That's a good deal in our house!

Seth was occupied with the new game.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to clean the fridge

This weekend I was cranky! Actually, I spent the last few days trying to be UN-cranky. Guess what I did while I was in a temper. Why, yes, I did stamp my feet and snap at my kids, but I'm talking about after that.

After I let everyone have a piece of my mind I cleaned out my fridge.

Not your average run of the mill wipe down some of the shelves cleaning. It was a DEEP cleaning. A cleaning which my fridge has never seen. Well, not from me, anyway.

The very first thing I did was open up a clean trash bag.

Then I filled it up.

With probably 30 pounds of food.

Wanna know what I found? Sure you do! Here is a partial list:
  • an unopened pedialyte that expired 2 years ago
  • a fuzzy package. YIKES! The whole thing went into my bag
  • all of my lost containers
  • 2 egg salads
  • 3 dishes of black beans...
Wanna know HOW I cleaned the fridge afterwards? Sure you do!

This may seem like common knowledge, but I'll write it with the hopes that maybe I may inspire just one person out there to clean out their own fridge.

When I started I had a minimum amount of food in the fridge. Then I followed these steps.
  • Start at the top. Its always best to work from the top down. If you start at the bottom you'll probably create crumbs when you're on top!
  • Empty your current shelf. Even when you clean your fridge out you still have some things in there that'll need to be temporarily moved around.
  • Take your shelf out of the fridge. This allows your fridge to stay cool and for you to find a comfortable spot to work in. If your shelves do not come out, make sure you let the refrigerator rest for at least 10 minutes between cleanings.
  • Tools required are simple. I had a bowl with soapy water and a rag. I kept my scraper handy - this was an essential tool, so please read about it! I also kept a kitchen towel handy to dry things.
  • Don't cut corners. Take your time thoroughly cleaning each shelf, drawer and wall. I couldn't believe how disgusting some areas of my fridge were!
  • Categorize. When everything is clean, you now have the liberty to set your fridge up the way you want to. Condiments in one section, drinks in another. You really only need one section for leftovers and it shouldn't stay full!
  • Soak rags in vinegar. I don't know how yours will be, but my rags needed a good cleaning themselves! I covered them in vinegar overnight then washed them in the morning.
  • Don't stop in the middle. If you start it, make sure to finish that very same day! I started cleaning my fridge around 5 pm (dinner time!) I worked for 2 hours, then we went out to eat dinner. When the kids were in bed I finished up.
My after pictures are of very poor quality, but I'll show them to you anyway. Please share yours with me if you clean out your fridge!

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Try It" Challenge - Week Two Review

I made it through week two of the Peak 313 challenge. I must say up front, that on Wednesday and Thursday I was sick with a stomach bug and wasn't eating. After that my stomach was still weak, so eating was still very light. I only was able to manage eating quinoa 3 days. I tried it a fourth day and couldn't stomach it!
As far as the spiritual challenge went, I listened to three podcasts! One on biblical finances, another on sharing Christ with others and the third was on modesty.

The basic way to make quinoa is straightforward. Add one part quinoa to two parts water into a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. I covered mine, but I'm not sure if you're supposed to.

Day One
Day one was fun for us. I made basic quinoa, but instead of water I used chicken broth. Then I served it topped with sloppy joes. Yes, you read that right. 

It was really yummy. Before we ate it I was afraid it might taste like couscous. I knew the kids wouldn't like that, but its not like couscous! Quinoa is not actually from wheat, so it tastes different. And it does pair nicely with sloppy joes. LOL!

Day Two
My friend, Randa, passed a recipe along to me. It had three layers. Bottom layer is quinoa, middle is a carrot slaw and the top layer is honey flavored tempeh. 

I didn't have tempeh in the house (I've never had it in the house, actually). So, I made just the first two layers. 

I was the only one who ate it, so its hard to say how it really tasted. My kids are really the best at telling me if something is good or not! I am pretty sure the honey tempeh would've added nicely to the flavor. However, all in all, it was a filling lunch with an okay flavor.

You can find the recipe here.

Day Three
On Friday I made black quinoa according to the basic method. To make cereal I mixed the following:
  • 1/2 cup prepared quinoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
My two year old took a while to get over the looks of it, then downed two bowls. Two of my other kids decided they didn't like it after one bite. I thought it was pretty good and my husband said its a "poor man's breakfast".

Like I said earlier, my stomach recovery really made this challenge, um, challenging. I'd like to incorporate quinoa in the future. It gives the grain part of meals a nice variety. (Am I the only one who gets tired of rice and pasta?)

This coming week the new food is green tea. The spiritual challenge is to do the plank (something I usually try to avoid) and pray while doing them!

Check out Clare's blog if you're interested in seeing how others used the new food.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kashi Ingredient Decoder

I came across this handy dandy ingredient decoder from Kashi in a magazine yesterday. They have a PDF you can download, print out and keep handy.

Kashi is definitely one of the companies I can trust when I buy food. The only thing I ever have to look out for is nuts, but that's something I can easily live with!

Basically the list they give includes ingredients that you will (green thumb) and won't (red thumb) find in their products. Next to each ingredient they give a two or three line snippet.

Some examples of green thumbs include acacia gum, oligofructose and glycerin. Some of the don'ts: BHT, Calcium perioxide and sodium benzoate.

I was able to cut mine out of the magazine and keep it around for reference. I hope you find their website useful. My list was rather incomplete, so I thought I'd share Kashi's "a little more complete" list with you. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teach by example

Today I caught Ian "reading" a book. It was a board book... you know, the ones with cardboard pages. I noticed that before he turned the pages he would give his finger a quick lick.

It was SO cute I had to take his picture.

I had to laugh, knowing that his finger licking wasn't doing a lick of good! You only need to wet your finger if you're turning a regular sheet of paper.

It immediately brought a Bible verse to mind:

"But be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
I Timothy 4:12

I never once told Ian he had to lick his fingers if he wanted to turn a page in a book. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know I was doing it so frequently! Ian didn't know why he was doing it, he just saw me do it and thought that is how you're supposed to read a book.

If he's learning how to turn pages in a book by watching me, what else is he learning? Ian is two now and we noticed that his "terrible two's" have started. He likes to break out in screaming... especially when we walk into stores. Where did he learn that? Maybe I'm not always in control of my actions, so he hasn't learned to be in control of his.

This verse in I Timothy is a gentle reminder to me of how to teach others. I don't have to tell everyone (namely my kids) what they should be doing, but they will learn if only I will live the way Christ has taught us. 

How can we know and live what Christ taught us? There is no short answer. In fact, the answer is long... we have to spend lots of time with the Lord in prayer and reading His Word. Lots of time is the key. I'm trying to learn this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Children's Workshops

Just a couple of months ago I found out about Home Depot's and Lowe's free workshops that they host for children. Since then I've realized that many people don't know about these programs. The information is not easily accessible on their websites. So please read on...


Lowe's program is called Build and Grow

You DO have to sign up in advance. They only accept the first 50 applicants so if you live in a busy area, you need to sign up early!

The Lowe's Build and Grow is aimed at children in grades 1 through 5. Although I sign Seth up for this even though he's only in kindergarten.

Basically what they do is hammer nails and follow instructions. The parents are the ones who guide the child, not the instructor.

The kits/programs are FREE. If your child really likes them then you can purchase other kits they have available in the store.

Every child receives a certificate of completion and a patch. The first time you go, if you let them know its your first time, your child will receive an apron and goggles.

Lowe's Build and Grow occurs every 2 weeks on Saturday. You are supposed to arrive at 10 o'clock am.

The kids really like it and they are learning an important skill.

Home Depot

Home Depot's kids workshop runs just a little differently.

On their webpage they show painted end products, so it can be a tiny bit misleading. I have Tabitha's planter box featured here with her beloved cactus! The on line version was pink, yellow, purple and so on. Our's is...wood!

You do NOT have to pre-register for Home Depot. Its a first come, first serve kind of deal.

Home Depot holds their workshops on the first Saturday of every month. You can drop in any time between 9 and 12 to complete your project.

As with Lowe's, Home Depot's workshop is FREE!

The projects are geared towards children ages 5-12, although even younger children can go. They provided glue for those who were too young for nails.

Home Depot provides children with an apron on their first visit and a pin for each completed project.

I hope I didn't forget any details. You can search around different stores and see if there are any fun things for your kids to do!

What kind of activities has your family discovered?

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Try It" Challenge - Week One Review

Last week's challenge, Greek Yogurt, was very easy for us to implement into our days. I was able to use it 6 out of 7 days!

 Day One:
Mix all ingredients and enjoy around 4 servings.

This was yummy! The thickness does take some getting used to, especially if you're not used to eating yogurt at all, but it is filling and delicious.

 Day Two:

Spoon prepared yogurt into popsicle molds and freeze. Makes 4

I'll admit that I wasn't crazy about this one, but then again I'm not too big on popsicles. The kids, however, devoured them. Their actions told me that they liked them!
 Day Three:

Chobani Champions very berry Greek yogurt.

This is the first greek yogurt made especially for kids. It's yummy... aren't all kid's foods???
 Day Four:
Stir and enjoy one breakfast sized serving.

A couple people suggested eating yogurt this way. It was a great breakfast!
 Day Five:

Apple Dip
For this I used Tammy's Recipe for cream cheese apple dip, substituting plain greek yogurt for the cream cheese.

I thought it was WAY too sweet. I liked the flavors, but I really need to tinker around with this recipe to get it where I'd be happy with it.

The kids liked it after I added more yogurt. They ate theirs with a spoon and not as a dip.

Day Six: 

(Not sure why I can't write next to this pic!)

I used Alton Brown's recipe for blueberry muffins. They turned out great although I think I used too much flour. It calls for 12 1/2 oz, so I used 3 cups. I think 2 1/2 cups would've been better.

My batch yielded 15 muffins and they were gone within 24 hours, so they were a success.

Ian (our 2 year-old) was calling the berries "blue strawberries"... too cute!

Spiritual challenge: It was a good exercise to pray for our elders. Hopefully I'll remember to do that more often!

This week's food challenge is Quinoa. I'm a little nervous about this one, but I'm ready to eat!

The spiritual challenge is to listen to podcasts that edify.

Both quinoa and podcasts are things I've never tried, so this will truly be a new challenge for me. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Link Love

Just three for ya today!
  • Vinegar uses - Sharizat lists over 20 ways you can use vinegar to clean your home. She does a great job with details. In fact, I think I'm going to use some on my windows tonight! By the way, her blog is amazing. I like to think of it as an undiscovered gem. Check it out!
  • Financial help from a 3 year old - Short and funny, especially if you're a Dave Ramsey fan. We know Money Saving Mom is!
  • Article: Was Facebook making me a bad parent - Did I write this? Oh, it couldn't have been me, because I haven't learned to balance things yet! This article was an eye opener, I could definitely relate! I'm trying to limit my on-line time now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."

After my big read I had to find a portion of the Bible to study. This morning I began with First John.  There are two main reasons that I decided on this particular book. 

The first is that its small enough. Small enough to read in one sitting and small enough to study in a reasonable amount of time.

The second reason is my fascination with love. The love of God has always amazed me. That's what brought me to Christ as a teenager... I was searching for love. I knew that First John spoke quite a bit about love, so that played a part in my choice.

ANYWAY, all of this to say that when I started reading this morning I was thrilled to read the above verse: "These things are written that your JOY may be full." I John 1:4

I feel like joy has been missing in my life lately and I've been looking for it. I know that if we seek, we shall find and so, I am excited to study First John and restore the joy in my life. The deeper I dig the more joy I will find! (Today I just read through the book once to start with.)

Where are you studying?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The (crayon) writing on the wall

Have your kids ever taken a crayon to the wall?? Mine have! When I first became a mommy I used to keep up with the marks pretty regularly. But lately... things have gotten out of hand. Marks like this are all over the house:

To demonstrate the power of baking soda I first tried cleaning the area with a damp rag and soap. In the end the crayon was lighter, but it was still totally there.

Like I said, when I was a younger parent I would take care of such things fairly quickly. I tried all of my cleaners back then and none of them worked. If you've ever heard that magic erasers were made from baking soda, then you've heard correctly.

All I do is take a damp rag, dip it into baking soda and scrub the marks off the wall:
It does take some arm muscles, but you're a mom... you've got those! I'm not going to admit how many marks I took off the wall this week, but I will admit how very good it feels to have them out of here!

Bonus pictures

To show you the power of baking soda, you may see my kitchen sink before picture:

I sprinkled the sink with baking soda. I wet my rag in a different sink, then scrubbed away.

See how nice and shiny?:

What kind of things do you use baking soda for?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A lesson in trust

Does this hair clip scare you? It doesn't scare me... I actually like it. My 2 year-old son, Ian, doesn't agree with me. Maybe opening up the clip and looking at its claws can appear frightening!

Yesterday I spent a good 5 minutes opening the clip in front of my son. At the beginning he was pretty shaken up. He would cover his eyes and try to hide from it. I never let the clip touch him, but I did keep opening it and assuring him that I wouldn't hurt him. I wanted to gain his trust.

My kids are taught from an early age that there is no Santa Clause or Easter Bunny. (They don't actually believe me, but that's a different story!) Some people may think I'm stifling their imagination, but its very important to me that they can trust me and what I tell them.

So, back to yesterday, by the end of our little encounter, Ian still wasn't crazy about the hair clip, but he did learn that I wouldn't hurt him with it.

The lesson I needed to learn was very apparent. We need to trust God. We may not always understand why we go through things, but God always has His reasons. Some things may actually hurt (just like when we give our kids immunizations), but its always for our good.

The other day I was on the phone with my dad and he, too, brought to my attention the importance of trusting God. Sometimes, as humans we try to take things into our own hands, but if we truly trust God, we should take our concerns to God in prayer... and trust!

This is linked up to Mom's Mustard Seeds weekly Seed planting. 
Mustard Seeds

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Try It" Challenge - Week One

I'm excited to start this new challenge for the month of April. Clare over at Peak313 is hosting a "Try It" challenge. The idea is pretty straightforward. Each week for four weeks we're encouraged to incorporate a new food 4 out of 7 days. This weeks food is Greek Yogurt

Our family LOVES yogurt, but we don't each much of the Greek variety. Actually, we haven't eaten much yogurt lately, because I have started making my own (it's way cheaper!). I haven't made any in a while... maybe I've been blogging too much?? SO, it'll be nice to buy Greek Yogurt and find fun ways to eat it! I'll update you at the end of the week on how we ate it!!

Also, Clare includes a spiritual challenge along with the food item. This week we're supposed to pray more fervently for our elders. Didn't I just mentioned that I wanted to pray more? What a great way to be egged on. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring is on its way!

 On March 20th we were informed that Spring has sprung. Since then the weather has been quite cold. In many areas people had snow storms. In our area we missed lots of snow this year and it even managed to stay away during Spring so far. This past week seemed to be particularly cold. Some days, when the wind blew it was bitter cold.

But you know what??? When the cold was making me want to run inside and snuggle under a blanket, I often found myself smiling. A true joyous smile even. Why? Ultimately it was because of the hope that I had set before me. Not hope in the sense of something I think may happen, but hope in something I know will happen, but just hasn't happened yet.

Listen to this scripture:

"While the earth remains, 
Seedtime and harvest, 
Cold and heat, 
  Winter and summer
And day and night Shall not cease." 
Genesis 8:22

Just about a month ago Japan suffered from a terrible earthquake and tsunami. Now the whole world is
wondering and possibly fearing, what is going to become of the nuclear reactors. As of right now there is highly radioactive seawater that is leaking out of one location and they are trying to plug it up.

When natural disasters of this magnitude strike its easy to get caught up in irrational fears. I am SO thankful I have the Bible to turn to. Global warming threatens many things, but the Bible is clear that as long as the earth is around we WILL HAVE summer and winter. So, have no fear, it won't be too long before we find ourselves seeking relief from the overbearing heat.

This verse was written after the flood, which occurred about 5000 years ago (correct me if I'm wrong on the date!). I think its interesting to note what this verse doesn't promise.

It doesn't say that the land as we know it will remain or the mountains. Think about it, the earth's land masses do change over time. Islands are formed, coasts are taken off the map, mountains erupt.

It doesn't say that the animals we know will still be here. Species go extinct, others are discovered and others adapt and change over time.

It doesn't even say the stars as we know them will remain. Did you know that over a 70 year period the whole stars as we know them slowly shift one degree? (So, it actually makes sense that the wise men saw and new star and were able to follow it, because the stars that we see shifted at that point.) Anyway, my point is that even the stars change.

It does say, however, that seedtime and harvest will remain. Famines have come and gone and yet during the dust bowl, when it seemed as though things would never grow, they were growing in other parts of the world and they started growing again in the USA later. The potato famine? Did you know there were other crops growing in Ireland at the time, but they had to deport them to England?

It does say cold and heat, winter and summer will remain. All these thousands of years later and it has still remained. God IS faithful who promised.

It does say that day and night not shall not cease. Joshua made the sun to stand still for one day, there was darkness over the whole land for three hours during the Lord's death and at a time during Revelation there will be darkness at one point, but do they cease, end forever? No.

Take heart in God's promises which will NEVER fail!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bible in 90 Days

I am ecstatic right now, so forgive me when I SHOUT WITH JOY in this post! I haven't told many people that I was doing this, but now that I'm DONE... on-time even, I thought I might be able to encourage others out there to take time to read their Bibles. Amy, over at MomsToolbox, hosted a challenge to read through THE ENTIRE BIBLE in 90 days. I finished less than an hour ago. She's currently hosting a "celebration" and she has asked some questions. Here are my answers:

Why did you read with us? I was saved 14 years ago. Every year for the first 4 or 5 years, I read through the Bible. After that life seemed to be constantly changing (read: kids kept taking root in my life) and I couldn't seem to finish the Bible. I still read, but just not all of it. My most recent attempt was a one year Bible plan. By the end of the second year I still hadn't made my way through. That's when I saw this plan. I tend to do well at tasks for a short period of time and then taper off. I figured three months was a short enough time frame for me to attempt. I also started off thinking that I don't have to finish in 90 days, I can do it in 100 and still be happy, but somehow I managed to do it in 90!!!!

How has it impacted you? I feel like I have a better understanding of how the Bible fits together. Currently, I also feel JOY, which hasn't been around in quite some time. I just finished reading Revelation, at the beginning and the end it says, more or less, that he is blessed who keeps the words of this book. Ending with that gives me a renewed desire to serve the Lord with all my heart.

I want to know how you kept reading: Not sure how to answer this one. I guess it was all God. When I first started reading I kept questioning why I was even trying. Was I trying to prove something? Wouldn't I be reading too quickly? Didn't I have housework to do? By the end, though, I realized that God sacrificed all for me. Why can't I sacrifice some of my time to get to know Him? That can't possibly be wrong. God wants us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and this is an opportunity to do that. (BTW- each day's reading takes just about an hour.)

How did you catch up? I guess Amy asks this, because most people must fall behind at some point. I know I did. When I was finishing up the OT I was about 2 weeks behind and I was going to give up. Then Amy wrote an inspirational post that was just enough encouragement to keep me going. I started reading two readings a day in the NT. Some days I only did one, but that allowed me to finish just in time!

What got in your way? Taking care of sick children, too many outside activities, sleeping in and some days I just didn't feel like reading for an hour!

What did you overcome? I guess I overcame my own doubts. And I overcame my handicap of not being able to read through the Bible in recent years.

What are your next steps? Now I know that I can spare an hour a day. I'd like to go back over some areas that I took note of and study them more in depth. I'd like to pray more fervently. I'd like to put to practice a lot of what I read (in particular showing love to the brethren in practical ways). I'd like to read through the Bible at least once a year.

Anything else? Reading the Bible fully in 90 days has made me appreciate some pillars of the faith. Off the top of my head I can think of George Muller and Charles Macintosh... both of whom read through the Bible over 200 times (I think!). They were used mightily of God and maybe that has something to do with the fact that they gave their time to God.  Now I don't want to suggest that every mother out there try this challenge, but I do want to encourage you to try to read and pray MORE. We can all benefit from more time with our Lord.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Link Love

I just have three sites for you today:
  • Day 83 out of 365 - My sister-in-law has undertaken a difficult task of taking one picture a day for the year. (Its more like 60 pictures a day, but anyway!) On this day you get to see my brother and nephews.
  • Snack Girl - I found this site the other day. It ties in with my theme for the week. She's got LOTS of info. I haven't looked through all of it yet. She even has a packaged snacks tab. I think its quite different from my list, so make sure you check it out.
  • Smooth, Shiny Beauiful - My friend, Maggie, wrote an excellent post on having the right perspective. I struggle with this so much. Our house is old, we're not handy and I'm too busy doing nothing to keep up with the daily chaos. I urge you to read her post!