The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to and end...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Homemade Christmas Part 2

Thanks so much for the comments you shared on my last post, I've been looking forward to having a few spare moments to write out part 2 of my Homemade Christmas series.

On my last post I shared what our family has done in the past, and why we are choosing to go towards a more simple Christmas.  There's so much talk about the "commercialism" of Christmas these days, and I see the evidence of that in stores, not to mention commercials on TV geared towards kids and toys.  I make it a point to explain to my children why there is a Christmas in the first place, and I do this starting now in October when their minds start moving in that direction. 

Like I said in my last post I do want our kids to enjoy the Christmas season and all that goes into it, but there's more than just presents involved in making a memorable Christmas for your family.  For example, cookie baking throughout the season is always a big hit in my family.  Our kids love baking goodies in the kitchen, and tasting their treats along the way.  I am going to make it a point this Christmas season to do a good amount of baking with the kids.  They love baking sugar cookies, cutting out Christmas shapes and decorating them how they wish.  I really don't care if they make perfect looking cookies that are decorated the way I would decorate them, I just want them to have fun and remember this time as a special time spent with their mom.  I do plan on taking a trip to the Dollar Tree and buying a few baking supplies- Christmas sprinkles, Christmas cupcake liners, etc.  It should only cost a few dollars but the kids will love all the festive decorations they'll get to use.  I also want to talk to the kids about hospitality this Christmas season, and take some of our baked goodies to others- teaching them that "it's more blessed to give than to receive".   And of course during this goody-baking time, the TV will be off and Christmas music will be playing in the background.  I'll make it a point that we won't be rushed, we will just enjoy the time spent with eachother.

Another activity I plan on doing this year, that I've done for the past 3 years is to do a countdown to Christmas using Christmas books we've collected over the years.  My mom got us started on this tradition a few years ago and the kids have really enjoyed it.  We have close to 25 Christmas books, if not a few more, that I wrap up each individually.  I then tape a number to each book and each night the kids find the book that corresponds with that particular date, they get to take turns unwrapping them and then we get to read it together.  It's like the advent calendars that are out there that allow kids to countdown the days to Christmas.  I usually need to buy a couple rolls of Christmas wrapping paper to wrap all 25 books, but other than that this activity costs nothing since I already have enough books.  In years past when I didn't have 25 books I would try to buy a few new ones to add to my collection.  I also went to our library and borrowed a few, those borrowed books were the first to be unwrapped so that I made sure they were returned on time.  This activity allows the kids the fun of unwrapping something, but also gave us time together, reading as a family and spending those few moments with eachother.  We would do this at night before bedtime, and read in the light of the lit Christmas tree.

I also have a few different weekend Christmas craft activities planned, one being Christmas card making.  Usually I order photo cards through Shutterfly or Kodak each year, but this year I thought it would be fun for the kids to make our Christmas cards.  This will be a way that will allow the kids to feel involved, but it will also save us some money.  I plan on buying some cardstock in varying Christmas colors, stickers, and other embellishments.  Last year I saw that the Dollar Tree sold a lot of Christmas stickers, so I'm hoping this year will be the same.  I'll probably print up a Christmas verse from the Bible and lets the kids glue it on the outside, and I'll let them be the ones to write a short Christmas message on the inside.  And again, during this time the TV will be off and the Christmas music will be playing.

One other activity that I plan on having the
kids help me with is to prepare the gifts we'll be giving to other family members (aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc.).  I found quite a few recipes for making your own coffee mocha mix, orange spiced cider mix, jarred apple pumpkin butter, and raspberry shortbread cookies.  The kids are at an age that they would be great helpers doing these kinds of things, and I know they would feel special being able to help make these gifts for our loved ones.

And I can't forget decorating the Christmas tree as a family, getting out all our Christmas movies and watching them together as a family, playing in the snow then coming inside for hot chocolate!  There are quite a few activities that will allow my children to have a fun and memorable Christmas season without focusing on gifts.

But speaking of gifts, I'm writing out the list of gifts we'll be making and am looking for pictures to include in the post that will give you a better idea of the homemade gifts we'll be making.  That will be the next post in this series, so I hope you'll come back for Part 3 in this Homemade Christmas series.

But tell me, what do you do to make your Christmas memorable, without focusing on gifts?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homemade Christmas Part 1

I know what you're thinking, "Christmas??", but it's only October- and the beginning of October at that!

But usually I do start thinking about Christmas at this time of the year because I love to have all the Christmas gifts taken care of by December 1st so that we can actually enjoy the month of December and not feel so stressed.

For the past couple years I've been doing my best to have a more simple Christmas.  What I mean is that I didn't want the kids focused just on gifts, or how many presents they're going to be getting.  I want them to enjoy the month of December and all that goes into it, but I want them to also know why we celebrate Christmas, and the true meaning- Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Last year I had heard about the idea of just 3 gifts for each child, along the lines of the 3 gifts baby Jesus received from the three kings.  So all throughout the month of December I took the opportunity to talk to them about why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, then I would explain to them that they would each receive 3 gifts just like baby Jesus.  So on Christmas day they were not surprised that there were just 3 gifts under the Christmas tree for each of them. 

This year I thought of doing things even a bit differently.  I'm not opposed to buying gifts, but I sure dislike buying a bunch of store bought toys just to see them, a week or two later, forgotten about and discarded.  So this year we'll be buying each of the kids one store bought gift and the rest of the gifts we'll be making or putting together ourselves.  I'm actually really excited about this idea, and my husband and I have already discussed the things we'll be making.

We have four children, two daughters (ages 9 and 3) and two sons (ages 7 and 5), and we've come up with gift ideas that we think each will really like.  We also have extended family that we'll be putting gift baskets together for, and I've come up with a lot of homemade items I can make for them.

I'm really looking forward to this Christmas season, to continue teaching the kids the importance of keeping Christ at the center of Christmas, and doing the things that make this season memorable:  cookie baking, house decorating, Christmas movie watching.  I'm looking forward to being creative with the gifts this year and to saving money by not spending so much.

My next post I'll be sharing with you the children's gift ideas that I have in mind.  And if you have any ideas yourselves be prepared to share them if you'd like in the comments section, with a link to your blog or post so that others can read about them too. 
And so that you don't miss the next part to this Homemade Christmas Series why don't subscribe to my blog via email.


Modern Vintage Homemaking

Being a loving wife

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Ephesians 5:32-33

To reverence our husbands means to show respect and honor towards them.  Sometimes that is easier said than done, isn't it? 

What do you do when your husband asks you to do him a favor?  Do you happily obligeOr do you go about grumbling and griping while doing it?  If it's an easy request that is in your comfort zone then no problem.  But what if his request is out of your comfort zone?  That can be a different story sometimes. 

I remember a few years back in the middle of winter when we had a good 2 feet of snow outside.  We would have to water our cows with a hose attached to our water faucet inside our house, then haul the heavy and long hose out to the cows water trough.  It is not that fun of a job, let me tell you.  My husband who leaves for work around 6:30 and doesn't usually get home until 4pm would then have to do the big job of watering the cows after his long day at work.  Well one day I felt the Lord telling me to help out my husband and water the cows for him while he was at work so that he wouldn't have to do it when he got home.  Like I said, it's not an easy job, especially for someone small like me.  Watering the cows is a job for someone with bigger muscles than I have, especially when you have to trudge through 2 feet of snow to do it.  Then after you've watered you still have to roll up the long hose (getting all the water out as you do it) and put it back inside so that it doesn't freeze.  But since the Lord layed it on my heart to help out, I did.  Can I tell you, my husband was so pleased and happy when he came home and saw the water trough full of water.  He could actually come home and relax instead of doing another strenous job.

That job was out of my comfort zone, it was physically demanding.  But I did it out of reverence for my husband.

Just this morning, my husband called from work and asked if I would call our internet provider because of the continued issues we're having with our email.  I detest making phone calls having anything to do with technology because they always ask questions I have no idea how to answer.  I told him I couldn't because I was right in the middle of breakfast, I have a list of things to do today, and I didn't like making those kind of phone calls, (and couldn't he hear the craziness of our house with 4 kids playing and running around- did he really want me to call in the midst of the chaos??).  So he said that he would just make the call himself when he got home, I could tell he was a bit dissapointed.  Oh, how I felt horrible when I got off the phone with him, like I had let him down in a major way.  So guess what I did?  Yep I made the phone call, it was out of my comfort zone but I did it.  When I called him back to tell him what I found out about the email issues he sounded so very pleased and happy with me. 

As wives, we can get into our routines and schedules, and forget about those around us that need love, encouragment, a kind word, a kind deed. 

The phone call didn't take more than 5 minutes, but it was a help to my husband.  As wives we are called to be "help meets" to our husbands.  I encourage you to do something (even if it's out of your comfort zone) to be a help to your husband today. 

And have you seen the "31 Days of Love" Marriage Challenge going on over at Time-Warp Wife??
Check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My little harvest home

This is just about my most favorite season of the year! 
I love the Fall season, or Autumn, or whatever you call it.

I think the reason being is that it almost feels like a fresh start to me.  Oh I know January is technically the 'fresh start month', but a lot of times I think of September and October as my fresh start months.

The weather starts cooling off in the last part of September, and usually that's the time I start decorating.  I just can't seem to start my harvest decorating when the weather is still in the 90's, it just doesn't seem right to me.  :)

So last week when the mornings were finally a little cool and crisp, when hot coffee sounded good again, and I had some extra money to buy some fall-colored mums, I decided to start my decorating.

Here are just a few pictures of how I've changed my little summer house into my little harvest home:
This is my front door and the wreath I've had for years and years.  I just change out the ribbon and any accesories to fit the season.  I already had this ribbon and fall accesory in my box of decorations so this change cost me nothing.  Last year I bought both at the Dollar Tree, costing me a whopping $2 total!

This is my old window I bought about 12 years ago at a little roadside antique store, it was outside amongst a bunch of old tools and stuff, I got it for $15 and then took it home and had to take off about 3 other layers of paint, but I just love it!  (Even though my dear husband doesn't understand the idea of old windows as decor.)  I always have the raffia on the top but this year I bought a 9 foot leaf garland at Fred Meyer for $3.99 and added just about 2 feet to the top to make it look a little more harvesty.

And the rest of the garland I added to the top of my kitchen window.  I love how it adds just a bit of color above my white kitchen curtains.  It's hard to see but I also bought a wooden leaf decoration at Fred Meyer for $4.99 and hung it on the side of the cupboards, just below that I put (on a little easel) my Fall Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  It has a cute country cover on it and leaving it on the counter allows me to pick it up easily to look through.

Here's the cover, isn't it cute?  The book is called Celebrate Autumn, I just love it!

Here's a little shelf I have in my home, usually it has a different candle on the shelf, and I always have the little sign that says Great is Thy Faithfulness, because I love it.  The color is something between a dark pumpkin and a terra cotta, so it's perfect to keep on the shelf.  I added a harvest candle and a couple little wooden pumpkins that I have had for many years.  The sign hanging on the bottom I kept on because I just love what it says, "Remember the days blessings, Forget the days troubles".

This is my built-in corner china hutch with my collection of teacups and teapots, along with a few other little treasures.  At the top I always have the red berry garland and the red candle holder, this year I just added a few faux leaves I had on hand and just stuck them in among the garland, it added a bit of a fall touch to that corner of the room.

And you ask, what happened to the mums I bought?? 

Unfortunately the deer found them (even though they are right by the front door), can you see where they ate off all the beautiful little flowers from the front but couldn't quite get the yellow ones in the back?  Darn deer!  I was so disappointed when I woke up and saw this!  So I had to buy two more yesterday.

And here they are just waiting to be planted, I'm putting it off until I can figure out how to keep the deer from eating these too.  Any ideas?  What about plastic grocery bags over the top?  Hmmmm....  I'll have to think about this one.

So, that's my little harvest home.   Hope you enjoyed it, I'd love it if you shared links to your harvest decorated homes too.

Modern Vintage Homemaking


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What a Whirlwind!

It's been quite a whirlwind lately, these past couple months have been anything but low-key.  Some exciting times, some trials, some crazy, some scary, and in the end a wonderful eye-opening experience from the Lord that I'll share with you in the future. 

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
Lamentations 3:21-26

Last time I posted was in August- whoa, that seems like so very long ago!  Because of everything going on in my life during that time I felt I needed to take a real break from the lovely land of blog, so that's what I did.  But now, almost 2 months later, I feel like I'm ready to get back into it.  I have lots of ideas running around in my head of posts I want to write, pictures I want to put up, thoughts I want to share, and experiences I have gone through. 

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever."
Psalm 18:1

I'm so thankful you all are still here and I hope you'll stick around for more to come, here's a little hint of what's to come (I love posting pictures during the holidays).

See you soon (with pictures)!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

31 Days to Clean and my 6 things list

Hi ladies,
I haven't been around much lately, the past few weeks have just been busy for my family and this blog was put on the back burner.  At first I felt guilty that I wasn't posting as often as I thought I should, but I had come to realize that this blog very well should be put on the back burner and my family on the front.  As housewives, our family's should never play second-best to our "extracurricular activities" such as blogging.  I don't know that I'll ever have a blog where I'll have a new post every day of the week, at least not while my children are young.  There may be times that I'll post more often, and there will be times (like in these past few weeks) that my posts will be sporadic, but I don't hope you'll keep following- I dearly love reading your comments and hearing from other like-minded women.

So, on to my "real" post...

Today I purchased the e-book "31 Days to Clean.  Having a Martha House the Mary Way".  Today was the last day it was on sale so I got it for only $2.50, don't you just love deals?  I'm really excited about reading it and starting this journey.  I have, by nature, a need for order in my house, but with a growing family it can be difficult for me at times to maintain order in my home.  I truly want my home to be a haven for my family, a place where my husband and children feel loved and safe and cared for.  I do believe this book will give me more insight and encouragement in my goals as a housewife and mother. 

I was perusing the chapters earlier and one thing I came across was something called the "Six Things".  It went into detail about what this meant but I'll just quickly tell you that the idea behind it was to make a list of just 6 things you want to accomplish the next day.  This list is not meant to be long, that way it's easier to accomplish, and as you accomplish each task you cross them off your list.  Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?

So I came up with my 6 things for tomorrow, Monday August 8th, and here they are:

1.  Wake up by 6:45 to tell my husband goodbye before he leaves for work.
2.  Quiet time (prayer and Bible reading).
3.  Breakfast at table with the kids, review memory verse and books of the Bible (we are adding around 6 new books each week).
4.  Clean my bedroom and my bathroom (Monday is my day to deep clean the master bed and bath).
5.  Change out my Scentsy scents  (this sounds simple, but it's been something I've said I'd do for the past 2 weeks and haven't gotten to yet).
6.  Help kids with chores (sometimes they need help just staying on track with accomplishing their chores).

So that's it, not too difficult, and definitely a list that I know I can accomplish.  Why don't you try to make your own list of 6 Things and let me know how it works for you.


Mom of 5 kids

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homemade (and Easy) Strawberry Lemonade- YUM!

Yesterday it was sweltering!  I don't often use that word, but I can say it was definitely true about yesterday.  Add to the fact that I was in my kitchen during the hottest part of the day baking- that made it even more sweltering.  There were a couple moments I had to even walk away from the heat in the kitchen and step outside where it was just under 100 degrees!

As I was working in the kitchen I came up with this bright idea (think: Light Bulb),  "I should make some lemonade".  So that's exactly what I did. 

I started by getting out the bottle of lemon juice I always have on hand and I just followed the easy instructions on the side:

1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups cold water

and Voila!  Homemade lemonade ready to quench your thirst on even the hottest day. 

But I didn't stop there, I had some frozen strawberries in the freezer, so I took out about 6 of them and nuked them for about 30 seconds so that they weren't so frozen then I mashed them up with a potato masher and stirred them into the pitcher of lemonade.  Let me tell you it was yummy, and exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of my baking in my hot kitchen.

Next time you're at the store you ought to pick up a bottle of lemon juice, you never know when you might need to have a cold glass of lemonade to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime routine for your kids

Summertime means saying Goodbye to a routine for some.  Even in our home I allowed our routine to go by the wayside for the first few weeks of summer vacation.  But Alas- our routine is being reinstated, the reason??  Chaos, utter chaos rules and reigns in our home when there is a lack of routine.

One morning two weeks ago, after having my quiet time and feeling guilty for the chaos around the house lately, I decided to write out a summertime routine.  We followed (fairly closely) the routine for the day and guess what?  Less chaos!  I am now going to be following a routine for the rest of the summer.  I don't want to be so very strict to this routine that spontaneity is not allowed.  I do welcome some spontaneous changes if the day calls for it, but while at home I do plan on sticking with the following routine:

6:30am-   wake up in time to say goodbye to husband as he goes off to work
7:00am-   quiet time for prayer, Bible reading, and verse memorization
7:45am-   start breakfast for children (they love oatmeal with brown sugar and maple syrup)
8:00am-   wake up children, if not already awake
8:30am-   after breakfast, children to brush teeth, make beds and straighten rooms if needed, and get dressed
9:00am-   Bible time with children:  Bible story or passage, verse memorization, prayer request list (children to each pray for one prayer request)  At the end of this time remind children of house rules and consequences (for my young children when they are reminded daily they are more apt to follow the rules)
9:30am-   chore time for each child
10:00am-  Buddy time (I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, so each day they will have a different buddy, during this time they pick one or two board games and play together- I believe this helps them to learn to play nicely with each sibling and not to have favorites)
10:30am-  play outside if nice- riding bikes, playing on swing set, etc.  If it's raining or too cold to play outside then I have a bowl with a different activity on separate slips of paper, every 15-20 minutes we pick from the bowl and do a different activity.
11:30am-  quick clean-up if needed in the house, or clean up outside toys
12:00pm-  lunch, then clean up dishes and table, and brush teeth
12:30pm-  story time on couch, short storybooks for all the kids
1:00pm-   nap time for the two youngest, reading time for the two oldest (they are to read quietly from a chapter book)
1:30pm-  quiet time for the two oldest while the other two are napping

I'll stop there for now, it's a bit harder to stick to an afternoon/evening routine because my husband gets home around 3:30-4:00pm and we go with the flow when he's home.  He likes to let them ride their 4-wheelers/motorcycles, or they work around the house/farm with him, or just play outside.

So this routine is when we plan on being home for the day.  I do have things planned during the summer that will take us away from the house, and I'll talk about those fun outings later.

Do any other ladies follow a routine during the summer?  What works for your family, and what doesn't? 
I'm interested in hearing!

Making your home sing Mondays

It's a Heart issue

I've been deep in thought and prayer these past few days while my children have been out of town visiting their grandparents.  My thoughts are in regards to my words towards them as of late. 

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:20  "Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him."  I am ashamed to admit that all too frequently I have been guilty of being hasty with my words. 

I speak before thinking too often, and those who suffer from this iniquity of mine?  My children

*They start arguing with eachother and my first reaction has been to speak harshly towards them. 
*They start whining about what they've been asked to do and my first reaction has been to huff and puff and groan at their poor attitude, all the while throwing up my hands and rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath. 
*They start back-talking or getting sassy and my first reaction is to get angry and yell. 

Yes, being hasty of words is an iniquity that I all too often get caught up in.  I do know what Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."  I know that when I act in anger, my child will react in anger as well. 
So lately my thoughts have been: why do I so often have hasty words? and why are my words so often grievous?  During my quiet time this morning, while reading my Bible the Lord showed me the answer. 

It is a Heart issue.

Look at what the Bible says in Matthew 12:34, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
What is in the heart comes out of the mouth, is that not true?  Reading on in the book of Matthew 15:18-20 it says this:
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile a man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murder, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things that defile a man."

So if I'm having a heart issue then it needs to be fixed.  How do you fix a heart issue you may be asking?  The Bible also has the answer,  "for where your treasure is there will your heart be also."  Matthew 6:21

Your treasure, and mine, needs to be the Lord.  I need to reaffirm the need to make God my top priority.   I need to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" to make God my 'treasure'. 
The first thing that needs to be done when God is not our treasure is to pray.  The Lord can work in your heart if you are willing.  "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10

God is the Creator and He alone can create a clean heart in us.  We need to pray for forgiveness and repent of our failings and weaknesses to stray from the Lord.  Oh, how wonderful it is to serve a God that forgives, that is gracious and merciful towards us, "Gracious is the Lord, and righteous, yea, our God is merciful."  Psalm 116:5 

Not only are we to repent, but daily, daily, daily be in the Lords' presence:  "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."  Psalm 55:16-17

When I spend time with my Lord in prayer, setting time aside to be alone with God, it is then that He will become my treasure.  Following his commands will then become a joy, not an obligation.  I love this verse in Psalm 105:3, "Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord."  His commandments will not be grievous to us, but a joy and an honor. 

Spending time with the Lord in prayer is not the only thing we ought to do to have a heart that loves and fears the Lord, but we need to read daily His Word and commit it to memory as it says in Psalm 119:10-11:

"With my whole heart have I sought thee:  O let me not wander from thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

So, if you're having a problem with your words, if they are harsh and unfeeling instead of kind and gentle, then perhaps it's time to take a closer look at the condition of your heart.  When I saw the condition of my own heart, and how my heart's treasure was not my Lord, I knew I needed a change.  It can be so tiring when, as a Christian, your life is not in line with that of Christ.  I've become tired and worn out from being away from my Lord.  

But I knew what needed to be done:  I needed to truly repent and ask for forgiveness, I need to daily be in the presence of the Lord in prayer- real prayer, I need to daily read God's Word for wisdom, and commit His Word to memory ("that I might not sin against thee").

My heart issue can be fixed by making the Lord my treasure again. 

When my heart is fixed upon God, then it will be fixed. 

And in so doing, my dear children will have a mother that uses her words in a kind and gentle way.  Finally, let's take a look at this promise from God:
"Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth, the generation of the upright shall be blessed."  Psalm 112:2

Isn't that our greatest prayer as mothers?  That our children will be blessed?  That my children will never depart from the Lord, that is my prayer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Forgiveness and Getting back on track.

Has anyone ever felt that they were such a wonderful, creative, loving, fun, and gentle mother.......when their children weren't around?

So often I feel this way, I'm the greatest mother when my children aren't home.  But then again, so often I can be the worst mother when they are around.  This week my children are out of town visiting their grandparents, so I have had a quiet house for a few days.  This solitude has allowed me time to think about my mothering as of late, and unfortunately I am not too pleased with myself as a mother.  Do you remember my last post about attitudes?  Those attitudes that can bring a whole family down?  I wrote that post out of experience, being overbearing and demanding, lazy, and a perfectionist.  There have been days that my children have had a mother that is anything but loving and gentle. 

So these past few days I have had some time to think about how things around my house need to be changed.  First and foremost I need to get back in the habit of having a regular morning prayer and Bible time.  No other changes I make will benefit or last if I don't make my Lord my top priority.  Before I became pregnant in May I was in the habit of getting up at 5:00am, exercising for 30 minutes and then I had my prayer and Bible time from 5:45- 6:30am.  For me, this morning routine was perfect.  And then, my morning sickness hit me hard.  I couldn't even begin to think about getting up early, I could barely get out of bed at 7:30 when my children woke up.  Through all of this, my morning quiet time with the Lord suffered greatly.  And what happens when your quiet time with the Lord suffers?  Everything else suffers as well- family, children, and home in general. 

Oh, it can be so hard to get back on track after you've been away so long, getting back into a routine is easier said than done.  But I know that the Lord's will for my life is to be close to Him, and if this is His will then He will give me the strength to get back on track.  His Word will encourage me not to give up, not to take the easy way out, not to make excuses. 

Psalm 119:105 says this, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

In those dark times I know I can rely on God and His Word to light the way and help me walk down the right path.

When I have been overbearing, lazy, and demanding perfection with my children I need to get on my knees and ask forgiveness, knowing my Lord forgives.  Then I need to get up, ask forgiveness of my kids for being unkind, and get back to being the kind of mother God created me to be. 

In 1 John 1:9 the Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

So this week in the Summer Family Series I encourage you to turn from those bad attitudes, and ask for forgiveness from your Heavenly Father.  And if you've strayed from the Lord, whether it's been a few days, a few weeks, or a few months or more, I encourage you to get back on track with making your quiet time with the Lord your top priority. 

Remember if the Lord is our priority, then everything else will fall perfectly into place. 

Blessed the Nation

I have a hymn book at home and I found this song in it:

Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord;
Blessed the land where He reigns.
Blessed the people who trust in His Word;
And worship His glorious name.

That is just the first verse, but aren't the words beautiful?
It was written by Elizabeth de Gravelles, based on Psalm 144:15

Let's remember to trust in God's Word and worship His name today, this Independence Day!