Monday, April 27, 2015

a sneak peek at ONE devotional

Hi there!

I am excited to share that I am a contributing author on the ONE devotional recently published by Barbour Books. I loved writing my portion of the devotionals; I hope you enjoy reading them.

Here's a sneak peek of one of my devotionals. Enjoy and then click on the link below to order your own copy of the book!

Follow Your Leader
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man's eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, "Can you see anything now?"
Mark 8:23 nlt

Not once in my thirty-some years on earth have I had the thought to spit in someone’s eye. Even if I had, I can’t imagine acting on it because spitting in someone else’s eye is quite frowned upon by society.

Jesus, on the other hand, did just that. Not only did He spit in the eyes of the blind man in Mark chapter 8, but He also used spit to heal a man born blind in John chapter 9. That time, He spit on the ground, made mud, and put it in the blind man’s eyes.

Mud in someone else’s eyes? Now that takes direction from the Heavenly Father.

In John 5:19, Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father do. That means He had specific direction given to His heart from heaven to use spit in these healings. Jesus could have easily said, That’s too strange for me, so I’ll pray for his healing my way. Instead, He obeyed the Father’s instructions.

God’s ways are unique and beyond our comprehension. Just as Jesus imitated His Father, we are to imitate our Lord. When He directs—even when we don’t understand—we are to trust and follow His lead.

Father, teach me to trust your leading, even when it is out of my comfort zone. I want to trust and obey you every time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you want to read more, here's a link to purchase the book!,11238.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=821 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

YouTube - could you be more kid-friendly?

YouTube can be kid-friendly... lots of videos available for them to watch and can help pass time as you cook dinner, etc! But the whole advertising thing is where it gets tricky, sticky, and icky. Although it's not my favorite, I don't mind advertisements before, during, or after videos. What I do mind is when they aren't appropriate.

Take for example, today. I sometimes put on a short Veggie Tales YouTube video or Thomas the Tank Engine video for Brayden while he eats breakfast as I nurse Jase to sleep for his nap. It's one way to ensure a lack of chaos downstairs while I am upstairs. This time, the video had an ad interruption... thankfully I was downstairs at that time to hear what it was because it was 50 Shades of Grey. I covered the computer from Brayden's eyes and tried not to watch it myself for 30 seconds as it ran because it wasn't one of the ads you could skip.

It was a reminder for me that I need to continue being cautious and careful every time Brayden is on a computer, but it was also a call to action. I've seen other non-friendly kid ads on YouTube during kid videos, mainly for TV dramas and I've meant to comment to YouTube on it... but this was the last straw. It's absolutely unacceptable that a clearly adult-rated advertisement was played in the middle of a kid-friendly video--not at the beginning or end, but the middle.

YouTube, please stand up for our children and find a way to ensure that kid-friendly ads are placed in and around kid-friendly videos.

If you agree with me and my request, please sign the petition below. I know this world is a dark place and everywhere you look there is nasty crud that I don't want my kid seeing... but that doesn't mean I should stay quiet. I can speak up and let them know when I see something wrong.

Here's the petition.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Patience works...

...even when doing things your way is much more appealing. I was reminded is this when I woke up:

"Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future." (‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭1-4‬ NLT)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My boys are 3 and 1!

Happy birthday to my boys! Last Sunday (1/11), they both turned a year older... for Jase, that means 1 and Brayden, 3.

As you can imagine, there's much I could say right now... but for now, I want to show you what I got in the mail. On the right is a picture of Brayden at 1, which I've had for a couple years. He was in the middle of eating his one-year-old birthday cupcake... I love this pic... he's just a-staring at the camera. I thought I might get a similar pic during Jase's one-year cupcake celebration, but didn't, so I printed this one instead (and just got it in the mail!)... one of my favorites of him smiling in the bath! Although they often look alike, I think these pics show their differences.

Now, here's the cool thing... Shutterfly always has fun credits, coupons, and freebies that they send to their email list or have on the Facebook page. I definitely recommend signing up for their email and following them on Facebook to see what they are offering. (By the way, if they do offer you a free gift, you cover shipping, which usually isn't too bad compared to what you are getting!)... I often take them up on it, partially because it's a great way to make sure I actually take the time print pictures and/or make photo gifts. I use them a whole lot around Christmas. 

These pics I have pictured are "desktop plaques" and I've actually given them for gifts as well as purchased these two and I love them! They are frameless... just the picture with a nice shiny finish. I would highly recommend them! Great gifts and great to have around the house. 

Anyhoo... hopefully I'll take the chance soon to share more stories about the boys. Until then... go make memories yourself. Life is beautiful, crazy, and definitely worth living... and yes, it's all with God at the center, as best as possible. :-)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Just for fun... a few comparisons of Christmas pictures!!!

It all began with Brayden in 2012.... I do love this picture. :-)

He did way better the next year, 2013, although the picture actually isn't in the chair, since he didn't want to sit on Santa's lap!

Drumroll please... the boys in 2014! They had each other, so they did awesome! Super proud... and yes, compare 2012 and 2014... J and B wore the same outfit and I think they look super alike! Fun! 

Anyhoo... fun memories. I am treasuring Christmas this year with two little buddies to enjoy it with. B is learning all about "Bible Jesus, Jofus, Mary, sheepies, shepherds, and wise men." Happy birthday to Jesus and Merry Christmas to all!!! Such a wonderful time of year.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

happy birthday to my littlest!

Happy birthday, Brody!

You're my oldest, yet my littlest... but I am pretty sure, you're only little in my memory. You're much bigger, I imagine. Maybe you're already an adult in heaven or maybe you're growing up in heaven and today you're celebrating your four-year-old birthday! I don't know, but I like imagining what life is like for you up there as we remember meeting you four years ago.

I have been looking forward to today with excitement because it's a chance to celebrate and remember you all day long. Then last night, I got choked up remembering, which I knew would happen,... and I think all that is healthy. You're my baby and I love remembering you, but I do wish you were here... but then I know that Brayden may not be here due to logistics if you were here... so crazy how that works out. God has helped us remain content with loving you up in heaven and providing two new brothers down here on earth. I'm content that you're mine and Erik's, no matter what.

I have a box of your things and a box of cards people sent to us when you went home with Jesus. I wanted to share some of that with these people who are reading about you....

First, you were only a little less than a pound and a little less than a foot when you were born at 21 weeks. Your card and your footprints are below. You were perfectly formed and have everything right about you. You lived outside of me for a little less than an hour. You were perfectly formed and it was amazing to see that you were a perfect human being, every part in place, just tinier than everyone else.

Here is your bib that my cousin, Summer, made for you. I love it because it's personalized. That is your hat from the hospital, which fit your head perfectly. You had a little knit wrap to match. A big thank you to the people who made and donated those clothes to the hospital.

One of the biggest lessons you showed me and I will share again and again to the world is that you were fully formed and a beautiful baby at such a young age. You were just a few weeks shy of when that hospital would put you in the NICU. Although I sometimes have mixed feelings about being so close to having you survive, it's okay now. You're in an amazing place with Jesus and God has blessed us abundantly with your brothers. ... and I'm SUPER excited to be reunited with you and have your brothers meet you!

So today, we remember and celebrate your beautiful life. You've taught us so much and we've learned about trusting God through everything... and are still working on it quite a lot.

Love you so much and I am so excited to meet you, see who you look like, get to know your personality, and spend eternity worshipping Jesus with you! Happy birthday!

P.S. I can't believe it is four years already!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

loving life with these little ones!

I have thought about writing so many times, but remembering to post to my blog at the same time I have free time seems next to impossible! So since I just sent another Shutterfly photobook to print, I figured I'd take the opportunity to share pictures with you. :-) 

J will be 10 months this week and B will be 2 years and 10 months. They are really wonderful boys... B is talking up a storm, learning all the time. I'm enjoying teaching him letters, numbers, colors, etc. He loves Thomas the train and Lightning McQueen. Just the other day, I found out he likes clouds. Random thoughts from B while sitting in his carseat!

J is climbing stairs, crawling, and moving around as much as possible on two feet, although still a bit wobbly (that will change soon, I know!). He is starting to babble and not just when he's tired. Both Erik and I have heard him say "Dada" and "Mama"... He has five teeth and is super smiley. 

J often uses Dad's beard to hoist himself up... not Dad's favorite because it hurts when J pulls on it! 

Mommy and J were at the library. Happy boy!

J eats bananas, sweet potatoes, and other small, mushy cut up food.

For a costume party, the boys put on their jammies and went as Superman and Batman. Capes included.

The other costumes for this year... B took his off five minutes after this photo! 

Tent time! Love that smile!