Sunday Scripture: Precious

This weekend I am in Atlanta celebrating my firstborn’s seventh birthday.  It’s been four and a half years since she has been the only child {and had my undivided attention!}, so I thought I’d take her to visit my sister, Loo, for the weekend and get a little face time without the other Littles hanging all over me.  Sometime in the past 7 years, Jayna has become a bonafide kid.  Not a toddler or even a little kid anymore, but a kid that has opinions, dreams {and a touch of sass!} of her own.  And it’s not very often I get to just enjoy her.

Sunday Scripture: Precious....celebrating my oldest daughter's birthday

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: ScriptureDoodle Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!  It’s my favorite day of the week….so I thought I’d do a giveaway!  April from #ScriptureDoodle was kind enough to send over some awesome new products for me to try and give to you.  Jayna was thrilled to have some new supplies and inspiration.  And Millie was jealous that Jayna was getting a bunch of stuff to try out.  So, April sent their brand new ScriptureDoodle Coloring Book over for Millie to try out!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!They both ended up sharing all the materials, and miraculously took turns with everything without a fight.  And it’s turned into a thing.  Almost every day I catch the girls sitting quietly at the kitchen table, with their ScriptureDoodle supplies spread out, coloring and doodling.  It’s given them some awesome opportunities to reflect on The Word on their own.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So, there are a bunch of #ScriptureDoodle packs to choose from….for ALL ages.  If you go to this link, you can compare all the packs and see what is right for you or your kids.  We have the Littles Pack, which comes with all of this:#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!I love the pack of Truth Cards that comes in the Littles Pack.  They are nice sturdy cards with a verse on one side, and an inspirational photograph on the other side.  I was able to show Jayna, using the cards, how she could pull an image or idea from any Bible verse to begin to create her doodle.  For example, “I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me.  -Psalm 120:1”  has a picture of a telephone on the back…but then I had to explain what a “telephone” was….#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!Once she understood how to pull keywords up, she wanted to try it on her own.  Also included in all of the packs are the How To ScriptureDoodle Study Cards.  A huge list of Bible verses is on the back, and now Jayna uses them to look up verses in her Bible to doodle about.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!I just love how the doodling has gotten my kids deeper into the Word, while still expressing themselves creatively.  And since she still gets frustrating writing letters and drawing pictures, the coloring book has been perfect for Millie…she’s so proud of her creations in there!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So, obviously, we are in LOVE with the ScriptureDoodle products…..the pencil pouches are hand painted, and all of the illustrations in the coloring book are hand drawn by April.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!So I’m so excited to do not one, but TWO giveaways this week.  You’ll automatically be entered into both drawings…..one winner will receive a #ScriptureDoodle Coloring Book and pack of 12 colored pencils.  The other winner will win a complete Littles Pack {which includes a notebook, pencils, colored pencils, an eraser, a sharpener and Truth Cards…all in an adorable drawstring pouch}!#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!And I’m making it super simple to enter the giveaway….you’ll want to definitely subscribe to the Instagram feeds {both ScriptureDoodle and April’s}, so you can not only have beautiful Scripture illustrations coming through your feed, but stay up to date on the newest stuff from #ScriptureDoodle.

AND

If you don’t happen to win this giveaway, don’t worry!  April is offering 15% off for my readers with the code PIGTAILS on the Worship-Artist website, where you can get all of the #ScriptureDoodle stuff.  She also has a FREE coloring printable every week of one of her Scripture illustrations.  Here is the direct link to this week’s printable {see it below!}.#ScriptureDoodle #Giveaway for a coloring book, and #Bible doodling #art supplies!Finally, if you have always wanted to start doodling yourself, but don’t know how to begin, join April for her FREE #scripturedoodle workshop coming up on March 3rd live online.  The best way to stay informed about that is to follow #ScriptureDoodle online {and enter the giveaway!}.

Ok, less talking…more winning!  Contest ends on Friday night…Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday Scripture: Slow

I generally don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  I’m just like the next guy, where I can’t help but feel rejuvenated every time that ball drops….like it’s an excuse for a do over.  And as much as my Type-A personality craves order in my life {and an excuse to reorganize},  I am usually able to reign myself in and and not officially create resolutions.  Because, when life sets back in and those resolutions get put on the back burner, there is nothing but disappointment.

However.

I do think the transition from one year to the next is a good time to reflect on your life for a few moments.  And when I did this, I realized that  most of what was on my heart this past year had to do with clutter.

Physcially, I feel like we have accumulated a lot of “stuff” and it’s started to give me some major anxiety.  We’re already working on that a bit in the house…more on that later…

 But also, I feel like our social and emotional clutter has gotten a bit out of hand lately as well.  We’ve been super busy socially, both kids and adults…so much that I couldn’t tell you the last weekend we were all at home spending time with each other.  And I’d love to tell you that that will stop…but the truth of the matter is that I just added two more things to our plate by signing Jayna and Millie up for softball and dance, respectively.  But because I believe that sports and extra curricular activities are important for them, it’ll stay on the calendar.  But I plan on really picking and choosing some of our other social activities.  We have very limited time to spend together as a family during the week, so weekends need to get back to being for us.  Not for some random classmate’s birthday party.  So please don’t take offense if you invite us to something and we rsvp with a “sorry, we can’t make it this time.”  We love you, but family comes first.Sunday Scripture: Slow {slowing down in the new year...physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually}

But more importantly, I feel like emotionally and spiritually we need to slow down as a family too.  I’ve been noticing more and more that the kids respond much better to almost all situations when I am calm.  I may still show anger or frustration, but if I am calm, they are more receptive.  I will never forget one of the “mottos” of the camp that I used to work at as a teenager.  “Seek to understand” was one of the discipline techniques they taught us….find out what the situation is before you react.  And as a parent, it’s some of the hardest advice to follow.

Our knee-jerk reaction is to yell at someone.  And I’m finding that now, that the girls are a bit older and more responsible, that a lot of the times we get mad and emotional for no reason.  Dave will get frustrated with Millie crying {again}, and snap at her, just to find out that she actually hurt herself.  I”ll grab a toy and put it away when the girls are arguing over it, rather than stopping to find out what the conflict is, and encouraging them to figure out a solution on their own.

And I know we aren’t doing them any favors by doing this….it’s just a bad habit.  But the kids are just as bad at snap judgements and unnecessary emotions.  But….they are kids.  They are learning.  It’s our jobs as adults to teach them how to appropriately respond to situations, and I think we need to do a better job modeling this for them.

And finally, spiritually…obviously we all need to find more time to study The Word and pray.  But in this case, I think that all of this slowing down is interconnected….by seeking to understand before reacting, we are modeling purposeful behavior, which carries over into intentional prayer and quiet time.  And so today’s Sunday Scripture is a perfect reminder.

Today’s Sunday Scripture image was created by @meaningful_word and found on Tumblr.

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Inheritance

I love when my pastor’s sermon just hits home.  You know, when it feels like she is talking right to me, like she knows what is in my heart already {and clearly needs to be discussed!!}.

Today was one of those days.  Jenn covered Joshua 4:6 in her message, talking about the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River…the miracle of the water parting and the faith that the people had in God in order to cross, but also what they did after they reached the other side.  Joshua had representatives from each of the 12 tribes go back into the path through the river to find a stone.  The stack of stones would stand the test of time, and show future generations the power of God and the faithfulness of the people.

But in her message, Jenn went on to point out that every generation’s knowledge and experiences pave the way for the next of kin.  The generation of Israelites who followed Moses through the Red Sea paved the way for the next generation of Israelites who followed Joshua through the Jordan.  The older generation passed their knowledge, beliefs and faith down to their children.

What you know and believe, you teach to your children.  Duh.  I guess I needed it spelled out for me this morning.  So, today’s Sunday Scripture challenges me to be more aware of what I am passing on to my children.  What am I purposefully teaching to my kids?  What kind of example am I being to them on a daily basis?  I can “teach” them about the gospel all of the time….but if I’m personally not living like Jesus, what kind of inheritance am I leaving?

Sunday Scripture: Inheritance....what are you purposefully passing on to the next generation?

Today’s beautiful Sunday Scripture artwork was found on Jan Gray Designs…she is a Bible Journal-er with some beautiful art on her site.  Click on the link above to learn more about her and her techniques.

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Joy

You know, I was reminded at church this morning by my hilarious {if not a tad snarky} friend, about intentionally seeking out Joy over the holidays.  You’d think that it would come naturally…us, preparing for the celebration of our Saviour’s birth.  But too often we get caught up in the stress, family, travel, planning and plain ‘ole noise of the season, and forget about the JOY.  I mean, just the other day I found myself hollering at my fighting children to “GET ALONG!!!  YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE EVERYONE AT CHRISTMAS!!!!” {And I swear I was totally using a “loving” tone of voice….}  It’s pretty bad when you have to yell at your kids to have joy and love in their hearts, right?

So, this week I challenge you all, as well as myself….to remember the JOY that the season brings.  The HOPE that our Saviour promises.

Sunday Scripture: Joy {Because we all need to remember to have joy over the holiday season}

Thanks to Naptime Diaries for today’s Sunday Scripture image.  To purchase the print of this verse, visit Naptime Diaries’ online shop.

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Emmanuel

I love Christmas-time.  I love decorating my house, teaching my kids about the birth of our Savior, and the general overall feeling of excitement and anticipation of His birth.  And with the impending New Year, there is a sense of renewal and a fresh start to everything.  Oh come…

Sunday Scripture: Emmanuel

Thanks to IF:Equip’s Daily Bible Study for today’s Sunday Scripture photo.  I’ve been doing IF: Equip for almost a year…and I love the quick video and scripture in my mailbox each morning to help me start my day of with God and connect me to a network of other Christian women.  And I’m hoping Santa will send me to the IF:Gathering {Local} to spend a weekend praising God with other women {and rejuvenating my spirit even more!}  Click here to see if there is an IF:Local near you!

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope your week has been full of family, laughter, peace and turkey!  We have had an unbelievably busy few weeks {and they will continue into December!}, including traveling to the Gulf Coast of Florida for Thanksgiving with my in-laws.  And although it was a process getting there {both physically and logistically}, the few days of rest were just what we needed.

We are so blessed with our life, sometimes we just need to have a few days of *nothing* to really appreciate it!  Here’s to you and yours!

Sunday Scripture: Thankful

This week’s Sunday Scripture is originally from Moms by Heart.  Head over there to see what today’s free printable is!

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: A Mother’s Mantra

This week has been a bit of a hot mess with the girls.  Not only this week, just….lately.  If they were teenagers, I’d swear they were hormonal.  Lord help us all when they actually get hormonal.  It’s been a blur of tattle-taleing, meltdowns, overreactions, and pouting.

But my new goal has been to be the Mom they need me to be.  To push aside my annoyance, frustration, anger and be a role model for the kind of person I want them to be.  After all, I don’t want them to turn into angry and annoyed adults!  I’m trying to be better about understanding the situation before reacting.  I’m trying to have patience and sympathy for their many, many moods.  I’m trying to put into words {quiet, even-toned words, not yells}, how frustrated I am with them and why.  I’m trying to be more intentional.

And I’m praying.  A lot.  My small group knows that this is my secret weapon to sanity with three kids, including two irrational little girls.  I pray.  Especially in front of them.  During a particularly difficult moment I stop, bow my head and say a prayer.  Sometimes, it’s silent.  And in the middle of a screaming match, a suddenly silent mother can be really powerful for them.  Most of the time they also stop and get quiet.  Either out of respect for my sudden prayer time, or fear of the unknown once I open my eyes….it doesn’t matter.  It gives me a chance to calm down {and ask for some help}, and interrupts the drama enough to diffuse it a bit.

Sometimes, I pray out loud.  Usually in a quiet voice to get the same effect as above.  But I pray with purpose.  Don’t get me wrong, I am really praying for all of these things….but with the added benefit of the girls actually hearing everything!

“Dear God, help me breathe.  Please help me calm down.  Please help me be a good mommy.  Please help me have patience with my girls.  Please help them understand that I love them even though I am frustrated.  Please help them calm down.  Please help them talk to each other with respect.  Please help them follow directions.  Please help them learn how to act appropriately and with maturity to situations.  Amen.”

Something like that.  But.  Even though I use excruciatingly simple words in my prayers, because I also want to convey to the girls what I pray for them, I know God knows my heart.  And He is helping me deal.  With everything…and so we get through it.

Sunday Scripture: A Mother's Mantra

Today’s Sunday Scripture was originally found on Dream Something Up.

Such a simple to do list….but it’s one I’m still working on.

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Identity

With all of the comparisons out there, thanks to the over-sharing tendencies of social media, it’s hard to be content with myself.  I’m always striving to be the perfect mom, have a cleaner house, have pinterest worthy projects happening, cook healthier food, fit into my skinny jeans, read my Bible more, etc.  It’s a constant balancing act!  So today’s Sunday Scripture is to remind me to let it go a little.  To remind me that I was put on this earth for a reason, and God’s got a plan.  To remind me that I am a child of God and am loved no matter what!

Sunday Scripture: Identity

Source

Have a blessed week!
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Sunday Scripture: Faults

Today my church finished up our October series, “I Want a New Marriage.”  Ironically, the series gave some fantastic tips on creating a “new marriage” within the one that you already have.  And I got to thinking about some of my favorite scriptures about the faults of husbands and wives…most people think Corinthians when talking about marriage, but I love Ephesians too!

Sunday Scripture: Faults

                                                      Thanks to Air1 for providing today’s Sunday Scripture photo.

And I’m the first to admit that some days, it’s extremely easy to see those faults…and on other days I’m acutely aware of my own.  And realize I’m blessed to have a Godly husband who is patient, kind and forgiving toward me!  True love!

Have a blessed week!
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