Lavish Hospitality 13

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I don’t think I really knew much of pain until after midway through college.

And then it has been full force since then.

The agonizing words of a friend over my appearance and the fact that I was never going to get married.

The words of a man that questioned so much of my future.

The pain of hearing lies.

The loss of a relationship.

The bitterness of my own sin.  Time and time again.

Sting of another betrayal.

Being met with judgment and not grace.

Loss of so many friendships – all at once.

And then to have to start to build relationships again.  And again.

At 40 it is tough to build relationships with new people.  Mommy friends.  Couple friends.  You know, every one has their own set of friends with not much room for new people.  And remembering the hurt of past relationships doesn’t make you too eager to put yourself out there again.

But, that’s what Lavish Hospitality does.  Jesus was hurt more than we could ever imagine.  I can’t fathom that.  And I’ve not been hurt near as much as some.  But, Christ took that pain – all of it – and died for it – then defeated death so we wouldn’t have to agonize over the pain any more.

We could feel again.  We could love again.  We could have broken relationships restored.  Because of Christ’s lavish hospitality on us.

Quote taken from Ashleigh Slater’s Braving Sorrow Together.

Lavish Hospitality: 2

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“I gradually began to understand more fully that he was not a problem to be addressed, not the sum of his behavioral performance.  His worth to God was not about his ability to fulfill other people’s expectations or act according to accepted norms.  Instead he was a beloved child of the Father with a specific role to play in God’s ongoing story of redemption.”

Sally ClarksonDifferent

 

The Fall is a special time for our family.  We celebrate two birthdays and a wedding anniversary within 3 weeks time.

To say that I thrive in parenting would be far from the truth.  I have to tell myself everyday who I am in God’s sight, how He has equipped me to parent the exact boys I’ve been wonderfully given, and how I’m not like all the other moms out there.

When we compare our momselves to other moms – we are not lavishing hospitality – welcoming, grace – on ourselves or our children.  When we play the comparison game, get caught in its trap, we do such a disservice to our hearts.  And that in turn, doesn’t allow us to love our children well either.

To show lavish hospitality to our children is welcoming them just as they are.  Not only when they are obedient, or loving, or going to bed on time.  But, I’ve found for me, when I’m stressed about not being a good mom (because I’ve listened to other things besides the Word of God), I take out my unworthiness on my kids.

Let’s show lavish hospitality to ourselves and our children by staying out of the comparison trap!

 

 

 

Sunday Funday

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I’ve not done a fun link post like this one in a while.

Thought I would share with you some fun things I’ve found scattered around for your Sunday Funday!

I love to travel.  One of the places I’ve been wanting to return to (since stopping there for such a short time on a cruise) is Vancouver.

Every year until college I went to the Strawberry Festival in FL.  Since then, I’ve been to just a few of the NC State Fairs and maybe one day I’ll get back into going. The cost keeps going up for them (food, entry, parking, rides) and if you take your kids that’s more expensive, or you have to find babysitters (which would be even more expensive).  I really don’t know how my parents afforded us to do so much stuff when we were growing up!  Here is GA’s – and you never know, we may get there.

In the Fall, we celebrate our sons’ birthdays and our anniversary.  Its a crazy time.  If I could do anything with my mister this year for our anniversary I think it would be to go here.

Eating is the best in the Fall.  Warm and inviting tastes and smells.  Who wouldn’t want to make all of these?

What are some fun things you are looking to this Fall?

Dragon Seed – a review:

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I fell in love with Marty Machowski’s writing for kids, youth, and parents when I was working on designing a curriculum for a church in Raleigh 7 years ago.  And I’m still influenced by how he handles the Gospel to others.  Whether its kids or teens or parents, any body can benefit from his writing.

His use of the Gospel and application and getting to the heart of the matter and correct theology – is all important parts of his writing.

And how hard is sin to explain to teens?  When lives are hard, emotions run deep, friendships are off and on, hormones are raging, parenting relationships can be difficult.  In his new book, Dragon Seed, Marty does a really good job using his sanctified imagination to explain sin, how it cuts us to the core, and how spiritual warfare is a real thing.

The Gospel is so crucial to that and the empty tomb wins though.

This would be a great book for parents to read with their pre-teen sons, I think especially sons.  Maybe a good one for Dads and sons to read together or go on a weekend trip to discuss.

Thanks Litfuse for a chance to read this book.  All opinions are my own.

Full: a review

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Food is definitely one of my loves: and definitely a love language of mine.  Comfort food is definitely a food group – and I love to eat anything I can eat with a spoon.  I love to cook and I love good food. And I love what people think of me when I’m thinner and I hate walking around in shame when I’m heavier.  And its a topic that no one will ever mention in the church because gluttony is not near as bad as pornography or lying.  We live in an odd society.  But, sin is sin and sin is dangerous.

And unfortunately, it has been a difficult love to master all of these years.  I do not remember a time when food: and the power of it, has not played a significant role in my life.

Some things that we love we can do without (especially if they are an idol in our lives).  But, we have to eat to survive.  And then if I’m on a diet I think about food too much, how much I’m consuming and of what – then all I do is think about it.

Catch 22 huh?

Well, Asheritah Ciuciu has tackled this issue and has done it in a winsome, gospel-centered way.  It is encouraging to find a book about food and your heart: not about chemicals, calories, and protein shakes and exercise.

She addresses by her own story, truth of the Word, and effective communication the freedom that we can have in Christ when we bring our need for help in this area to Him.

“The trigger isn’t isn’t bad, but it can derail our efforts to find fullness in God by lulling us into old bad habits.  When facing one of these situations, we have the choice to either turn to food or cry out to God to fill us instead.” 

She talks about triggers (stress, baking for others, shopping), and she talks about our need for the Holy Spirit to be our “Dietician” who can help us more than any diet plan can.

If you have ever had a poor relationship with your heart and food, or know of someone who could use this – please just leave a comment and Side Door Communications is giving one away to one of you.  And they sent me my book for reviewing, all opinions are my own.

Hello March Goals

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March is here.  March has some hard memories in it for me, but also some wonderful celebrations.  Here are some of my goals for the month that holds time change and season change.

Creative Goals: I have many book reviews coming up and I’ll be blogging some creative events and photo sessions too. I’ve got an infant photo shoot, and possibly some more creatives shoots to show you soon.  I’m working on a big wedding invitation order right now and I’ll get to set up my “office” (our hutch in our dining room) now that we’ve moved into an apartment.  And I’ll get to create (make order from chaos) from all of our boxes, setting up neat little areas in our home.

Health Goals: Not gain weight.  I’ve done very good at that since last January – and I need to see a downward spiral happen!  For that, I will be drinking more water, eating more whole foods (we moved, so I’m still getting my kitchen organized), and drinking fewer diet drinks.  I’m thankful for getting to try Blue Apron meals next week – that will make cooking dinner easier and give me and the mister special meals at night once the boys are in bed.

Reading: I’m currently diving into three things: Words Worth Noting Lent Study, You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons, and Adorned by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth.

Family: We just moved, so my in-laws are coming soon which is always so good because they are such servants and they get to play with their grandsons.  And that means the mister and I will get free babysitting for a date night, and I want to take time to read to my older son at bedtime when my mister is home at night because I’ve been having to spend more time with my younger and by the time I’m done the older is asleep. And keep going with our taco nights.  I love those.  Even if Sundays are hard, we usually regroup and enjoy couch and taco time.

Spiritual: Journal more.  That is something that is super helpful. Not only for me but also for my sons.  And I’m working through the Lent study.  Wanting, and needing, more time in the Word.  For my heart.  For my marriage.  For my boys.

What are your goals for March?

And yall – how do you say no to good things so you can say yes to best things?  You need things that fill you up and allow you to give.  How do you do both?  This lovely shiny print is one that I won from The Brumby Nest.  You know me and my love of stationery, so head over and check them out.  I won it through a Flourish&Co giveaway on instagram.  Yall should check her out too – full of grace and encouragement!

Little Things on Valentine’s Day

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So many years I was single.  Valentine’s Day wasn’t fun.  Back then nobody was really doing Galentine’s Day.

Then I started enjoying Valentine’s Day by loving on the married women in my life.  Just sharing with them how they had impacted me.

Then I got married.  Valentine’s Day is fun – and never going out is a key to that!  We do low-key – which is so good!

Then, I started doing special things for my girls that I had discipled over the years, married or single.  Just to share with them that I love them and am so thankful for them!

This year, I wanted to do something with our boys.  Just love on women who impacts our lives on a daily basis.  So, this morning, Trader Joe’s had single roses for 1$.  We bought 4.

One went to one of the ladies at Trader Joes who loves on us every Monday and has for almost 3 years.

The second one went to my son’s afternoon bus driver.

The third and fourth went to the girl who has been serving in the kid’s club at the healthy gym I go to in the afternoons.  My boys definitely give her the right to get roses.

When we gave them the roses – all of them were so surprised.  Its just little things yall.  Live in the little things. Love on people.  It took 4$ to make 3 peoples’ days.  I always want to teach my boys to love on others in little and big ways!

Nothing to Prove (a review)

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Every single week, there is one specific area where I feel like I have to prove something.  Don’t we all – you may have more than one area, but I know specifically there is one area.  Sometimes there are more, but always this one.

And this doesn’t communicate to my heart that I am loved.

When we always feel like we have to compare or measure up – or we feel that we will never master or hit the mark – we feel unwelcomed and insignificant.

In Jennie Allen’s new book Nothing to Prove, she knocks it out of the park with creative prose on Bible stories, the highlight and masterful connection of the Gospel in every chapter, and you can tell she loves women.

Yall, this girl understands the gospel and loves women.  You need to read this book.  I even loaned it out and already want it back to re-read all of it – and underline more of it.  It will be a yearly re-read for sure.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this book. All opinions are my own.

The Art of Control

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If you love purple mosleskins, you will definitely want to enter this giveway, which also includes a book, bag, bracelet and more!

I have always liked to be in control.  I can tell it in my driving, my learning, and my relationships.  This is one area that has been the hardest in terms of living the Christian life.  I’ve really never doubted God’s sovereignty – but if His sovereignty is true, then I am definitely not in control.

Shannon Popkins’ book Control Girl is a good heart searcher to see if you might have control issues too. And in some way I think we all do.

I loved how Shannon shared personal stories and was real about her own struggle with control.  Even though she wrote this as a Bible study, I think it was more of a book that included Scriptures and make sure you ask yourself some questions.  She didn’t really hit the Bible study part hard.  Bible studies study the Bible, dig in, really take time to invest in the Word itself.  While this book was well-written I think it missed the mark on the Bible study part.  That isn’t to say it doesn’t have merit – it would still be a good book to read.  And maybe you can take the Scriptures she gives you and invest and dig deep in the Scriptures – more than she does.

Adventures of books and boys

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This past weekend we started a new adventure in the life of our boys – puddle jumping.  We had so much rain and then the shoes came off and the pants got rolled up.

And the boys had so much fun.  It is a great adventure being a boy mom.  And we even do adventure in our reading, singing, and television shows.  We love to watch Paw Patrol and Winnie the Pooh.  We sing made up Marshall (Paw Patrol) songs about being heroes.  We read Little House on the Prairie books at bedtime, all about wolves and canvas colored wagons and snakes.

That’s one of the reasons I wanted to read Eden: An Animal’s Parable.  And I tried to read it, I read portions of it to my husband.  I thought it would be more like Narnia or Charlotte’s Web where the animals talk.  But, I was totally confused and lost and then with confusion I wasn’t interested in the book at all.  So, while there may be an exact audience out there for this book, it wasn’t this audience.

Thanks to Litfuse for the book. All opinions are my own.

You can win a kindle Fire on behalf of the book fairies! 🙂