Thursday, January 26, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day NINE


Welcome back to day 9! Today, I wanted to talk about taking care of others through prayer.



Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy

Have you ever been faced with a difficult situation that seems impossible to get through on your own? Or maybe, you know someone who is hurting and you have nothing to fix it. You are out of ideas; their pain has now become your pain? You want so badly to lift their burden. What can you do? The answer is not doing anything. The answer is prayer. God wants a relationship with us. He wants us to come to Him for everything. God does not want us to be anxious or to worry. He is the one in control. We are not.



Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Maybe your problem or someone else's problem may seem impossible, but not to God. If you are dealing with hard times, a broken marriage, a death, an illness, or anything that seems impossible, I encourage you to pray to God for his guidance. Have faith that He will comfort you and give you answers.

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.


The power of prayer is amazing. Having someone just say to you that they are praying for you is comforting. I encourage you to pray for others. By faithfully praying for others, you are helping them. God hears our prayers. Let God take care of you and your problems.
Today is day 9 and many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income
/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day EIGHT

 
 
Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Today is Day 8 and obviously by now you know my theme is taking care of others, I am reposting a blog that I once wrote a while ago, about using your gifts and talents that the Lord gave you to serve others and to serve God. I encourage you to use your God-given talents and gifts to serve others. I believe it truly pleases God.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV, Romans 12:5-8)

How do you serve the Lord? Do you serve gladly? Do you serve the Lord with a cheerful heart? I know that I am guilty of sometimes doing more complaining and not having joy in my heart. I came across a devotion about this a few months of go. Needless to say it was very convicting to me. I prayed about this, and I know the Lord gave me my talents. I know now that I need to use my talents to serve the Lord. And serve with honest Joy.

I love to organize and "take charge" of things. So I take my "bossiness", as my family would call it, and use it in a way the Lord would want me to.

After I had my 4th baby, ladies from our church brought us meals and it was a huge blessing to our family. I noticed everyone that brought us a meal, had true joy in their heart. I was so thankful for that.

It later became something, I would do for others once and a while. Now, I can honestly say I am "joyfully" in charge of organizing meals for moms, who are welcoming home a new baby, & for people who are released from a hospital stay. It is great to see God work through others and myself to bring a small blessing. We are God's hands.

If you are interested in serving God this way, here is a website that helps make it even easier. www.takethemameal.com
If you feel God tugging at your heartstrings to do this too...please check out this website.

How do you serve God?

Stacy

 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day SEVEN



Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.



It is Day Seven of Ten days of Proverbs 31. Thank you for coming back. By now, you already know that I am speaking about taking care of others.
Today, I would like to talk a bit about enabling.
It is my nature to try and help someone who is down on their luck, or who might be enduring a tough situation. After all, I feel everyone needs to be taken care of at some point in their life. But are we really taking care of someone or are we helping them to make the same mistakes over and over?
What exactly does this mean? Are we really hurting someone if we are just trying to help them? Possibly.
Here is a good example to help you understand what I am getting at.

 Lets say you have this friend who has a difficult time holding a job, and he comes to you for financial help each time he loses a job or even quits a job. You keep giving him money to help him. This problem is not new to your friend, it has been going on for years. He has never been committed to keeping a job and always has an excuse as to why, such as, the boss was mean, or his hours were too hard to follow.
You sometimes join him in blaming others to make him feel better. You continuing to help him and joining him in blaming others is enabling and clearly not helping him.
How could you help him and not enable your friend? This is a difficult situation because you do not want him to suffer financially but you also want him to learn from his mistakes.
Perhaps this person is not your friend, but even your own son? That would even make it more difficult. I sure would want to rescue my son and help him each time.
How could you help and not enable this person? I do not have the answers. I can only say what I think I would do if faced this situation. Maybe by praying with and for this person. Instead of helping financially, maybe helping with job resumes or college applications. Or, maybe its time for some tough love and no more!



2 Thessalonians 3:10  For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

(That seems pretty harsh, but God gives us rules for a reason).

I encourage you, that if you are in a similar situation, to really analyze it and pray about your situation. Ask God to show you how to help and not enable wrongful behavior.

Today is day 7 and many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income
/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good

Monday, January 23, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day SIX


Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Welcome back for day six. As my topic is taking care of others, I wanted to talk about a somewhat sensitive subject. How do we take care of the poor? The poor, who may even not even have a home? Do you give them money? Perhaps, a meal? How would God want you to take care of the poor? Perhaps you do not have a lot to give. Perhaps, it is easier to turn your head rather than to help. It breaks my heart to see anyone homeless. I could not imagine. The truth is - most of the time - we do not know their story. We do not know how it happened, but God does.

I would like to share a few of my own ideas to help others in extreme situations. You can donate to a Christian charity of your choice, or maybe your church has a special offering for those in need, or maybe even leading a fundraiser in your local community. I recently ran across this idea on Pinterest and it’s so simple, but yet so amazing! I obviously cannot take credit for the wonderful idea, so I am putting her link on here. When you go to this blog by clicking on the link, you will be lead to instructions on how to put a Blessing bag together.




http://kwavs.blogspot.com/2011/05/blessing-bags-how-to.html


These are called "Blessing Bags". The idea is to keep them in your car, and next time you see a homeless person, or a homeless family, please give this to them.



Hebrews 13:16  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day FIVE


Proverbs 31: 17 “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”


It is day 5 and thanks so much for reading my blog. Yesterday I talked about helping single moms.

Do you have a sad story that has happened in your life? Perhaps, you have been through a tough divorce or have overcame an illness. Maybe you lost someone close to you. Do you find yourself asking God, why me? What is the purpose of this pain?

Maybe you are to the point in your life that the pain is now somewhat gone, but you are still questioning God.

I once saw this quote in a Joyce Meyer devotion, "I remember God speaking to my heart not to get caught up in the 'why' questions. Instead, he very clearly showed me what to say: God, I trust you. You’re good. You love me. And all things work together for good for those who love you and are called according to your purpose.”

I wish I had the perfect answer to why bad things happen to us.
I haven't always had the best life, and yes bad things have happened to me. Looking back, I am so thankful for those bad things. I know that sounds strange to some, but I am where I am today because of the events that have happened. I am also able to help others that might be going through similiar situations that I once have gone through. I believe strongly that the Lord wants you to lean on him during difficult times. I believe the Lord wants you to trust him through difficult times.



God wants us to trust in Him. Psalms 147:11 tells us that He is delighted when we put our trust in Him, and in Hebrews 10:23 we are told to rely on Him for He who promised it is faithful.  

If life has given you tough and difficult times, I encourage you to  please lean on God and trust in Him. He has a purpose for you. You may be able to help others get through the same difficult situation later. That could be your purpose. Maybe your arms are strong for your tasks. Even if it is difficult, or once was.


Today is day 5 and many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income
/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good

Saturday, January 21, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day FOUR



Proverbs 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.



Thank you for coming back for day four. Recently I have been talking about taking care of ourselves, our children, our households.
I really want to talk about taking care of others...outside of our home. I actually wanted to talk about something I hold very dear to my heart. Single moms. Yep, that's right, single moms.

I know personally how hard it is to be a single mom. I also have very close friends who are single moms. I have two close friends who are single mothers. They both love the Lord, they both love their children, and they both did not plan on ever in their wildest dreams of becoming single mothers. In other words, they didn't ask for their husbands to leave them.
My two close friends have full plates: full time jobs, and one goes to college full time as well. Neither have family near by.
As busy as I am, I cannot help but to be thankful for a husband who also loves the Lord and who genuinely helps me and works with me as a team with parenting and running our household.
I do not feel sorry for my friends. They would not want me to. They rarely ask for help from others.
Helping them is a constant pull on my heart. I feel the Lord puts everyone in your life for a reason. I love my friends. I cannot imagine doing everything on my own and I do not want them to do everything on their own either.
Do you have a close friend who is a single parent? Maybe you know someone who is a single parent. Sometimes a small act of kindness can go a long ways.
I encourage you to help a single parent. Something small, perhaps make a meal for her. That could free up some of her time to spend with her kids. Or, offer to watch her children for her for an hour. Or, just pray for her. Pray that the Lord will watch over her and her children and give her strength and courage to raise her children.




Galatians 6:9-10  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Today is day 4 and many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good

Friday, January 20, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day THREE

 

Proverbs 31: 17 “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

 

Again, I can not possibly measure up to this Godly woman, but I can certainly try.

I consider a personal gift of mine is taking care of others. I really enjoy it and love to be a help to others.

As a busy mom, I tend to prefer to do things myself, just to get it done as quickly as I possibly can. And not to mention to have it done "right".

Yesterday I talked about letting your children help out with household tasks. I must admit this is a challenge for me. Do not get me wrong, I have no problem with giving my children chores that I know they can do and not make a mess at.
But, when it comes to them asking to help with something that may be a bit more challenging for them, such as washing dishes or helping prepare dinner...I tend to say no, we are in a hurry and I just need to get it done as quickly as possible.
I want my children to grow up wanting to help others. This is a personal struggle that I am slowly getting better at.
When life is quiet for a few seconds the thoughts of guilt come to mind. I should have just said yes, you can help me fold laundry. Who cares if I have to redo it. Time goes fast and my kids are growing up even faster. I need to learn to cherish those moments and slow down.

Most of all I want my children to love to help others, not to be turned away.

I encourage any of you who may be experiencing the same challenges that I do to ask God for patience and ask him to help you to slow down with life's business and cherish the blessings that are right in front of you...your kiddos.
It's a prayer I say daily:)

Many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good




Hope you all enjoy!! Feel free to explore the blogs ahead of time. We have some very talented women participating.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31~ Day TWO

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Proverbs 31: 17 “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

This is another struggle for a lot of people including me at times. HOUSEWORK! Definitely not a favorite past time for me!


Again, I can not possibly measure up to this Godly woman, but I can certainly try.





My husband & I have four children. The first two kids, I worked full time and they were both in daycare. My second two kids, I am able to be a stay at home mom. I believe all four of my children are healthy and amazing kids. In other words I am in no way passing judgment on either choice.
I do feel that if you are able to be a stay at home mom, that you have a ton of responsibilities as does a full time working mother. Regardless, being a mom, you always have housework, laundry, cooking meals, cleaning, and the list goes on and on.


I believe the Proverbs 31 woman was not lazy. I believe she took care of her household and her children.

As a stay at home mom, I feel it is my responsibility to keep a tidy home and provide healthy cooked meals for my family. I also feel it is just as important to spend time with your children. Balance is important.



I strongly feel it is important to teach your children to help out with the daily tasks. Yes life is busy. But my children are part of my family and it is so important they learn to do household chores, because we are raising them to be adults and someday they will have homes of their own.







A cleaning method that I think works well for busy families is to clean one room a day. Deep clean one or two rooms a day, and then Sunday, spend it with your family, not CLEANING!
I would also like to mention, that my husband is wonderful at helping me with the household chores! We have a really nice system, I cook and get supper on the table and he cleans up the kitchen while I am helping our younger kids with baths.
I encourage all moms working and non-working moms to make it a family affair and get your children involved. You will be taking care of them by teaching them these values!


     
Today is day 2 of and many others are doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
• Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good




Hope you all enjoy!! Feel free to explore the blogs ahead of time. We have some very talented women participating.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

10 Days of Proverbs 31- Day ONE

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Today begins a 10 day series. I am writing through topics found in Proverbs 31 along with 13 other bloggers. The topic you'll find here over the next 10 days is "taking care of others" (head to the bottom of this post to see what other bloggers are writing about!).


The Proverbs 31 woman was energetic and hard working for the tasks she was gifted and called to do. I can not possibly measure up to this Godly woman, but I can certainly try.

I am so excited that the topic that was chosen for me to write about for the next 10 days is "taking care of others". It is definitely fitting for me. I think it might be fitting for any woman with four kids, or any amount of kids for that matter.

A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

Taking care of your household is a lot of work and definitely requires a lot of energy!

In order to be all that we can be to our husbands and children, we must be all that we can be mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. We must be balanced.

My point that I want to share with you today is that we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our families and others.

When you take care of yourself, you are honoring God and loving your family.

I am not saying abandon all your responsibilities and go have a "me" day whenever you like. I am saying I feel it is vital for us as wives and mothers to take care of ourselves. Taking care of you such as eating right, exercising, and, my favorite, laughing!

In my own personal life this has been a struggle for me. I have had to make some major changes that have helped me become a better and happier wife and mom. I make myself exercise and decided to change my unhealthy eating choices to healthier choices (most of the time).
God only gave us one body and it is up to us to take care of it. But not just physically, emotionally too. Laughter is the best medicine.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”

When you take care of yourself, you start to feel better about yourself and its a lot easier to take care of others when you are able to work hard and have energy! Believe me, I know!
Yes I have to carve out time in my day to go to the gym and yes it would be easier just to eat food that is fast and unhealthy. But, I feel my children also benefit from seeing their mom live a healthier lifestyle. Kids are smart and often repeat what they see.




Starting TODAY January 18 our blog and many others will be doing a series on the different aspects of Proverbs 31. Here is a list of the bloggers and their topics.

• Contributing to family income/2 better than 1
• The Fear of the Lord/ Satisfied by Love
• Using time wisely/BlessedBeyondMeasure
• Taking care of needy/ Shadow Wonder
• Using money wisely/Jennifer Sikora
•  Keeping an eye on home/Just a Glimpse
• She can laugh at the days ahead/faith filled food for moms
• Clothed in strength and dignity/One thing I’ve Learned
• Taking care of others/ 2 savvy gals
• Being Creative/A Patchwork Mommy
• Bringing Variety to Family/ Karen Dawkins
• Extending your Hand to the Poor/Women’s Fellowship House
• Organization/Teaching what is Good




Hope you all enjoy!! Feel free to explore the blogs ahead of time. We have some very talented women participating.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kettle Corn Recipe (Stove-top)



Let's Talk about a SAVVY Snack! Kettle Corn!

I was so excited to get a Whirley Pop for Christmas! I was even more excited to learn that you can make Kettle Corn with it too!
I spent lots of time looking through different recipes & decided to try & healthy them up a bit.
Here is what I came up with, & I hope you LOVE this recipe as much as my family does!

What you will NEED: Whirley popcorn pan (or a similar one), 1/3 cup popcorn, 1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil), 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 drop of vanilla or caramel extract, sea salt to taste.



1st: Put popcorn, sugar, oil & drop of vanilla or caramel extract into popcorn pan.


2nd: Turn on heat to medium high & start turning the handle constantly until you hear no more popping & remove from heat immediately.


3rd: Pour popped corn onto a cookie sheet and salt while hot. Let cool and EAT!



This is a frugal snack that tastes wonderful. Stop buying it at fairs or events, when you can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost! Believe me; it tastes just as good, if not better!





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Friday, January 6, 2012

Southwest Black bean & Corn Salad



It's the beginning of a New Year, so let's talk HEALTHY! I made chicken tacos last week for my family & was about to open a jar of salsa & decided quickly, that I was in the mood for fresh & healthy.
I was looking for recipes & came across a few similar to the one I am about to show you. The problem was, I did not have all of the ingredients, so I just used what I had, & created a new family favorite!

Here is what you Need:

  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz frozen corn, thawed
  • 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium hass avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • Sea salt to taste
First: Drain & rinse black beans.


Second: Add tomatoes to a large bowl. Then, add chopped green onion, & *cilantro.



 Third: Add black beans, thawed corn, & diced avacodo to bowl & stir.



Almost finished: Squeeze lime juice, olive oil, & add sea salt. Stir & cool for 30 minutes before eating.

*Using a kitchen shears to cut cilantro works wonderfully!

Also, I realize some recipes will tell you to add the avocado right before you serve. I did not do that, and it still tasted & looked great! (Even the next day).


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