He Created Beauty

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I must admit, sometimes standing in front of the mirror isn't my best time.  It's so easy to see all our flaws, isn't it? My time in front of the mirror normally sounds like this...

My face is too fat.
The bags under my eyes look horrid. Sleep girl, you need sleep.
My skin is terrible. Yikes.
And this nose.  Oy.  Broken one too many times.
The scars on my stomach are ridiculous. Can you say road map?
How others can even look at me?

Yep, that's what mine sounds like. But during a recent not-so-fun glance in the mirror, I was reminded of something. We are all made in Gods image. Every single one of us. Do you know what that means? I am beautiful, so are YOU, because we are daughters of the King and we were made in His image. Take a moment and let that sink in. you are perfectly perfect and what He wants you to be.

So from now on, rather than listing our faults, listen to His familiar small whisper.

You were created in my image, beautiful girl (Genesis 1:27)

I saw your beauty when I made you (Genesis 1:31)

You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I will never leave you (Joshua 1:9)

Your husband see's your beauty (Song of Songs 4:7)

I can see your beautiful heart (1 Samuel 16:7)

I'm captivated by your beauty (Psalm 45:11)

Once I was able to focus on Him rather than myself, the image I saw in the mirror was quite different.

I see hands that type a blog to encourage others.
I see a heart that overflows with love for my husband, children and so many more.
I see eyes that are so quick to weep with those who weep.
I see scars that I praised Him through.
I see the beauty He created me to be.

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday - chicken and waffles, complete comfort food

Tuesday- lasagna and garlic bread

Wednesday - tater tot casserole

Thursday - tacos, easy peasy {and a fav of the littles}

Friday - chicken and biscuit casserole {recipe below}

Saturday - Rigatoni with Red Pepper, Almonds, and Bread Crumbs {adapted a bit to fit our families taste}

Sunday - no peek beef tips, mashed potatoes, corn and homemade bread

Chicken and Biscuit Casserole
1 tube of Pillsbury biscuits
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of Sour Cream
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 can of peas
2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup mild cheddar cheese
3 Tbs milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix soup and 1/2 cup sour cream. (If you heat them together on the stove your biscuits will come out less doughy on the bottom. I usually heat my mixture in a large saucepan first - This is step is not required, but helps if you don't want a doughy bottom of the biscuit). Then stir in chicken, peas, milk and melted butter. Flatten this out then top with shredded cheese.

Put biscuits on top of the cheese you just sprinkled. Just layer them in a single layer. If you did buy the thicker biscuits I would probably flatten them out a little, or cut them in half so they are not as thick, they will cook better.

Cook for 35 minutes or until the biscuits on top are golden brown and the mixture underneath is hot and bubbly.

A Proverbs 31 Woman {Week 4}

Sunday, October 19, 2014

She considers a field and buys it; 
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 
She sets about her work vigorously; 
her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She sees that her trading is profitable, 
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 
Proverbs 31:16-19

This week we see a wife who is a capable, intelligent woman. She has a good savvy business mind; which is very needed when raising a family, especially on one income in these economic times.

The first thing we see is the Proverbs 31 woman considers a field, she doesn't just rashly buy it.  Every woman doesn't have to go into real estate and horticulture — the principle here is that this woman uses her mind.  She is smart, patient and wise with her finances and doesn't just purchase things on a whim. She considers it, prays about it and talks to her husband about it. She seeks her husband’s approval before making any purchases. She would never make a purchase without consulting her husband first. She spends her money wisely and unselfishly. And I would say she's a saver, since she obviously had the money saved up to purchase the field. 

She doesn't just buy the field, she plants a vineyard in it. She is obviously a hard worker. When she has a special project like this, she gets at it and get it done. She doesn't get to the middle of the project and decide it was too hard and give up. She works hard, eagerly and vigorously.

The Proverbs 31 Woman was a BEAST y'all! She took pride not only in her spirit and mind but also her body. She treated her body as if it were a temple. WHY? Not to be beautiful in the worlds eyes, but to be fit and ready for anything GOD called her to do!

We need to have diligence and a heart that's willing to work. Our home is the place where our children's hearts are molded and where they grow spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. Our home is where our husbands come after a hard day of work to find comfort and to relax. A home with a hardworking woman is a complete blessing to her family. 

Remember last week we studied a bit on Verse 15 {She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants} and how it ties to Verse 18. A lamp is always kept burning at night in Eastern houses. Since the houses are very small, the careful housewife has to rise at midnight to replenish the oil. While she is up, she often then begins her household work by grinding the corn or preparing something for next day's meals.

I was curious about Verse 19, so I really studied it and researched the meaning.  This verse tells us that she performed the work of spinning her flax into thread.  The distaff definition is a staff for holding the flax or wool in spinning. The spindle definition is a slender round rod or stick with tapered ends by which thread or yarn is twisted in spinning by hand and on which it is wound.
We also see a reference to spinning in Exodus 35:25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.

She was such an industrious lady! My goodness, even spinning her own thread to make her own fabric to make her family clothes. Wow! As I've said before, I'm not friends with sewing at all. But there are lots of other ways we can apply this to our own lives and do with eager hands to provide for my family. I enjoy loom knitting and can whip up a mean scarf in a few days. There are so many different things we can do with our hands...sewing, knitting or crocheting to name a few.

These verses show a woman who endures, who keeps going, who is strong for all that she must do and be.  This week, be willing to get your hands dirty, work hard and show an amazing work ethic. And as we discussed last week, do it without complaining. Remember, your most important work will be done inside the walls of your home.

Today, I Choose Happiness

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I choose happiness instead of anger.
I choose forgiveness instead of revenge.
I choose smiles instead of frowns.
I choose prayer instead of gossip.
I choose love instead of hate.
I choose to be positive instead of negative.
I choose to see people for their heart rather than their looks.
I choose to see myself as Jesus does rather than through others eyes.

What do you choose today?

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday - mississippi roast, mashed potatoes and peach cobbler for dessert

Tuesday - chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles and homemade bread

Wednesday - chicken stuffed shells, a family fav

Thursday - creamy chicken and rice casserole and pumpkin bread for dessert

Friday - chili and cornbread with honey butter

Saturday - out to dinner with the fam

Sunday - pierogie casserole

A Proverbs 31 Woman {Week 3}

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Welcome back to week 3 of our Proverbs 31 study. I hope y'all are enjoying it as much as I am! This week we're going to look at Proverbs 31: 13-15.

She selects wool and flax 
and works with eager hands. 
She is like the merchant ships, 
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark; 
she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 
Proverbs 31:13-15

This week we see a picture of a woman who is clearly not afraid to work and is certainly not lazy. Lets dive in a little deeper and see how we can relate these

Wool has been used for clothing since early times. I was thrown off by the mention of flax, I automatically thought of flax seed. But I've learned that flax was largely cultivated for the manufacture of linen. It would be dried, peeled, hackled and spun first and then would be ready to be made into linen. So, not only does she make their clothes, she actually makes the material as well.

There may be some of you who make clothes for your family, but this chickie right here isn't one of them. Sewing and I are not friends.  But there are lots of other things I can do with eager hands to provide for my family.  I enjoy loom knitting and can whip up a mean scarf in a few days.  There are so many different things we can do with our hands...sewing, knitting or crocheting to name a few.

Also, in our modern times we are blessed with inexpensive clothes. I might not be able to sew but I can shop a mean clearance rack, normally with coupons in tow.  Even further than that, doing the laundry and ensuring our family has clean clothes to wear. I know laundry can seem like a never-ending task...washing it, drying it, folding it and putting it away.  Believe me, do I ever know that.  I have a teenage boy who changes his clothes a minimum of 3 times a day.  Yeah, unreal.  Laundry is a task we should approach with eager hands as well.  Y'all know whats written in the Bible there isn't any arguing with, right?  So when God says to do our work joyfully and eagerly, and we actually do it without grumbling, that is what is honoring to God. Think it's impossible to do your laundry with joy? Nothing is impossible with God. When you sit down to fold it, pray and ask God to help you to have joy in your heart about it.  

This woman is willing to go to great lengths to get good food for her family.  I even read y'all that she might have had to travel the whole way to Egypt just to get corn for her family.  Thank goodness for grocery stores, can I get an Amen?  But she was willing to go as far as she needed to go to get food for her family.

I think it's important that as women, we learn how to cook good meals for our family. With the access to the internet and Pinterest, there really isn't any reason we wives shouldn't be good cooks.  Casseroles are so easy and yummy.  We really shouldn't be turning to easy meals every night like hamburger helper or fries and fish sticks. But actually take the time to prepare a good, healthy, home-cooked meal for them to come home to. That is a way we can show love and care to them. Be willing to go the distance to get the meal done, cooking for a few hours if need be. I like to cook homemade bread, rolls or cinnamon rolls once a week for my family as a treat. Yes, it takes time...but seeing how much they enjoy it makes it totally worth it.

Also, take the time to clip coupons and save your family as much money as you can.  There are so so so many coupon websites out there that you just print the coupons right off of {HERE, HERE and HERE}.  Another way we need to be willing to work hard without grumbling...our grocery shopping.  We need to approach it with the same eager heart that we do other chores.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:23

Verse 15 really caught my eye. I found some really interesting info about it. A lamp is always kept burning at night in Eastern houses. Since the houses are very small, the careful housewife has to rise at midnight to replenish the oil. While she is up, she often then begins her household work by grinding the corn or preparing something for next day's meals. So this also directly ties to verse 18, She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

So it's the middle of the night, the house is quiet, what would this be a perfect opportunity for her to do?  What did Christ do early in the morning {Mark 1:35}?  Pray!  What a great lesson for us as well.  You know how much easier it is to concentrate in a quiet household.  That would be the perfect time to spend time with Him through prayer, being in His Word, giving thanks and praise.  I actually write 90% of my blog posts early in the morning while everyone is still in bed.

So I encourage you this week to do your laundry, grocery shopping and cooking to the glory of God.  Maybe try getting up a little early one day to spend some time in prayer.  Aahhh, maybe go for a walk and pray at the same time.  I call those "walk and talks".  What better place to talk to God than in the beauty He created!!  Create a warm and loving atmosphere for your family to come home to with eager hands and a joyful heart.

Hero's Disguised as Husbands

Thursday, October 09, 2014

This lucky girl is married to a hero. A burly, tattooed, bearded and bald hero.

He doesn't wear a cape or leap from buildings. He's an everyday hero in this house. A hard-working, tenderhearted guy. He takes care of his wife and his littles, normally putting their wants and needs before his own. He will completely stop what he is doing to help someone in need. And he follows God.


I'm so super thankful to say he's also a hero outside of this household. In what way? He coaches Little League Cheerleading. Yes, you heard me right. Cheerleading. And those little girls adore their Coach Tank.

A few years ago, the cheerleading program was in danger of being shut down.  They needed someone to step forward and head it up and if no one was willing, it would have to be canceled.  Knowing how much this program means to these girls, my amazing husband stepped forward and took over.

It's not that he has a heart for cheerleading, not in the least bit.  But he sure has a heart for these kids.  His goal every year is to be a positive male influence in their lives, someone they can look up to, someone they know they can always rely on and to just make their time with him fun.  Whether they want to tie his beard up in ribbons or tease him about his Packers, he always smiles and takes it in stride.

That right there is the best kind of hero.

I'm not sure he realizes what a complete hero he is to me, to us and to those little girls. It's evident to me daily.

Here are a few little comments from parents and the girls. This is the reason he comes back year after year!
You are a great coach and leader!!!!!!
Thank you for all that you do. This program wouldn't be here if it weren't for your hard work and dedication. So thank you again!
You do a wonderful job too bad we don't have more like you!
Dear, Coach Tank (:
Thanks, I had a great time this year. Yes, I'm joining next year, I cant wait having you as a coach makes cheerleading much more fun you're the best coach ever!!!!(:
Tank, I have had the pleasure of seeing you in actions with the girls and I have to say you are such a great male role model for the girls.
You've turned the cheerleading around and I see the smiles on these kids face. They look up to him so much, I know my daughter is looking for next year.
Oh, this man. A great hero. An everyday hero.

My hero.

Messy Beautiful Love {Book Review}

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love
Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages
By Darlene Schacht

About the book:
Love gets messy. 
Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come along to threaten your marriage. No matter how long you've been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up. 
Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God's way, exchanging our ideas for his, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer. 
Perhaps you've picked up this book because your marriage is messy already-now is the time to make a change. If your marriage is tidy, thank God-there is no better time to prepare for the future. 
Married life is never straightforward or simple for long. But the reality is this: when you surrender your relationship to God; when you lay your marriage at his feet; when you finally cede control; then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as he intended-this is the blessing of obedience. 
Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. An invitation to surrender. The cynical world says marriages don't last. God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible-it's inevitable. That's something to be excited about.
I have followed Darlene's blog, Time Warp Wife, for years and absolutely love her writing style! So signing on to review this book was a no-brainer!

Darlene opens the book with the amazing testimony about how God saved her marriage. A raw, gut-wrenching story that reminds you how none of us are immune from our hearts straying from husband and home. She paints this wonderful, beautiful picture of grace that compares marriage with our Christian walk. The same grace that loves and forgives in marriage is that same grace we have received from Christ - that loves and forgives us every single day. A truly Christian marriage will mirror the relationship between Christ and his church.

From there she touches on the hard stuff: patience, surrendering our rights, submission, leadership, conflict, communication... Basically everything this stubborn, thick-headed girl needs to hear!

This book is written in an easy to read manner in down to earth language, goodness how I love that! Darlene shares wonderful stories from her own life that invite you into her home and make you feel like your chatting with her over coffee. This is a book I would recommend to every wife. It is a book for all women, no matter how long they've been married.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Robertson Family Christmas {Book Review + Giveaway}

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A Robertson Family Christmas
by Miss Kay Robertson

About the book:
Hunter Clarke wanted one thing for Christmas: to spend it with his dad and his brother. He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn't enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn't want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers. 
Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it firsthand. From duck-hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family. Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?
We are Duck Dynasty lovers here in the household.  There aren't that many shows that promote faith and prayer and when we find one that does, we become faithful viewers.  I knew I would love to read this book and especially now, when we're not quite yet in Christmas season but we can see it down the road.

I loved this book from start to finish.  I honestly couldn't put it down, what a great read it was!  Who wouldn't want to spend Christmas with the Robertsons?  Have you ever wondered what their holidays look like?    Not only will you get a peek into this great Christian family, this work of fiction gives us a glimpse into the Robertson family traditions that we all wouldn't mind partaking of.

Miss Kay Robertson has gifted her readers with a beautiful story of a loud, loving, family that shares a few days with a "city boy" and teaches him it's all right to make mistakes and show emotions.  This book is truly a blessing to read. The humor and the family dynamics are outstanding. Hunter goes back to Chicago a different person; one that is aware of the love of his mother and especially of the love of Jesus Christ.

I'm so super excited to announce that I am giving one copy of A Robertson Family Christmas to one lucky winner !! Woo! Enter below...

Thank you to Tyndale Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Singing Hymns Through Tears

Monday, October 06, 2014

As a young girl, I can remember standing beside my parents every Sunday in church and waiting impatiently to sing a hymn. Singing was always my favorite part of the service. The song leader would announce the hymn number and I would quickly grab my hymnal and stand, always being one of the first ones up. As soon as the hymn would start, my Dad’s voice could plainly be heard above the rest of the congregation. When he would start singing, I would stand a little taller. I was so proud of my Dad’s singing voice, his ability to harmonize easily and his knowledge of virtually every verse of every hymn.

As I got older, my love of this Sunday morning moment never changed. If there was a Sunday my Dad had to work, I would still stand tall and proud, doing my part. My Dad taught me how to harmonize, how to pull the melodies from the music and how to hear the piano over everyone’s voices.

I also took piano lessons for many years when I was young. I was lucky enough to have a piano teacher that was also a Christian, so many of my weekly lessons were learning to play hymns. I can assure you there were many a night spent around the piano (not always willingly on my part), playing hymns with my Dad singing melody and me singing harmony. I can remember the neighbors saying how they enjoyed sitting on their porches in the summer listening to us. And Sunday mornings when the song leader would call out a hymn that I KNEW we had practiced at home, I would do a little victory dance inside. I would stand up and sing beside my Dad as loud as I could.

Over the years my Dads hearing has decreased to the point now where he watches church services at home and doesn't attend the Sunday services. This had never really affected me Easter a few years ago. The song leader announced the hymn, He Arose. I stood to sing and suddenly was overwhelmed with sadness.

I sang every hymn that Easter Sunday through tears. My husband saw me crying and asked what was wrong {which only makes me cry harder}. I couldn't even really explain it to him without it coming out all jumbled. I was basically, in that single moment, slapped in the face with the reality that my life is changing. The “old days” are just that, the old days. They aren't my reality anymore. I will never again stand beside my Dad in church and harmonize. It’s my time to make those memories with my littles.

It still makes me sad and most Sundays, at one point or another, I’m singing a hymn through my tears.

A Proverbs 31 Woman {Week 2}

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I sure hope you're enjoying this journey through Proverbs 31 as much as I am. I’m super excited to continue this week with one of my fav topics, marriage. Let’s take a look at the next two verses.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 
Proverbs 31:11-12

So the absolute first attribute we see of this woman is that her husband has full trust in her.  I think the King James Version is beautiful, it says The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.  So not only does he trust her with his money, his children and basically his life...he also trusts her with his heart.  Oh trust, can't we all agree that is such a crucial part of marriage!  Being trustworthy is such a blessing to your husband. How do we become more trustworthy? By mirroring God.

I was intrigued by the KJV version and what no need of spoil meant, so I dug a little deeper.  Basically, he knows that his trust is not misplaced.  He knows his wife would not do him wrong, ever.  Which ties directly into the next verse.

She brings him good, not harm, ALL the days of her life.  It doesn't say she only is good to him when she feels he deserves it.  All the days of her life y'all.  Every single one!  In our world, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. But for the Proverbs 31 woman, she is in it for the long haul. For better, for worse...for richer, for poorer...in sickness and in health...all the days of her life. She remains faithfully at his side. And he has confidence that she will always be there.  

This beautiful lady strives oh-so-hard to make her home a haven of joy and happiness for her husband to return home to at the end of the day.  There is a quote by Martin Luther that I love...let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. That quote is a perfect example of a Proverbs 31 wife. 

She doesn't love her husband with conditions and she doesn't hold grudges.  How many of us can say that? Surely not this strong-headed girl. Forgiving love is a love that is securely rooted in God's love for us. God wants our love to be sweet, soft-hearted and lovely. He wants it overflowing with forgiveness. By offering forgiveness, we are offering the grace that God has given us. The Proverbs 31 wife doesn't cling to prior offenses, tucking them in her pocket to use later. She wipes the slate clean as soon as the offense happens. She knows that will not only set her husband free, but her as well.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Don’t forget to stop back next Sunday as we take a look at more virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman.

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